I grew up loving the films of John Carpenter. Before I really understood that films were made by people and those people brought their style, themes and look to a film I just loved the adventures of Snake Plissken, Michael Myers and that possessed car which I was sure was a Stephen King story.
After a while we started noticing the name on the box in the video store.
As anyone will tell you when they get a little bit into movie trivia, JC is part of a small club of directors who also score their movies. So when my buddies and I were celebrating the words ‘John Carpenter’s’ before the title of The Thing, In The Mouth Of Madness, Escape From New York, They Live, The Fog we tended to hear a common element in the sound. A cool electronic keyboard motif swamped in eerie humming and the occasional Tangerine Dream guitar squeal.
You knew you were going to get exactly what you wanted when a movie had John’s name over the door and a score he had played himself.
So we started seeking out the records and the videos. I heard Assault on Precinct 13 before I saw it. I preferred the Soundtrack album of Big Trouble In Little China to the movie. John Carpenter has always been a rock star to me.
I argued at my art college interview that Carpenter was an auteur with broader cultural impact and stronger stylistic influence than many art house darlings, to the dismay of one of the interviewing lecturers. I still got in some how so maybe the other two were like the aliens from They Live, I didn’t have my sunglasses on.
I was thrilled to learn he was now making albums without film attached in 2015. They fact he was approaching them like they were ‘Lost Themes’ is just so perfect.
I’ve chose Angel’s Asylum from Lost Themes II to represent this latter day John Carpenter output for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s got it all, every hallmark you’d want for a Carpenter score is present in this one. Secondly, I love the fact the records are presented like sequels to his own Movies. The II rather than a 2 matches his Halloween sequel’s presentation (He even sticks with the font on the sleeve). And finally because I want to see the movie Angel’s Asylum would feature in so very very much.
In this age of there being multiple series of 80’s retro sci-fi like Stranger Things and with Carpenter’s influence being the coolest thing to reference from music to cinema to fashion all I want is to see Angel’s Asylum the movie.