John Carpenter is a renowned director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer most commonly known for working on some of the most beloved and influential, horror and science fiction films of the 70s and 80s, including Dark Star (1974), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978),The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981)The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Starman (1984), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), and They Live (1988). In fact, the Halloween theme, which Carpenter composed may arguably be one of the most recognizable theme songs in movie history with his scores for Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape from New York being equally beloved by movie fans and music fans alike.
Earlier this year, Carpenter released his first solo album of non-soundtrack based music, Lost Themes to overwhelming critical applause from the likes of The Guardian, The New York Times, The Times, Uncut, The Wire, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Pitchfork, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Artforum, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and others. And the album was a commercial success as it was debuted on the Top 100 Charts in the UK and the US. Recorded with his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies, the album reveals that Carpenter is an adventurous artist, whose sound and aesthetic manages to be profoundly influential and timeless — you can hear Carpenter’s looming influence in the work of artists like Red Traces, Umberto and others. Now if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few weeks, you may remember that I wrote about “Vortex” and Uniform’s remix of “Vortex” off Lost Themes Remixed, an album that features remixes from the original album by 8 contemporary electronic music artists including Zola Jesus, Silent Servant, Foetus‘ JG Thirwell, Skinny Puppy‘s ohGr, PAN Records‘ Bill Kouligas, and Uniform.
“Night” off Lost Themes is an eerily minimalist and tense composition comprised of cascading layers of ominously pulsing synths, brief burst of strings and swirling electronics that slowly notches up the tension until the song’s conclusion. Interestingly, Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley‘s remix of “Night” is actually a complete reworking of the song that subtly pushes up the song’s tempo with propulsive drum programming paired with Zola Jesus’ soulful and crystal clear vocals to craft a reworking that sounds as though it were channeling Snap!‘s “Rhythm Is A Dancer” — while retaining the original’s eerie minimalist feel.