Friday, October 31, 2014

J.Carpenter & A. Howarth - Halloween III (1982)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 American science fiction horror film. The film is the third installment in the popular Halloween franchise. It is the only film in the Halloween franchise that does not feature the fictional character Michael Myers, and it also does not directly include story elements from Halloween I or II. It is the first film to be written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.
John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the creators of Halloween, returned as producers. The film stars Tom Atkins as Dr. Dan Challis, Stacey Nelkin as Ellie Grimbridge, and Dan O'Herlihy as Conal Cochran. The story focuses on an investigation by Challis and Grimbridge into the activities of Cochran, the mysterious owner of the Silver Shamrock Novelties company, in the week approaching Halloween night.
The soundtrack was composed by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, who worked together on the score for Halloween II and several other films. Music remained an important element in establishing the atmosphere of Halloween III. Just as in Halloween and Halloween II, there was no symphonic score. Much of the music was composed to solicit "false startles" from the audience.
The score of Halloween III differed greatly from the familiar main theme of the original and sequel. Carpenter replaced the familiar piano melody with a slower, electronic theme played on a synthesizer with beeping tonalities.[19] Howarth explains how he and Carpenter composed the music for the third film:
The music style of John Carpenter and myself has further evolved in this film soundtrack by working exclusively with synthesizers to produce our music. This has led to a certain procedural routine. The film is first transferred to a time coded video tape and synchronized to a 24 track master audio recorder; then while watching the film we compose the music to these visual images. The entire process goes quite rapidly and has "instant gratification," allowing us to evaluate the score in synch to the picture. This is quite an invaluable asset.[20]
One of the more memorable aspects of the film's soundtrack was the jingle from the Silver Shamrock Halloween mask commercial. Set to the tune of "London Bridge Is Falling Down", the commercial in the film counts down the number of days until Halloween beginning with day eight followed by an announcer's voice (Tommy Lee Wallace) encouraging children to purchase a Silver Shamrock mask to wear on Halloween night:
Eight more days 'til Halloween,
Halloween, Halloween.
Eight more days 'til Halloween,
Silver Shamrock.
Synths used: Prophet 10 and 5 with sequencers, Arp avatar and sequencer, Linn LM-1 Drum Computer. This version has 13 bonus tracks.

Trick or treat?

Monday, October 27, 2014

John Carpenter - Halloween (1979) - 20th anniversary edition

Halloween was written in approximately 10 days by Debra Hill and John Carpenter. It was based on an idea by Irwin Yablans about a killer who stalks baby-sitters, tentatively titled The Baby-sitter Murders until Yablans suggested that the story could take place on October 31st and Halloween might not be such a bad title for an exploitation-horror movie.

"With Herrmann and Morricone in mind, the scoring for Halloween began in late June at Sound Arts Studios, then a small brick building in an alley in central Los Angeles. Dan Wyman was my creative consultant. I had worked with him in 1976 on the music for Assault. He programmed the synthesizers, oversaw the recording of my frequently imperfect performances, and often joined me to perform a difficult line or speed-up the seemingly never ending process of overdubbing one instrument at a time. I have to credit Dan as Halloween’s musical co-producer. His fine taste and musicianship polished up the edges of an already minimalistic, rhythm-inspired score.
 We were working in what I call the "double-blind" mode in 1978, which simply means that the music was composed and performed in the studio, on the spot, without reference or synchronization to the actual picture. recently, my association with Alan Howarth has led me to a synchronized video-tape system, a sort of "play it to the TV" approach. Halloween’s main title theme was the first to go down on tape. The rhythm was inspired by an exercise my father taught me on the bongos in 1961, the beating out of 5-4 time. The themes associated with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) now seems to be the most Herrmannesque. Finally came the stingers. Emphasizing the visual surprise, they are otherwise known as "the cattle prod": short, percussive sounds placed at opportune moments to startle the audience. I’m now ashamed to admit that I recorded quite so many stingers for this one picture." (John Carpenter).

