If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the better part of the past year, the renowned director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composter John Carpenter has quickly become a mainstay artist after last year’s critically and commercially successful album of non-screenplay material Lost Themes. Collaborating with his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies, Carpenter’s Lost Themes unsurprisingly confirmed that his sound and aesthetic have managed to be not just ahead of its time but powerfully influential with the work of artists like Red Traces, Umberto and a long list of others being indebted to his work.
Carpenter has been remarkably prolific as he closed out 2015 with the release of Lost Themes Remixed, an album that featured remixes from the likes of Zola Jesus, Silent Servant, Foetus‘ JG Thirwell, Skinny Puppy‘s ohGr, PAN Records‘ Bill Kouligas, and Uniform. On April 15, the famed director will be releasing a sequel Lost Themes, Lost Themes II through Sacred Bones Records. The material on Lost Themes II is inspired by a change in the creative process with Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies and the acclaimed producer writing, working revising and recording in the same studio — and with all three collaborators working together. With the addition of acoustic guitar, electric guitar and live drumming, the material manages to be much more muscular and nuanced.
Lost Themes II‘s first single “Distant Dream” pairs John Carpenter’s unmistakable minimalist (and propulsive) synth chords with live drums, bursts of angular guitar and bass chords, and swirling electronics in a moody and tense composition that sounds as though it could be part of a dystopian, post-apocalyptic thriller or a psychological horror film that follows a paranoid protagonist — a protagonist, who we learn is paranoid because everyone is actually out to get them.
The recently released video for “Distant Dream” features the trio of Carpenter, Carpenter and Davies performing the song as they were (presumably) recording the song in the studio — and it manages to reveal that John Carpenter may arguably be one of the coolest old dudes in the world.