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My favorite soundtracks - Assault on Precinct 13 (1978)

simon james

The first in a regular look at some of my favorite soundtracks. With so many to choose from its a tricky task, but here goes.

First up is John Carpenter's stark electronic score for his first feature film Assault on Precinct 13. The film itself is a pretty straight forward 'police under siege' story and is a great example of how a soundtrack can lift an otherwise unspectacular movie. Simple DIY electronics created using borrowed equipment, provide wavering synthesizer tones and repetitive primary drum machine rhythms, more noise than definable as actual drums, which lift the film and give it the cult status it rightly deserves. Its a powerfully evocative score that hints at later work to come in Escape From New York.

Recently re-issued by Death Waltz Records in a stunning package.