Of course my favourite band has to get a slot in almost every mix I do. This one was a particularly apt opener for a Hallowe'en mix—it tells the story of a mean old man (äijö) who gets bitten by a snake. The lead singers wail like witches telling the story, and the old man himself makes an appearance near the end, chanting a spell to destroy the snake that gets louder and louder over the course of a minute, maniacal laughter in the background. Chilling!
2. CocoRosie—Bear Hides and Buffalo
Cats meow, horses whinny, a rusted music box clicks into being and a banshee calls out the background, while a creepy little-girl voice does a stream-of-consciousness take on the story of Pocahontas. These two sisters know how to do their stuff pretty damn well.
3. R.D. Burman—Dhanno Ki Aankhon
A Kronos Quartet rendition of a theme by the legendary Bollywood composer, this is the kind of terror that chills you even in the hottest of climates.
Famous for being on the Being John Malkovich soundtrack, this song features three sweepingly watery-voiced Björks singing in suggestive gibberish and saying "ooooOOOowooowoooo." Love!
5. Gamelan Sekar Tunjung—Lancaran Penghijauan
The ghosts of the ancestors emerge to the sounds of bells and gongs in this piece by legendary Gamelan composer, K.R.T. Wasitodiningraht.
6. Asha Bhosle—Aaj Ki Raat Koi Aane Ko Hai
A slinky Bollywood song from the most recorded artist ever, singing for Helen, playing her signature femme fatale character. The bassline and woodflute make it oh-so-Hallowe'en.
7. Qntal—Ecce Gratum
This techno-medievalist group takes the carmina burana and turns it into a dark dance ditty, with hyper-speed monophonic chanting.
8. Kemialliset Ystävät—Taivas ja meri, yhteensulautuneina
The Finnish freak-folk group can make you shiver with their often viscerally unpleasant music. A drone in your bones that's slightly off-tone.
9. JoRane—Sous-Marin Marion
A dramatic piece from the avant-garde French-Canadian cello-wielding singer-songwriter.
10. Kate Bush—Night Scented Stock
She belongs on any mix. Especially an acapella chorus of her.
11. Rokia Traoré—Kanan Neni
A member of Mali nobility, this is an earthy, deeply felt minor-key song. Night on the African planes, fireflies flickering in Jack-O-Lanterns.
12. Hun Huur-Tu—Uleg-Khem
Another track with the Kronos Quartet, my favourite Mongolian throat-singers gallop up with this fantastic song. Dancing skeletons by lamplight.
13. Lau Nau—Puuportti Rautaportilta
Another Finnish freak-folker, Lau Nau proves she's just as able as the rest of them at making you feel uncomfortable.
14. Meredith Monk—Scared Song
When this American avant-garde voice-based composer is around, "scared" is exactly what you'll be. Especially when she stats to croak.
15. Joanna Newsom—Only Skin
The bad recording of a live bootleg works in this song's favour, giving it a ghostly quality, enhancing the songs lyrics about musk and ink and bones and violins. For her latest album, this song was turned into a fully-orchestrated 17-minute-long extravaganza that's deeply recommended.