Prepare for the Halloween season, with Factmag’s list of the 100 greatest Horror soundtracks

If capitalism and it’s necessary corollary, consumerism (or maybe, vice versa), can keep pushing the Xmas season further out, I say we do the same for Halloween. Halloween: it’s not just a night anymore. Star the holiday season off right and check out Factmag for a diverse list of scary scores to get you in the mood. While, as with any such list, you can gripe about omissions, inclusions (actually, I have no complaint with any inclusion here), placement, etc, it’s still a great list that covers a wide berth. As someone who watches alotta Horror, and has a particular fondness for the soundtracks, the Factmag list kept surprising me with some truly obscure. and fantastic, selections, and has prompted me to check out some more modern sounds in the field (not that I haven’t been enjoying many of the new composers/bands that have been arising, already).

Horror soundtracks are currently enjoying an unprecedented level of interest, with numerous labels (Waxwork, Death Waltz, One Way Static, and others) currently releasing these soundtracks, some reissued, but many legitimately pressed for the first time. Not only that, you have a whole new crew of musicians and composers/producers dedicated to playing these vintage sounds. Artists and bands like Umberto, Brian Reitzell, Zombi, Nightcrawler and Crypt Vapor are introducing this genre to a whole new legion of fans. It’s also tremendously gratifying to see that originators like Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and now John Carpenter (his first live performance EVER is at ATP in Iceland, 2016!!!) performing for excited fans of a wide age range.

Without further ado, here’s Factmag’s list
And interviews with the heads of the three labels mentioned above
A favorite, from a composer who I absolutely love, that I was pleasantly surprised to see included, proving the broad scope of sounds that fall into this category.


Mondo Records to reissue Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me soundtracks

Long overdue reissues of Angelo Badalamenti’s epochal scores for David Lynch’s beloved series/movie. And you know with Mondo, even if you have the originals, you’re still gonna wanna pony up for the total package quality of their releases.

Alan Howarth – John Carpenter collaborator, synth score maestro, LIVE!

John Carpenter is responsible for so many of my favorite cinematic experiences. Escape From New York, The Thing, Halloween, Big Trouble In Little China, They Live, The Fog, Assault On Precinct 13… I’ve seen each of these movies dozens of times. One thing that unifies these films is Carpenter’s employment of synthesizer scores. Initially a product of financial restrictions, these scores proved the perfect underpinning for Carpenter’s tension filled films, and, as composer, allowed him that much more creative control. What is often forgotten is that Carpenter had a musical collaborator in Alan Howarth. Whereas Carpenter has yet to perform any of these scores live, Howarth has, in the past several years, made appearances tied to these collaborations. Until I get to attend one of these rare performances, youtube shall have to suffice.

a nice reinterpretation of the Halloween theme backed by the horror score obsessed Zombie Zombie

Check out Death Waltz Records for beautifully packaged editions of these and other synth and horror scores. The label is clearly a labor of love and anything they put out is worth owning.