John Carpenter has long been known for creating eerie, engaging soundtracks to match his unsettling and action-packed movies like Halloween and Escape From New York. Recently, he used that approach to making an ominous, stand-alone album, Lost Themes – due out February 3rd – which serves as home to “Night,” a chilly, slow-building synth-driven track that recalls his work on his action soundtracks like Assault on Precinct 13 and his Escape movies, which is now streaming.
“It’s ‘lost themes’ in the sense that we were scoring the movies that many people have in their imaginations,” Carpenter explained in a recent, career-spanning interview with Rolling Stone. “The perfect way to listen to this would be with a beautiful girl next to you — but if you can’t have that, turn the lights down, start the album up and let the music sink in with the imaginary movies in your mind.”
Previously, Carpenter released the track “Vortex” from the album and used the song in a preview of sorts for the album on his label’s website by using clips from his filmography. When Lost Themes arrives, it will be available in a variety of formats, including colored vinyl, and the iTunes edition of the LP features remixes of Lost Themes tracks by Zola Jesus, Skinny Puppy’s ohGr, Foetus’ J.G. Thirlwell and others.
Around the time of the release, Carpenter will be the subject of a retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he will discuss the album on February 5th onstage in an interview with NPR’s Brooke Gladstone. Then, beginning the next day, BAM will host a selection of movies Carpenter made and films he loves as part of a program titled “John Carpenter: Master of Fear.”
Regarding the creepy path his music has taken, Carpenter told Rolling Stone, “Some of the most beautiful music is the darker stuff.”