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ZOMBIE ZOMBIE Plays John Carpenter Press Review

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Flux Mag - New Releases - November 2010

Article - Album Review - November 2010

Mixmag - Experimental Tunes Review - November 2010

Mojo - The Mojo Playlist - December 2010

Clash - Podcast Round-Up - October 2010 - EP Review - 4 October 2010 A cracking little set that will appeal to film buffs and electronica boffins alike. Zombie Zombie – Frenchmen Etienne Jaumet and the fantastically named Cosmic Neman – released an album called A Land for Renegades in 2008. A sci-fi fright-fest of slasher-flick keys and alien electronics, structured around an accomplished krautrock backbone, it was very good. John Carpenter is a director partial to horror and sci-fi, who has self-scored several of his films, among them Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13 and, alongside Ennio Morricone, The Thing. These films, and their soundtracks, are very good. So, the former playing the music of the latter canʼt possibly be a failure, right? Right, obviously. Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter is every bit as very good as its cornerstone constituents suggest. The French duo has been playing these songs live lately, making this release both a welcomed extension of that project and a fine standalone artefact in its own right. The music might be familiar, and Zombie Zombieʼs interpretations close indeed to the Carpenter originals, but thereʼs magic aplenty across these five tracks – a magic thatʼs rightly unsettling but also a lot of fun. If the tracks are supposed to convey danger, to stir fight-or-flee responses, then they succeed, but with a cartoon charm. Consider the combined threat of several kids TV villains: Mumm-Ra, Megatron, Miles Mayhem, the Marshmallow Man. This EP mirrors that menace, antagonist scheming countered by the inevitability of our heroesʼ ultimate success. But itʼs still powerful stuff. Drive around at night with this on the stereo, and before long youʼll believe you are Robert Patrick and John Connor is right around the next corner. Carpenter might not have embraced the experimental side of 1980s electronica in the manner of Terminator 2 composer Brad Fiedel, but thereʼs a similar rawness to his early period work that combines industrial clank and clang with circuit board screams and dying diode fuzz. In Zombie Zombieʼs hands these minimal themes are rather fuller of sound, but one imagines theyʼd have been mightily impressive even if the group was restricted to a few Fairlight samplers and similarly archaic technology of the time. A tribute and a celebration, true to the source material yet without fear of expanding upon motifs and even slipping a little funk into proceedings, …Plays John Carpenter is a cracking little set that will appeal instantly to film buffs and electronica boffins alike. More casual fans of both, consider it a playlist-topping curio. - EP Review - 20 September 2010 Zombie Zombie - Play John Carpenter Versatile Given a penchant for vintage analogue synthesis, Goblin and motorik drumming, and having named themselves after a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer game, it is not only appropriate, but almost de rigueur, that Zombie Zombie should find themselves tackling the oeuvre of a key progenitor of electronic cinema soundtracks. John Carpenterʻs themes and incidental music for the groundbreaking low-budget and high-thrills genre movies was pioneering, and hugely influential on a generation of teenagers who probably came into contact with the form for the first time within the sparse soundscapes of the sort he composed to accompany his own distinct brand of muscular action, SF and horror films. Certainly as far as the mainstream of US horror and science fiction films went in the late seventies and eighties, no-one was really foregrounding synth pulsations (as much as a modernist statement as to set the mood) in the way Carpenter did, and the main theme from Assault on Precinct 13 stands as a classic slice of accompaniment to the tense scene in which the silent, mysterious assailants break in to steal the weapons with which they then lay violently relentless siege to the abandoned police station which forms the remainder of the plot, such as it is. As interpreted here by Cosmic Neman and Etienne Jaumet, with the aid of producer Joakim, the sinister fat bassline feels augmented rather than replicated; itʼs something akin to a remix as much as it is a cover version, the tune expanding out in squelches and even chickawacka guitar, while Nemanʼs percussion, unwinds, drops out and then fills in spaces which Carpenter would never have needed to in the context of a soundtrack, the whole becoming single-mindedly engaging – even perhaps a little epic – along the way. Equally recognizable to anyone who spent hours not being scared witless at all (definitely not, no) in front of video tape players or on annual TV viewings late into the night of 31 October is the Halloween theme, which here is beefed up, given a kick of disco groove riding on a steady kick beat and closed-hat trickle, the creepy tick of the keys whorling off into phased space as the drums drop down and funky. The Thing is given a touch of the Klaus Dinger treatment, drums coruscating and interweaving subtly among the vibrant synths this time, and somehow the sense of glacial alien dread becomes replaced by an almost majestic swirling electronic grandeur with which Klaus Schultze might be more than happy. “The Bank Robbery” comes from the applicable scene in Escape From New