John Carpenter: Lost Themes II (Sacred Bones) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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John Carpenter

Lost Themes II

Sacred Bones

Apr 18, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Now that budgets for films that reside in John Carpenter‘s wheelhouse have become all but extinct, the auteur behind iconic films like Halloween and Escape from New York has taken his side hustle as a film composerand popularizer of the analog synthinto the spotlight. He’s even assembled a band: Daniel Davies and his son, Cody Carpenter, record and (as of very recently) perform live with Mr. Carpenter. And while the scores-for-movies-that-don’t-exist conceit of their first outing, Lost Themes, remains intriguing, they do fall a bit short of delivering fully on that intrigue.

Fans of Carpenter’s soundtrack work on his own films, as well as those with healthy amounts of Tangerine Dream and Goblin vinyl on their shelves, will find enough to enjoy here. The timbres and the production are impeccableat times, maybe too impeccable. Occasionally, these pieces veer into canned territory, sounding like the factory preset audio tracks that come baked into digital synthesizers (song titles that evoke said presets, like “White Pulse” and “Hofner Dawn,” don’t help their case).

When he brings in the rest of the band, things change for the better, introducing the necessary friction to enliven these spacey soundscapes and take them to the next level. Lost Themes II hits a climax at the halfway mark with “Windy Death” and “Dark Blues,” two pieces that sound the least like one guy never stepping away from his laptop. The band element is Carpenter’s saving grace and is hopefully a sign of what’s to come, as the potential for this project remains enticing. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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