A Portal To Another World: Fictional podcasts with Fully Immersive Sound Design that will send you to Another Dimension
Put on your headphones and enter another world!
Dark Air with Terry Carnation
Dark Air with Terry Carnation (created by Rainn Wilson and Aaron Lee) is like something you would have stumbled across in a second-hand store in the 90s while looking for a 3 in 1 volume of Goosebumps; or came upon in a dusty VHS store late at night, while searching for something that satisfied your appetite for the strange.
Directed by Rainn Wilson - we follow Terry Carnation ( Rainn Wilson), who is the host of late-night radio talk show Dark Air, which deals with the strange and unexplained ( UFOs, the paranormal, unexplained events, and more) as he returns to the airwaves after a long hiatus; only to be presented with a deeply unsettling call on his first day back that shakes him to his very core.
We accompany him throughout his daily activities, and his attempts to get to the bottom of this mystery ( accompanied by his die-hard fan Jeet (Karan Soni) who is the show’s engineer). The sound design is done by the show's producer Chris Kelly, and it fully immerses you in the wonderful and bizarre world of Terry Carnation.
Opening on a morning of heavy rain; Becca (Kelsey Asbille) is having breakfast with her husband (Taran Killam) and baby; when her best friend Danny ( Chloë Grace-Moretz), who has been missing since high school, shows up at her door unannounced.
You feel as if you are there in Becca’s house, with its wooden floors, having coffee, sheltered from the rain outside. You can hear every breath, every phone vibration, the sofa they are sitting on; as Becca tries to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her friend's disappearance, and why she has suddenly shown up out of nowhere; all of this is interwoven with recordings and phone calls from around the time Danny went missing all those years ago.
Gaslight was written and directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, and produced by QCODE.
Soft Voice (a thriller/mystery podcast from audio fiction production company QCODE, written and directed by James Bloor) focuses on Lydia (Naomi Scott) a young real estate agent in London, who runs through her daily life with exceptional competency, due to a voice in her head called Soft Voice (voiced by Bel Powley) who tells her what to do (this guidance going as far as dictating the exact amount of Coconut shampoo she should use)
However - one day Soft Voice disappears, and things slowly descend down the rabbit hole. The sound design in this will send you into a meditative trance; capturing the dreamlike delirium that is unfolding with uneasy walls of surreal synthesis, as the walls of perception begin to slowly blur and shift.
Soft Voice is one of the most unsettling, joyful, and existential auditory experiences you will ever have.
Borrasca (also created by QCODE, written and created by Rebecca Klinge) truly acts as a portal to another world; as it draws you into the eerie, unsettling town of Drisking, where something just isn't right.
Sam Walker (Cole Sprouse) moves to Drisking with his family as a teenager during the summer months - all going well at first as he makes friends with two local kids, Kimber and Kyle; however a few months later his sister Whitney disappears without a trace.
The sound design in this will send you into a sinister Twin Peaks-style landscape ( except with more lush greenery) dominated by oak and pine trees, a skyline of mountains, huge open lakes, and a town of wooden architecture. The ominous scraping and droning synthesis sounds like something as old as time; and creates a deeply unsettling atmosphere; made all the more engaging as you get thoroughly invested in the main trio and their lives, as they try to solve this mystery, while things slowly get more fraught and strange.
Alice Isn’t Dead
If you ever wanted to go trucking across America; with desert, mountain and canyons stretching out as far as the eye can see; and you are a fan of surreal horror; then Alice Isn’t Dead (created by Joseph Fink, and performed by Jasika Nicole) is the auditory portal you need.
Told via a series of recordings done by a truck driver, who is driving across the US in search of her wife Alice ( with a stream of consciousness style narration) whom she long assumed was dead. From moment one; when she pulls over to eat at a diner, something just seems off.
There is a rising ominous wall of pads, dark throbbing horror synths, and western themed music throughout her journey across the plains; as things slowly get more and more bizarre.
What other fictional podcasts would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!
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