Instruments and equiment used: expanded Moog modular IIIP comprising of 5-9 box units incl. double sequencer complement, SCI Prophet 10, and a classical piano.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rolf Trostel - Der Prophet (1982)

Even better than the "two faces" album. This one is closer to the Tangerine Dream style. Very very nice!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rolf Trostel - Two Faces (1982)

"ROLF TROSTEL brought, relatively, fresh wind with his albums, "Inselmusik", "Two Faces", as well as "The Prophet", at the beginning of the 80s, into the electronics scene run, when it was coming into a Punk, new Wave and/or new German wave. With the brand of new digital PPG Wavecomputer 360, he produced sounds, at the time hinted by the near-handed (already) atmospheres of today's Tech-tone, for the prototype of the Drumcomputers. The first two albums, published in a self direction, as well as the "Prophet" work, for which the Norwegian Uniton Label won the copyright, came restored, about twenty years later, not only in a compilation, but in an accesible format. Berlin label Manikin took care of ROLF TROSTEL's cultural inheritance and published his three early eighties albums into a double CD, since the Vinyls are hardly a future generation's remaint. The rough entire of the works ROLF TROSTEL achieved reminds of ASHRA ("Correlations"-like);even with the guitars missing, the rhythms and the aesthetics are a plus (since the Electronic Wave was, back then, arising."
source: a german article, signed Carsten Agthe (translated, plus modifyied in very few places)
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Soft Machine - Third (1970)

"The Soft Machine plunged deeper into jazz and contemporary electronic music on this pivotal release, which incited the Village Voice to call it a milestone achievement when it was released. It's a double album of stunning music, with each side devoted to one composition -- two by Mike Ratledge, and one each by Hopper and Wyatt, with substantial help from a number of backup musicians, including Canterbury mainstays Elton Dean and Jimmy Hastings. The Ratledge songs come closest to fusion jazz, although this is fusion laced with tape loop effects and hypnotic, repetitive keyboard patterns. Hugh Hopper's "Facelift" recalls "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson, although it's more complex, with several quite dissimilar sections. The pulsing rhythms, chaotic horn and keyboard sounds, and dark drones on "Facelift" predate some of what Hopper did as a solo artist later (this song was actually culled from two live performances in 1970). Robert Wyatt draws on musical ideas from early 1967 demos done with producer Giorgio Gomelsky, on his capricious composition "Moon in June." Lyrically, it's a satirical alternative to the pretension displayed by a lot of rock writing of the era, and combined with the Softs' exotic instrumentation, it makes for quite a listen (the collection Triple Echo includes a BBC broadcast recording of this song, with different albeit equally fanciful lyrics). Not exactly rock, Third nonetheless pushed the boundaries of rock into areas previously unexplored, and it managed to do so without sounding self-indulgent. A better introduction to the group is either of the first two records, but once introduced, this is the place to go."
Review by P. Kurtz (


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sinoia Caves - Beyond The Black Rainbow (2014)

Sinoia Caves is the solo alter ego of Black Mountain's Vancouver-based keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt, who is also a former member of Pipedream and the Battles. Outside the confines of his primary maximal hard rock band, as Sinoia Caves he records exclusively with vintage synthesizers and organs. His spacy, post-psych, post-German sound reflects influences from early Popol Vuh to middle period Tangerine Dream, from Klaus Schulze to Rick Wakeman, Bo Hansson, and composer/director John Carpenter.
This is the soundtrack of the movie "Beyond The Black Rainbow" by Panos Cosmatos. I saw the movie and to be honest I didnt like it. I think it has beautiful pictures and photograph but the scenario is not that great. The music however is awesome! It was all composed on vintage gear: analog synthesizers, Mellotrons, sequencers, arpeggiated synth pads et. al. While Tangerine Dream's soundtrack for Sorcerer is an obvious touch point, so are the self-composed, synth-created scores for director John Carpenter's films, the music of Goblin, and late-'70s Klaus Schulze

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mother Gong - Robot Woman 1 (1981)

This is the first in a trilogy of the Mother Gong "Robot Woman" records and the best in my opinion. The story behind this album is as follows: Beta is a Robot woman who wants to be a real woman. She is owned by a man and malfunctions by having thoughts of her own. The man calls a repairman who fixes her and gives her a satellite radio phone so she can talk to other Robot women for some reason. Instead she ends up talking to a government agent who reports her to the authorities. The custom man rapes her because that is just what he does. Then Nuclear war kills everyone and Alien feminists from another planet contact her on her satellite radio phone and she is free.
The music is typical mother gong - space progressive rock with lots and lots of imagination

Mother Gong - Wild Child (1991)

Recorded in Wales on the eve of Mother Gong's 1989 British tour, Wild Child was the result of what Gilli Smyth termed "spontaneous composition" -- she would enter the studio poem in hand, discuss the feel and limits of the piece with the musicians, and then turn on the tapes. There were no rehearsals and no retakes -- which explains how an album of such apparent complexity was recorded in just a few days.  Wild Child is the band's finnest album since "Fairytales".
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