John Carpenter – Halloween Kills Ost [Sacred Bones Records]

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John Carpenter is an American director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer, a pivotal figure and influence for both the horror movie genre and its soundtracks.

Starting out of necessity and with a very minimal budget, he introduced the use of synths and samples in the world of soundtracks, largely dominated by orchestral and traditional sounds at the time.

By time, he created a personal approach instantly recognizable and famous themes fixed in the collective memory, as for example the creepy piano of Main Theme From “Halloween”. He collaborated with Alan Howarth on many scores like “Escape From New York”, the Halloween series and many others, as well as with Jim Lang, Dave Davies, Shirley Walker and recently his own son Cody Carpenter.

“Halloween Kills” is the soundtrack for the homonymous movie from David Gordon Green, second installment in a remake series. As with the previous “Halloween” the music is composed by Carpenter (director of the original first movie and screenwriter for the first three together with Debra Hill), Cody Carpenter and Dave Davies.

If in the recent works from the trio, the aforementioned soundtrack, original albums and remakes of Carpenter’s scores from the past, there was a large use of guitar riffs, now it seems the synth and piano take the mainstage of the composition. That’s not to say they disappeared – listen for example to the riffing motif of From The Fire – but we have a back to basic approach with a lot of minimal keys, delicate piano sessions, and a returning burst of alarming distortions underlined by eerie effects.

If Logos Kill is a beautiful moody pastiche that encapsulates in a minute and a half an epic and mysterious atmosphere, the new rendering of the Main Theme called Halloween Kills (Main Title) is just a glorious version with an enthralling chorus and well placed effects.

 Tracks like First Attack offer few seconds of tension with obsessive electronics and shilling samples, while ones like Gather The Mobe create a fascinating vintage ambiance. It Needs To Die is the longest track, more than six minutes of minimal rhythmic attacks paused by soothing ambient passages and soulful, melancholic piano notes.

All in all, Carpenter shows once again why he is still considered a main influence for atmospheric electronic music, and his partner in crimes add some modern elements that elevate his sound without diluting it too much. Even if you are not interested in the movie, give a listen to this beautiful soundtrack.

Release date: October 15th, 2021.

Text by: Davide Pappalardo.

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