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- Assault On Precinct 13 by John Carpenter
3 reviews. Add your own review.
Ahhhhhh a welcome reissue of one of my most beloved soundtracks of all time. I’d been after this on vinyl for years and then some ten years ago prayers were answered when Record Makers reissued it on vinyl. Said reissue soon vanished and to this day remains somewhat of a desirable record amongst Carpenter fans. Thankfully folks can now obtain an affordable copy courtesy of Death Waltz as they continue their John Carpenter reissue Campaign. They’ve had this cut at 45rpm which is a wise move in terms of sound quality, this was possible as the audio is reasonably short in duration.
What is there to say about this work that’s not already been said? I’m not entirely sure but even if you don’t think you know this you probably do. The main title is arguably one of the most distinctive and downright bloody amazing pieces of music to ever be committed to celluloid. Afrika Bambaataa made an adaptation of it for ‘Bambaataa’s Theme’ on Tommy Boy back in 1986, a 12” record that is one of my prize possessions and has been hammered to fuck over the years to the point that the grooves are now begging for mercy. Then Precinct 13 used it as the basis for their classic house track ‘Listen To Your Heartbeat’ back in 1990. Also Ralph Dorper used samples for his track ‘Assault’ ten years prior so it’s influence across electronic music is without question.
The way Carpenter builds tension with simple analogue synthesizer motifs is total genius I’ve yet to get bored of this record even after all these years. Death Waltz have pressed this on vanilla coloured vinyl, a clever reference to the infamous child murder/ ice cream van scene in the movie which is accompanied by the chilling piece ‘Wrong Flavour’. Although I do own quite a few soundtracks I’d not consider myself any sort of soundtrack enthusiast. These sounds were never created to specifically be records and I find a lot of them lose their potency without the visual element. For me John Carpenter’s audio work (let’s not forget Alan Howarth) has always stood up incredibly well as stand alone albums. I used to use ‘Main Title’ as my DJ intro for years and if I ever get out of the house again probably still will.
A classic with a highest possible recommendation.
10/10 Andrew Hickford Customer review, 4th May 2014
This is beautiful. You want more? Well ok, but to be honest I think the above just about covers it. Lets start with the Sleeve, lovely heavyweight card, nice design, that should be enough, vanilla vinyl with ripple effect? Check, providing a lovely nod to the film itself, so the packaging is all good then. To continue the ice cream theme, this is just the cherry on top, you buy this for the music. Hell, I'd probably have been happyv to get this on black wax in a card sleeve once I'd stuck the needle to the records. Immediately you get to the theme, that nagging refrain that is repeated throughout the soundtrack. So familiar to those of my age group thanks to Bomb The Bass making liberal use of it. The music, so quickly produced at the time still sounds ahead of its time. Menace, excitement, fury and more conjured up with little more than a big of synth noodling. Fans of the film (as I am - awful remake excluded) will enjoy running scenes in their heads as the music plays, those who haven't seen the film can just enjoy the music, it would be easy to dream up your own action, as the album is so evocative of drama. Words don't do this album justice, get your wallet out & buy, I challenge you to be disappointed. (Refunds not available!) Whilst you are buying why not chuck another Death Waltz album or two in, they really are good.
10/10 Moonshake Customer review, 7th December 2013
Didn't realise this played at 45rpm til I read Normski's review! I've been playing it at 33rpm and it sounds just as dark, broody and atmospheric as it does at 45rpm, or maybe that's just the affects of my homemade crisps with habanero sauce kicking in! Either way this is a fantastic record with packaging you need to see to believe, it weighs a tonne! This is one of Death Waltz's best releases to date! A record so far ahead of it's time it's almost impossible to comprehend that this was composed back in 1976! Essential listening, buy it while you can!
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