York, and once again Carpenterʼs prowling analogue modulations come in for the filtered discotheque treatment, shimmering onto the dancefloor as if Giorgio Moroder had recruited Snake Plissken to strut manfully under the strobes instead of reluctantly serving the governmental conspiracy tropes which underscore that film and its sequel, Escape From LA. The latterʼs bright motif sprinkles the throbbing beats and arpeggiations well, and the low-end keyboard which drives the accellerating groove has all the spluttery liquidity to satisfy VCO fetishists everywhere. As the rhythmic throb motors into the inevitable decline and trailing twirl, itʼs apparent that Zombie Zombie have done a cinematic and musical legend proud. -Richard Fontenoy- - Hallowe'en Interview - 31 October 2010 The Phantom Band meet Zombie Zombie: PB:What is your all time favourite horror film soundtrack? ZZ: John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13th, it's a very minimal theme which makes it very powerful, just a bass line and a drum machine, revolutionary at the time for movie scores. Have you been asked to soundtrack a film yourselves yet? No not really yet, we are touring with a project right now where we wrote a new soundtrack for the Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin, and we're playing music live on the movie, next time will at the Glasgow Film Festival in February. What scares you musically? The whole world blessing Lady Gaga's music. Our Moog seems to be possessed by a malign spirit,are any of your instruments haunted? Yeah that's right, I think all analog keys have a soul, that's why we like them, they're unpredictable, and this is what makes it exciting compared to digital! Why did you choose to make your EP of John Carpenter covers and were you daunted by their iconic status? We were lucky to have been asked to do a live show of Carpenter's music for the Glasgow film festival last year. We've always been big fans, you can hear it in our music, it's pretty obvious, so that was a good excuse for us. The melodies are amazing, so it's such a pleasure to play them that we didn't think about the iconic status. Then after the festival we asked our label Versatile if we could record our covers with producer Joakim, and that's how it happened. The idea was to show people that John Carpenter's music is not only a movie soundtrack, he wrote hits that you can dance to, and that's what we're trying to do live right now. Playing his music in clubs makes sense, maybe even more than in a movie theatre! - EP Review - 9 December 2010 Zombie Zombie – Plays John Carpenter by Andy Johnson on 09. Dec, 2010 in Record Reviews You could certainly argue that John Carpenter has never been given enough credit as a composer, even when his status as a filmmaker was at its highest in the 1980s. Indeed, some may not even realise that the man who directed classic horror films like The Fog, Halloween, and The Thing also composed the music for most of his films. Some might point to Carpenterʼs efforts as the workaday contributions of a man known for taking on “too many” roles on his films, but French electronic duo Zombie Zombie have sought to rescue Carpenter from this kind of thinking. In re-recording some of Carpenterʼs bestknown pieces for this EP, they have not only taken a good opportunity to remind us of the directorʼs musical strengths, but also to interpret his pieces in interesting (if largely faithful) ways. What Zombie Zombie clearly have on their side is the basic, inherent quality of Carpenterʼs compositions. Anyone who has seen Carpenterʼs phenomenal Rio Bravo homage Assault on Precinct 13 can testify to the incredibly powerful effect of its score, not only when combined with the film proper, but even with its sparse title sequence. Like the other four pieces re-interpreted here, the main theme from Assault is a profoundly unnerving piece of music, a property which Zombie Zombie have managed not only to preserve, but amplify. With the exception of the frostily yawning chasm that is the main theme from The Thing, these pieces make for pretty propulsive stuff which means that theyʼre far more suited to re-interpretation and for casual listening than the work of most composers. Zombie Zombie donʼt fundamentally alter any of these works, but they bring them up to modern recording quality standards whilst still retaining their retro late 1970s/early 1980s appeal and handling their nuances effectively. In “The Bank Robbery”, a key theme from Escape From New York, a technique as simple as removing and then reinstating the sure-footed, pounding beats is turned into an almost indescribably efficient factory for tension. Naturally Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter will be of most interest and value to those who are established fans of the great manʼs work both cinematically and musically. What Zombie Zombie deserve credit for is their feat of having made a record which, while brief, can appeal beyond Carpenterʼs fans, as it is a strong work in its own right. - EP Review - 8 October 2010 08.10 // Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter Within Music, as well as life in general, some things are just meant to be together that itʼs glaringly obvious. A thought echoing around in my head as I open up the latest batch of CDʼs direct from High Voltage towers to find this kraut electro nugget. Already a huge fan of both Zombie Zombie and the Infamous horror film director and composer John Carpenter, my eyes rolled back as I think to myself “of course!!”