John Carpenter – Lost Themes (Sacred Bone Records; 2015)
Fittingly dated and equally foreboding, Lost Themes is an incredibly authentic piece of fan-service. Though this may be his debut studio album, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more prolific and influential horror film composer than John Carpenter; aged 67, the pounding, prog-rock compositions he showcases on Lost Themes display no signs of weariness. Transitioning to the digital age, Carpenter’s strict adherence to what he knows best results in chilling songs that, while occasionally compromised by tiny, thin-sounding production, serve as a welcome reminder of the director’s impeccable compositional skills. While it may not be associated with any one film, Lost Themes nonetheless functions as a collection of themes for unproduced films; it’s easy to envision a song like “Obsidian,” a rollicking opus packed with unsettling, rumbling bass and vibrant synths, backing Kurt Russell through a neon dystopia. While its staying power is almost entirely dependent on one’s reverence for the synth-laden, Tangerine Dream-inspired scores of yore, Carpenter’s surprise offering is a real treat for fans.
Trial Track: “Obsidian”