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Music For The Escape

The East Village Vampire on October 30, 2012 00:34

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‘Escape From New York’ is without a doubt my absolute favorite film of all time.

No hesitation. No debate.

I have always been slightly obsessed with John Carpenter’s 1981 dystopian classic. Sure, there are “better” films, but after all these years nothing even comes close for me. It was the very first video I ever saw on my family’s beta max video player (the next was Conan The Barbarian) and as a kid Snake Plissken blew my mind. Still does. Without exaggerating I have seen it 40 or 50 times. Let's all just pretend that 1996's 'Escape From LA' never happened.

Also, Let me digress and just say that between 1979 and 1986, Kurt Russell was easily the coolest man on the face of the Earth. The fact that he played Elvis, Snake Plissken, MacReady & Jack Burton should really settle any argument on this point. Still love the man.

In general, Carpenter films (e.g. ‘Halloween’, ‘Assault On Precinct 13’, ‘Big Trouble In Little China’, ‘The Thing’ ‘Escape From New York’ and even 'The Fog') literally shaped my formative years. Whilst other kids were busy role-playing Rambo or The Terminator, I spent countless hours kicking imaginary New York ass as Snake Plissken.

Back to Escape From New York.

Although I always loved the music, it wasn’t until my late teens that it dawned on me just how brilliant John Carpenter’s score was. Minimalist. Dark. Unrelenting. Evocative. The score has a huge presence in the movie. Needless to say, it had a huge influence on me and it was inevitable that I would eventually try to create my own soundtrack to the film, hence ‘Music For The Escape’.

I recorded the track in the early to mid 1990s (not sure exactly when). At the time I had little to no idea about electronic music, but it was the first time I used a sampler. Basically, I stole the main beat from Joy Division’s ‘Disorder’ and boosted key sound bites from the movie itself. I then layered multiple bass parts, plugged in my synths and off I went. I reckon the sound quality isn’t too bad after all this time.

It is a really dark and unrelenting piece of music. If you listen closely some of the additional drum parts are a little out of time, but the feeling is there. Also, you can hear me trying to replicate John Carpenter’s iconic siren synth sound in the second verse.

I listen to this and I can hear a younger, more naive version of myself. As a time capsule I love it. As a piece of music it is flawed but I think I was onto something. If you know the movie I’d love to know what you think.

Only one thing left to say...

“Call me Snake.”

Music For The Escape by The East Village Vampire is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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"Music For The Escape" by The East Village Vampire is licensed under a Creative Commons License


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