If you're looking for a soundtrack to add an all-too-real frisson of ominous menace to these grim times, this is it.
This 5 track mini-album from 2010 is a synth slice of sonic delight. French electro-pop duo Zombie Zombie, comprising of Etienne Jaumet and Cosmic Neman (though these days they are a trio, having been joined by a Dr. Schönberg) decided to go for the jugular of their influences. Namely the minimal haunting analogue throb of John Carpenter’s film music.
Carpenter’s self -composed sinister themes defined an era of horror and sci-fi, and were allegedly driven by financial as well as creative necessity. One less mouth to feed in the movie money pit, but also a desire to have control on every facet of the artistic process.
Zombie Zombie’s take on them remains faithful to the originals in one sense, but in another imbues them with a squidgy oscillating analogue sheen. The live drums propel the vintage synths through an orgy of ring modulations, frequency swoops and bubbling effects. The ‘Exorcist’-like piano of ‘Halloween’ becomes a pulsing sine-wave bleep, but still retains the tension, while the unforgettable “dum dudder der-dum” of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ almost reins in the semi-detuned menace of the original, but then drenches it in (Edgar) frozen synth lines, and gets even a little funky towards the end.
Listening to this album in the car, driving through a semi-deserted city on lockdown has done little to assuage my dystopian paranoia, but if you’re looking for a soundtrack to add an all-too-real frisson of ominous menace to these grim times, this is it.