Daemon Unbound: The Lost Conjurations of Ozman Droom. As many of my faithful readers know, the existence of this album/soundtrack/musical oddity, along with its merits and purported perils, has been a hotly debated topic among musicologists and occultists alike since the mid-to-late 1970s. Those who swear to its existence, however, have never been able (or seen fit) to produce any evidence to support their fervid and often bizarre claims. So it was with great interest, and more than a little bemusement, that I received the following materials on Imbolg of this year, sent via e-mail from a certain “Simon Magus” and attributed to the legendary Villa 9 Studios.
At first I thought it best to keep these materials to myself, but after a fortnight of intense contemplation and half a dozen rituals of half a dozen sorts, I have decided to post them here for the edification of any interested parties, and for closer examination by any esotericists willing to undertake the task.
For further information of an intensely interesting variety, see the liner notes included on the gatefold image below, and do let me know if they jibe with (or contradict) any personal recollections or experiences that you yourself have had with Daemon Unbound: The Lost Conjurations of Ozman Droom.
From the liner notes on the above gatefold:
Over the past several decades, a growing number of individuals, with nothing to offer as proof save their own vague recollections, have attested to the existence (or rather past existence) of an obscure and enigmatic album called Daemon Unbound: The Lost Conjurations of Ozman Droom.
Some attestants describe said album as having been an aural companion piece to a book of dubious authorship and sinister reputation entitled The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom. Others insist that the album was a soundtrack to a film or TV series pilot they recalled being traumatized by as children but have since been unable to track down or to verify to the satisfaction of objective skeptics. Still others aver, though always off the record, that the album served as an elaborate incantation or psychosonic hypersigil whose power and scope grew greater and more beguiling with each new listener but whose ultimate purpose is yet to be revealed.
All such suggestions, though admittedly intriguing and excellent fodder for midwinter ghost stories, could be dismissed as little more than urban myth and far-flung fancy—until recently, that is, when a reel-to-reel master recording of the album in question turned up in West Lothian, Scotland, among the archives of the infamous and ill-fated Villa 9 Studios.
Dated 1973 and performed by The Holy See with Robin Spriggs (the latter a name that some allege is a pseudonym for Ozman Droom himself), the recording consists of twenty-one tracks of haunting melodies, trippy leitmotifs, weird soundscapes, and spoken-word diablerie that, taken as a whole, form an arabesque ritual of decidedly potent effect.
The significance of this unsettling discovery we leave to you, the listener, to whom we now proudly, though with considerable trepidation, present this newly mastered edition of Daemon Unbound: The Lost Conjurations of Ozman Droom. Partake of it if and as you wish, but with the full knowledge that, in so doing, you have willingly aligned yourself with whatever mysterious energies, transcendental intentions, and unaccounted-for entities have brought it into being.
“His alleged fetish for eyes, it is important to note, is said to have been more intellectual and spiritual than sexual in nature. Be that as it may, according to several anonymous correspondents, it did indeed manifest in the practice of oculolinctus, though in a context so reverent and ritualized as to pass for an act of sacrament. Various texts contained within The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom (“Eye Candy,” “I of the Beholder,” “Eyes and Gnosis,” “If Thine Eye Be Single,” “Liber I,” etc.)—although not offered as confirmation of these assertions—should nevertheless prove of considerable interest to readers of a speculative bent.”—The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom
“A hard-to-describe yet highly entertaining compilation, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom is an experience weird fiction fans should not pass up.”—Rue Morgue
“Fanciful, sly, and always brilliant, author Robin Spriggs evokes a splendid world of eccentric darkness that is his and his alone.”—Tomb of Dark Delights
“It turns Its eye, Its single eye, from dream to dream to dream, and spies in each a dream undreamt of tales as yet untold, of Monstrous Things that cannot be yet come to be withal, upon a whirling sphere of blue (inward grown and lost to time), where Then and Now, and Here and There, and You and It . . . are One.”—The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom
“By no means,” said a certain gentleman diabolist, “is the film an adaptation of the book whose title it dimly recalls, but rather what amounts to something of a cinematic appendage—or tentacle, if you will—unfurled from the innermost fane of the text in question to probe the psychosphere for minds more attuned to images and music than to words, therein to proclaim itself ‘an artist’s meditation on the nature of creativity,’ or, even more pretentiously (though no less sincerely), ‘a performative depiction of the mysterious process whereby all works of the imagination conjure themselves into being.’”
- Written and Directed by Robin Spriggs
- Photographed and Edited by Kelly O’Neal
- Scored and Soundscaped by Klimchak
- Introducing Ada le Fay as “Scucca”
- Synopsis: A gentleman diabolist and his hirsute familiar perform an unspeakable rite.
- Tagline: Stranger than the sum of its parts.
- Running Time: 7 minutes
- Production Company: Mean Mama Dog
- Status: Post-production
For those who might appreciate an early and objective opinion on The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom (I certainly did), here’s a link to a review in Publishers Weekly.
Other impressions have begun to appear hither and yon, most notably on Goodreads, for which I am equally grateful.
Ordinarily, for the sake of my creative process, I avoid paying undue attention to reviews, but bringing this particular book back from the underworld was such a strange and troublous task that I’m delighted to find it resonating with at least an honest few.
In a life crammed to bursting with things that must be done, choosing which books are worthy of your time is a matter of no small importance. So whether my sharing of these early views leads you to or from The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, I will have done a good deed for the day, and will sleep all the better tonight.
Thanks for reading, friends.
