These last couple of years, it’s been so awesome to see John Carpenter finally get his due, not only as the auteur director we all know and love, but in particular for all the music he’s crafted for his films as well, which has seen a tremendous (and much deserved) resurgence as of late. I credit it back to the launch of Death Waltz Recording Co back in 2012 when they unleashed new vinyl versions for the soundtracks to HALLOWEEN II & III, ESCAPE FROM NY, THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and eventually THE FOG & ASSAULT FROM PRECINCT 13.
Sacred Bones was wise to ask Carpenter if he had any new music, and sure enough, he’d been semi-secretly recording new tunes with his son Cody and his godson Daniel Davies. Those compositions ended up being the basis for his 2015 album, LOST THEMES. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve listened to both LOST THEMES and its followup album, LOST THEMES II, but it’s sure as hell gotten a lot of spins here on the homefront. In between the two feature lengths, Scared Bones also released an official remix album. Stand out tracks on that collection include reinterpretations of “Night” with singer Zola Jesus, and a rockin’ version of lead single “Vortex,” dubbed the “Uniform” Remix.
And here’s the thing… while I love those officially sanctioned and released remix albums, I often find myself falling down the rabbit hole searching for fan-made remixes. It’s the same with Nine Inch Nails. Every time they put out a new record, I look forward to the radical new versions that fans will concoct.
So with that in mind, I’ve culled the Soundcloud landscape and dug out some really cool John Carpenter remixes. It’ll probably be a while before we get a 3rd album. Or even a remixed version of LOST THEMES II, so these should tide you over until then!
VORTEX: NIGHT OF THE COMET (Starcadian Remix)
This is the remix that inspired this post! For some random reason, anytime I play any tracks from my own Soundcloud page, it’d immediately be followed up by this awesome, dance-y version of “Vortex.” I took it as a sign, bookmarked it and knew it was destined to be shared with all of you. Check it!
VORTEX (Sigmar Remix)
“Vortex” is not only a strong track, but it was a great way to kick off these solo non-soundtrack John Carpenter records, and quite frankly, I’m down to hear any variation of this track. Here’s a radical one by Sigmar!
ESCAPE FROM NY (Christine’s Version)
The main theme for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is one of Carpenter’s most recognizable and famous melodies. The live version he’s been performing with his band is awesome and a perfect way to kick off his sets. But here’s a far more synth-y version (if you can imagine that!) dubbed as the “CHRISTINE version!”
NIGHT (JCRZ Disco Remix)
“Night,” the 2nd single from LOST THEMES, and also the album closer has so much vast potential for reinterpretations, just because of its simplicity. Here’s one dubbed as the “disco” mix, although it feels like what I like to refer to as the “caffeinated” mix. Slightly sped up, with a cool alternate beat.
NIGHT (CZAR Remix)
I also wanted to give you a totally different version of “Night” so groove to this sexy, moody version from CZAR.
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (Palmbomen Edit)
Another one of Carpenter’s most infamous themes, check out this cool “cover” redo of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13!
ESCAPE FROM NY (Solarcity Remix 2013)
I don’t know about you, but can we ever really get enough of the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK theme? Of course not. So here’s another one that’s different from the one I shared above. This, to me, is a groovy, bop your head, dance version.
HALLOWEEN – Zombied Remix (By Rob Galluzzo)
Ah yes, and why not close this out on a shameless plug! Back in 2006 (!), there was a HALLOWEEN featurette put together for a theatrical release of John’s 1978 film titled “The Shape Of Horror” intended to play before those screenings. It had just been announced that Rob Zombie was planning on remaking HALLOWEEN and this was the first time he talked publicly about what he planned to do. I composed a handful of cues and remixed the original theme in a variety of ways, but this was the main theme “Zombie-fied,” if you will. Sadly, none of my music made it into the final featurette, but a free EP of it exists online right here, my loving musical tribute to this enduring franchise.