John Carpenter. A name nearly everyone knows. Famous for his horrible mind, his horrible ideas, and his horrible vision, John Carpenter is, of course, a master for the horror movie genre. Maybe the master. His movies have defined and redefined the genre since 1962. But the master doesn’t only dabble in horror. No, Carpenter’s voracious creativity has been in constant search of new things to consume and create, from action thrillers, like Escape From New York, to scifi romantics, like Starman, to music. Yes, I said music. While nearly everyone knows the man for his work in movies, far fewer know him for his musical work, even if they are deeply familiar with the sound of that work. He did, after all, compose and perform all of the chilling, unmistakable score to his 1978 horror classic Halloween. He did the same for Dark Star and Assault on Precinct 13 and many others. Now Pitchfork reports that the master is releasing an album of original, never before heard music titled Lost Themes.
Carpenter said of the album “it was all about having fun” going on to say that composing without having the weight of an entire movie on your shoulders was incredibly freeing. And the music shows it. As dark and brooding as you would expect (but often unexpectedly bright) the music has an open, conversational quality, as if you were being given a chance to to talk to a part of Carpenter’s brain you’d always thought might exist, but were never quite sure.
Sonicly I cant say there is anything truly groundbreaking here, just raw, emotional, sentimental even, but a unique and defined voice nonetheless. Additionally there are contributions to the album that bare mentioning including Daniel Davies (I, Frankenstein), ohGr (Skinny Puppy), and Cody Carpenter (Ludrium and Carpenter’s son) among many others.
This album will not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of horror, a fan of movie scores, or just a fan of the man, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot.