HALLOWEEN 2/3 S/TRACKS
“The film music I recorded to 24 track 2” tape in the heyday of analog synthesizers is reproduced correctly in vinyl. I am pleased that Death Waltz has taken up the torch of re-releasing these classic electronic music scores for the discerning audio collector. I often reflect on the ritual of taking up the LP, cleaning the record, putting them on the turntable and sitting back to actually listen the music. This is the way this music was intended to be heard.” Alan Howarth, composer
Death Waltz Recording Company is thrilled to announce the vinyl release of two classic and groundbreaking electronic John Carpenter scores, Halloween II & Halloween III on October 14th.
Halloween II was originally released in 1981, 3 years on from the celebrated first instalment of the Michael Myers slasher franchise. For the soundtrack, Carpenter once again enlisted his trusted collaborator – Alan Howarth (both had worked together on another Carpenter electronic masterpiece 1978’s ‘Escape From New York’) – to construct a score which utilised the original theme music in Halloween, but was now required to sound more sinister, dramatic and downright evil than its prequel. With analogue synthesisers really coming into their own in the early 80s, the duo were able to bring new keyboards on board and really branch out, creating a soundtrack that would have a huge influence on a number of genres – house, techno, hip-hop, drum & bass, ambient and metal being just a few. Built around the ‘Halloween II Theme’, the Halloween II soundtrack bathes in a pool of crystalline synth lines and slickly executed disturbing chord sequences, creating a wonderful layer of escalating tension and outright menace. It’s absorbing, fabulous and downright creepy. And just when you think you’ve got the soundtrack and the film simultaneously fully lodged in the brain, there’s the great moment when the Chordettes pop up with Pat Ballard’s ‘Mr Sandman’ to throw things a little. Its deployment in the film remains one of the Halloween II’s most powerful moments.
Halloween III Season Of The Witch (1982) saw Carpenter & Howarth team up again, the film’s plot centred around an evil toymaker at the infamous Silver Shamrock Novelties factory. Technological development once again played a key role in the soundtrack – new keyboards & computers allowed Carpenter & Howarth to develop another futuristic score that fully enhanced the film’s storyline, involving androids and demonic computer chips. There are some very deep, pulsating synth passages and building layers of tension, keyboard slashes and death beats. All utterly fabulous of course. Perhaps though, the ace in the pack and the ‘samplers delight’ moment arrives with the unforgettable Silver Shamrock Halloween mask jingle otherwise known on the album as ‘Halloween Montage’.
Both of these releases will get the Death Waltz Recordings 5 star deluxe reissue treatment. Death Waltz Recording Company is the creation of Rough Trade East shop manager Spencer Hickman and he is really raising the standard with the label’s output, having already put out highly impressive new vinyl editions of ‘Escape From New York’, Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters), ‘Donnie Darko’, ‘Prince Of Darkness’, ‘Let The Right One In’ & ‘The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue’ to date.
Each release is limited to a 1,000 only vinyl pressing. Halloween II will be issued in stylish orange vinyl with a black middle complete with exclusive artwork from Brandon Schaefer and includes a lithograph and A2 poster. Sleevenotes are provided by Alan Howarth and Brandon Schaefer. Halloween III is pressed in classic black vinyl with an orange middle section and comes with exclusive artwork from Jay Shaw, a lithograph and A2 poster. Sleevenotes are by Alan Howarth and Jay Shaw.