Louise Huebner ‘Seduction Through Witchcraft’

The Meat Beat Manifesto man digs through his crate and pulls out an early electronic classic. This time, he’s chosen the orgy-centric ‘Seduction Through Witchcraft’ – by Louise Huebner

Louise Huebner’s ‘Seduction Through Witchcraft’ was released in the late 1960s. Louise Huebner is a real witch, you know. She was designated the Official Witch of the County of Los Angeles in 1968. I’m not kidding here. She’s got a certificate and everything. Apparently, she’s the only officially appointed witch in the world. She even has a Facebook Page. 

Louise recorded ‘Seduction Through Witchcraft’ with Bebe and Louis Barron, and the Barrons did all the electronics. 

They were famous for having made the soundtrack for the 1956 film ‘The Forbidden Planet’. In fact, this album uses some of the same material. They made their own “self destructing” circuits, which might actually be code for bad wiring, and the sounds they got out of their circuits were beautiful and truly unique. Plus, this recording has the added bonus of having a witch on it. With a broomstick probably. There are various spells on the record and a lot about orgies and wonderful things like that. I’ve taken loads of samples from it. She’s a witch, you know, I had to sample a witch! There’s one spell where she keep reciting, 

“I control! I control!”. That’s a favourite of mine. 

In the 1950s, Louis and Bebe Barron worked with John Cage, helping him with the tape machines and sounds for his ‘Williams Mix’, which caused a real controversy when it was performed live. People were booing after sitting through five minutes of cut-up tapes of noises played in eight tape machines simultaneously. The reaction was the same as that of the audience for the premiere of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite Of Spring’. Tuxedo riot!  Before that, the Barrons had their own label in San Francisco, making records with authors. 

They did one with Anais Nin and another with Henry Miller. These records are really hard to get, they’re 10-inch 78s. They were way before their time, both musically and with their own label.  

Louis Barron died in the late 80s and Bebe died about six years ago. They were fascinating people and real pioneers, and this Louise Huebner album is one of the best spoken word/electronic records I have.

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