Bela Lugosi’s Dub

Such a great band – a post-punk alternative Ziggy-lite art-house outfit who attracted the best of the (first wave) Goth crowd with unusually good songs and atmosphere. We all know Bauhaus.

It seems the muses were directly insisting on dub engineering techniques to give them a bit more visibility with this very successful release.

The confluence of a reggae (okay bossa nova) snare rim-shot backbeat and copious dub style dismemberment on the 12″ of the drum and guitar tracks using the HH dub slider echo was just something that needed to happen.

HH Slider Echo

They didn’t really capitalise on this sound, but it served them well here.

The Recording

From the article linked below:

DAVID J: It was electrifying. Not only was it the first time Pete had ever sung into a studio mic, but doing “Bela…” on the first take meant that what you hear on that record is the first thing we ever recorded.

ASH: I remember Pete had a cold that day, which made it even better. It just added a texture to his voice. He was in the vocal booth and we started playing it and, just like in rehearsal, boom! Instantly, we’d got it. Then we went into the control room and David had this old HH echo unit, which would crap out on you all the time. We hooked up the guitar and snare drum to this echo unit and I was just sliding the HH amp thing to trigger all these echoes as the song went through.

HASKINS: Daniel put all those delays on and also used his thumb to slow parts of the tape down. There was quite a bit of art that went into “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. I think the gods were with us that day.

The HH Slider Echo being tested with a more standard input – roots rock reggae.

HH Echo Unit

I have to say it’s not my favourite track from them – I’d have to name a few but this one would be the one I would choose if I had to.

Their cover art takes me back to those strange frosted gothic mid 80s feels.

I got into this stuff around 1985.

A friend of mine at school had this on the back of a jacket. Super cool.

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