John Carpenter remains a master of creepy atmosphere on ‘Lost Themes III’
You can get 'Lost Themes III' on transparent red vinyl (and preorder a new neon yellow pressing of the original 'Lost Themes' album, AND a new neon orange pressing of 'Lost Themes II') in the BrooklynVegan shop.
John Carpenter is a master genre filmmaker, having written and directed such classics as Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York, They Live, Assault from Precinct 13, and many more. These days, though, he may be just as influential in music. The synthy scores to his films, which he composed himself, have inspired everything from the scores for Drive and Stranger Things to artists like Cold Cave, Chromatics and The Weeknd, to many metal & metal-adjacent artists too. While Carpenter hasn't directed a film since 2010's The Ward, he has been very active musically. Working with his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies, John composed the score for David Gordon Green's Halloween sequel, played live shows around the world, rerecorded some of his classic themes, and has released new records of "lost themes" he says are for the "movies in your mind."
Alive After Death is Carpenter's third volume of Lost Themes. John, Cody and Daniel know what we want, sticking to the '80s-ish sounds of his classic scores. “We begin with a theme, a bass line, a pad, something that sounds good and will lead us to the next layer,” says John of the trio's process. “We then just keep adding on from there. We understand each other's strengths and weaknesses, how to communicate without words, and the process is easier now than it was in the beginning. We’ve matured.”
With the advances in recording and synth technology, it's a lot easier to make music like this than it was in 1978, and it's easier to make it sound "better" too, but Carpenter wisely mostly keeps it old school, and knows that a cheesy guitar solo is sometimes just what a track needs. The atmospheric pieces in general fare better than the more "rock" oriented themes, but sometimes everything comes together perfectly, like on the eerie jam "Skeleton," which makes you wish Carpenter did have a new movie for this score.
We've got Lost Themes III in our store on limited edition transparent blood-red vinyl in our shop. You can also pre-order the new neon yellow vinyl pressing of the first Lost Themes which is out March 5, AND the new neon orange pressing of Lost Themes II, which is out April 15.