The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Sam Waymon - Ganja & Hess (Soundtrack, 1973)

This fan made soundtrack is gifted to us by a friend of the website. It is very well put together and worth the listen. Here are the notes from the original uploader (djsmokingjam).

Ganja & Hess is a film that once you see it, whether you like it or not, sinks its claws into you and doesn't let go, its images haunting you for a long time afterward.  But even more haunting is the music from the film - Sam Waymon (younger brother of Nina Simone) creating an innovative, ahead-of-its-time mixture of soul, tribal chants, gospel and trippy, dissonant experimental cues that makes for the strangest score for a vampire film outside of Donald Rubenstein's jazzy accompaniment to Martin.  Waymon also appears in the film as a preacher who moonlights as a driver for Duane Jones' infected Dr Hess Green.

Naturally, due to the film's obscurity, there was no chance of a soundtrack album being released - but as a fan of the film, I really wanted to be able to listen to the music on my iPod.  So, I decided to make my own soundtrack, and share it with you all here, in case there's anyone here who loves this film as much as I do (and I'm sure there is!).  Be warned of a couple of things though:

a) As you might expect from this sort of thing, sound effects and dialogue recur throughout.  I think it works quite well, however; Gunn and Waymon obviously put a lot of attention into the soundscape of the film, and it shows.

b) Obviously, I was limited not only by my own inexperience when it comes to audio, but the crumminess of the source materials.  Although I took the audio straight from the DVD (and did nothing more but raise the volume slightly via Goldwave), that DVD is itself taken from a few different old 35mm prints, since the negative was destroyed in the creation of the Blood Couple re-edit.  In addition, some audio was sourced from the DIVX rip of Blood Couple available onsite - contrary to popular belief, the re-edit did not completely dispense with Waymon's score.

c) Track titles, as usual for this sort of thing, are mixed between those made up by me, and the proper names lagely gleaned via the excellent essay by Tim Lucas and David Walker included in the DVD-ROM folder of the 2006 DVD.

01. Intro
02. The Blood Of The Thing (Intro)
03. The Blood Of The Thing
04. Bungelii Work Song
05. Hess Is Stabbed
06. March Blues
07. You've Got To Learn To Let It Go (Instrumental)
08. Bungelii Work Song #2
09. Ganja & Hess Make Love
10. You've Got To Learn To Let It Go (Wedding)
11. A Strange Dream - You've Got To Learn To Let It Go
12. The Seduction
13. You've Got To Learn To Let It Go (w- Evangel Revivaltime Church)
14. Just As I Am (w- Evangel Revivaltime Church)
15. The Blood Of The Thing (Reprise)
16. Resurrection
17. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
18. You've Got To Learn To Let It Go (Studio Version)
19. Bonus Track - Theme From Blood Couple