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In the early 1980s the UK was experiencing a surge in musical gloom. The likes of Joy Division and Bauhaus peddled a morbid tension that seemed to sit neatly alongside the equally tense and morbid political climate. Meanwhile, over in the USA, a similarly sunless style was emerging to soundtrack their own Winter of Discontent. Deathrock, as it came to be known, was like a corporate merger between gothic rock and punk. Incorporating an unhealthy obsession with death, buckets of eyeliner and PVA’d mohawks bands like Christian Death, The Gun Club and their peers gave birth to a brand new genre.

Now, some 30 years later, Sacred Bones Records’ boss Caleb Braaten is armed with a collection of underground, obscure Deathrock gems and he’s ready to share just some of them with the world. The second volume of his Killed By Deathrock compilation series is out 11 Novemeber but we’re happy to be offering a preview of the record today on our SoundCloud. Listen to the compilation and read an exclusive interview with Caleb below.

We’re premiering Sacred Bones’ Killed By Deathrock latest compilation alongside an exclusive interview with label founder Caleb Braaten. Happy halloween!

What was your first introduction to Deathrock? Can you explain the feeling you got when you first listened to that kind of music?

I remember being 14 and standing in line to get into the first Lollapalooza and the person in front of me was wearing a Christian Death “Jesus Christ Proudly Presents” T-Shirt and I thought it was so god damn cool. I had no idea what it was, who the band was, but I desperately wanted to know.

Why did you want to make the first compilation?

I started putting together the first comp sometime in 2007. I was working at a record store in Brooklyn and really getting into rare punk, diy and deathrock records. I was becoming obsessed with comps like Back From The Grave and Killed By Death, these very curated comps of obscure but fucking awesome material. Those comps are staples in every record store and I hoped to create something like that but with obscure dark punk tracks.

What was your first step when you started putting together the tracklist?

Just amassing as many tracks as I could and seeing what floats to the top.

Where do you find these underground classics?

The majority of them come from years of record collecting, working in shops and trading music with friends. More recently the internet has become a major part of finding this kind of thing. More and more people are posting rips of their records and putting them up on youtube and the like. You can really fall into deep deep rabbit holes that way. A lot of the time you find nothing but garbage that way, but every once in a while you stumble upon a really fine gem.

How do you decide on the order of the tracks?

Track order is essential. I’ll just listen to the songs over and over again in many different orders until I figure out the one that feels the very best.

Do you have a favourite track on Volume 2?

I don’t know if I have a favourite track. I love them all for a different reason. I may be most stoked about being able to put the Crank Call Love Affair song on it because that song is pretty much totally unknown. With everything being ripped and uploaded to the internet you can find pretty much anything, but that one still remains a mystery.

Are there any tracks you wanted to use but couldn’t?

None that I haven’t given up on getting yet!

Do you have any plans for other genre-based compilations?

I’d like to one day do a compilation series of obscure sad folk songs. Music for crying.