The publisher has stealthily been running a weeklong (no hyphen necessary) Goodreads giveaway for an advance reading copy of my forthcoming book, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom. Fittingly, it began on Walpurgisnacht. Today is the last day. As of this notice, nearly five hundred readers have entered to win. Are you among them?
Thanks for reading, friends.
I’ve received quite a few questions about The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom over the past couple of years, most of them of the frequently asked variety—and with good reason, given the tardiness of the book’s promised release. Rather than continuing to field these queries individually as they land in my various inboxes, I’ve decided to address them below in a public Q&A that will be the first installment of an ongoing series entitled Between You & Me.*
- Will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom ever be published?
- When will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom be published?
As of my last communication with the publisher, and according to this listing on Amazon, the expected release date is August 1, 2014, so I’m hoping to see the book no later than that.
- Some on-line sources say that The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Double Feature Press. Others say it will be published by Anomalous Books. Which is correct?
The long answer: Several years ago, Sarah L. Covert approached me about being part of what was to be the maiden voyage of her newly formed publishing company, Double Feature Press. Her plan was to pair a slim collection of stories by me with one by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., a writer whose work I hold in high regard, and to publish them as a single volume—a sort of literary analogue/homage to the once popular motion picture phenomenon known as the “double feature” and somewhat reminiscent of the tête-bêche paperbacks made popular by Ace Books in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.
Intrigued by the idea and already tinkering with something I thought would be a good fit for the DFP format, I agreed to take part. Unfortunately, however, my progress toward that goal was interrupted on several occasions by stints of work in film and TV. Further complicating matters, my intended contribution had begun to grow into something a good deal longer and more idiosyncratic than was suitable for a two-in-one package, not to mention too elusive and cantankerous for a certain word-slingin’ cowboy to saddle up and ride. So, greatly disappointed, I advised Sarah to proceed without me, interred the manuscript in my private potter’s field of ill-conceived undertakings, and turned my attention to projects of a more tractable, less daunting nature.
But the book just wouldn’t stay buried; it dogged me day and night—mostly at night—driving me out of bed, back to the altar, back to the page. And little by little, spoken of to no one and unacknowledged even to myself, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom clawed its way into being. When it was done, I had no idea what to make of such a thing, and little hope that anyone would want to publish it. But much to my surprise, several publishers showed interest. Foremost among them—in passion if not in size—was J. P. Fortner (of Anomalous Books), who, fortunately for me, seems to be something of a glutton for punishment when it comes to my particular brand of auctorial deviance.
To make a long story a little less so, I weighed my options and decided to go with Anomalous Books. The key factors in my choice were J. P.’s enthusiasm (it’s difficult to say no to someone who displays such a pronounced and abiding fondness for one’s work), his editorial acumen (he never fails to improve upon whatever I send his way), and his attention to typographical detail (a rarer trait than one might think among modern-day publishers and editors). Do not, by the way, underestimate the importance of this third and final factor; in recent years, I have seen several of my works severely disfigured by the abysmal copy editing and typesetting of editors and/or publishers who either don’t know better (should find another line of work) or who do know better but don’t give a damn (should be knouted and punched in the throat).
So there you have it: The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Anomalous Books. Whatever the outcome—and your opinion of it—J. P. Fortner deserves at least half the thanks, and yours truly no less than all the blame.
The short answer: See the paragraph immediately above.
- The bibliography on your web site lists The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom twice, once as a book and once a novelette. Which is correct?
Both. The book entitled The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom contains a novelette entitled “The Untold Tale of Ozman Droom.” The novelette serves as the linchpin piece for the cycle of stories of which the book is composed.
- Is The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom a novel or a short-story collection?
A bit of the former, much of the latter, and altogether something else.
That’s all for now, friends. If you would like to see your question added to those above or included in a future installment of Between You & Me, feel free to send it my way. Your interest is appreciated and your correspondence welcome.
*I am not a blogger. On the rare occasions I have anything to say that is worth the effort of writing down and that I think—in a fit of self-delusion—others might find of interest, the words take the form of a story, poem, or essay that on even rarer occasions ends up in a bona fide book. Unfortunately, this aesthetic sensibility, combined with an innate seclusiveness at odds with the cyber age, is widely mistaken by readers (both actual and potential) for casual indifference or outright disregard. Hence this Q&A—an ongoing, if sporadic, series entitled Between You & Me.** It is my sincere, though admittedly inelegant, effort to trick myself into providing more content and into being at least a trifle more accessible to those who are kind enough, concerned enough, or curious enough to care.
**The questions in Between You & Me are quoted verbatim from actual correspondence. The answers, though honest, are but rough approximations of my own.
And remembers. And stalks the rain-drenched night of southern Appalachia. But don’t take my word for it; seek out the monster yourself in the fourth issue of Phantasmagorium, Gorgon Press’s quarterly journal of the literary fantastique.
In addition to being my latest published story, “Swamp Dreams” also serves as an excerpt (and puzzle piece) from the ever-elusive but nonetheless forthcoming book, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom.
Edited by Joe Pulver and featuring the artwork and graphic design of J. D. Busch, Phantasmagorium #4 also includes fiction by Ken Asamatsu, Daniel Mills, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and Jeffrey Thomas; poetry by Kristine Ong Muslim; an interview with Ross Lockhart, Managing Editor of Night Shade Books; and a monstrously gorgeous illustration of “Swamp Dreams” by Rob Macabre Smits.
For readers who have expressed a desire to acquire my work in electronic format, this is your first opportunity. If, however, print remains your medium of choice, a trade paperback edition of Phantasmagorium #4 will soon be available from Amazon and directly from Gorgon Press.
Thanks for reading, friends.