. A knack of creating eerie compositions using Analogue equipment to create perfect accompaniments to a horror movie is pretty much how you would describe both artists in question here. Carpenter is a distinguished director in Horror, whereas Zombie Zombie are new kids on the block, but its the similarities in terms of forward thinking and their ability to create chilling electronic music that ensures these covers are done justice. Main themes from ʻEscape From LAʼ, ʻAssault In Precinct 13ʼ, ʻHalloweenʼ & ʻThe Thingʼ are all dusted down and reworked in Zombie Zombieʼs own unique alt-kraut way. In terms of style, there is nothing new to their 2008 debut album Land For Renegades, but thatʼs to be expected, as with no real competition to their sound they have no need to change. As a whole all covers are quite different to the original, with each being covered in lashings of the duoʼs dark industrial motorik beats and haunting disco. The one exception to this being the ʻHalloweenʼ theme which keeps Carpenters chilling piano sequence on top of ZZʼs squelching synths. As a band now experts when it comes to creating music for nightmares, this well executed homage to Carpenter is more of lovely dream throughout. - DJ Mix Podcast - 28 October 2010 Saluting this weekendʼs Halloween celebrations in style, the latest instalment of the Clash DJ podcast arrives courtesy of ghoulish purveyors of spooky Krautrock vibes, Zombie Zombie. Aptly enough, the Parisian duoʼs work is heavily influenced by cult horror flicks and general dark themes, making for a fitting Halloween tune selection, which begins with the sinister ambience of experimental act This Heat, before working its way through various wonderful oddities. These bizarre treats include the timeless electro of Scorpion Violente, a proggy Krautrock track from Oppenheimer Analysis and a classic from fellow French alt. electro-head Joakim. To fully perfect the retro atmosphere, ZZ have also included a delightfully sentimental sample from cult director legend John Carpenterʼs seminal flick ʻEscape From New Yorkʼ. Frighteningly good stuff , and the Carpenter connection for Zombie Zombie doesnʼt end there either, as the band are set to release their second album, ʻZombie Zombie Plays John Carpenterʼ, next week, featuring the duo interpreting classic Carpenter soundtracks with their own dark electronica twist, including tracks from ʻThe Thingʼ, ʻAssault on Precinct 13ʼ and – of course – ʻHalloweenʼ. Zombie Zombie will play a special Halloween live show this weekend, on Sunday 31 October at Corsica Studios, London, where they will perform their new album in full, followed by a gig on November 1 at Islington Mill, Salford, Manchester. Zombie Zombie Dj Mix Tracklisting 1. This Heat - 24 track loop 2. Ptose - Epoche 3. Scorpion Violente - Backseat Ritual 4. Ruth - Mabelle 5. Oppenheimer Analysis - Subterranean Desire 6. Phantom Band - Gravity 7. Chris Carter - Walkabout 8. Abe Vigoda - Dream of My Love 9. John Carpenter - Snake Plissken / The Bank Robbery 10. Joakim - Spiders 11. The Zombies - Zombi 12. Jeans Team - Keine Melodien 13. Lucky Dragons - Jeanʼs theme - Live Review - 2 November 2010 Zombie Zombie Live Corsica Studios, London What could be more suitable for a Halloween gig than zombies? And to add to the ghoulish fun, these particular Zombies – Etienne Jaumet and Cosmic Neman (also Herman Duneʼs drummer) – were performing their latest album in full, which happens to be the duoʼs interpretation of soundtracks from the films of John Carpenter – the cult composer and director of the classic ʻHalloweenʼ and other scary/bizarre B-movies. Engulfed by synths and a mammoth drum kit, the Parisian duo launched straight into the theme from ʻAssault on Precinct 13ʼ, with their proggy, electro Krautrock vibe perfectly complementing Carpenterʼs dark tones and love of spacey synths – a passion shared by the band. The duo then worked their way through a range of Carpenter classics, including ʻThe Thingʼ and the seminal, spooky theme from ʻHalloweenʼ, spliced with mangled film samples and given a heavier, twisted disco feel. Superb. ZZ then finished off with a punchy synth-rock version of the theme to ʻEscape From New Yorkʼ – a fitting showcase for the considerable drum skills of Neman, which had impressed throughout the night. All in all, a fine Halloween show from both Zombies, and hopefully a precursor for the band to receive the wider recognition they deserve. But for me, the scariest part of the evening was yet to come, as I was forced to make my way back through Londonʼs Elephant and Castle at midnight on Halloween, faced with various groups of youths to whom the line between trick-ortreating and mugging is an almost non-existent one. The horror, the horror... Words by Tristan Parker - EP Review - 1 December 2010 ZOMBIE ZOMBIE PLAYS JOHN CARPENTER LABEL: VERSATILE RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 2010 RATING: 3.5 / 5 TEXT: GARETH OWEN Zombie Zombie are the French electro act made up of Etienne Jaumet (read our interview with him here) and Cosmic Neman. John Carpenter has probably been one of the most influential film score composers on electro(nic) music, and this is an album of the two Frenchmen covering the one American, and although I am not quite sure what the point is, it is still a hugely enjoyable album for anyone interested in the musicians involved. Carpenter famously composed the music for his own films, perhaps the most well known of these: Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween and The Thing all appearing on this five track album. However, rather than straight up covers, Zombie Zombie have fleshed out and coloured in Carpenter's sparse, monochromatic soundscapes. 'Escape From L.A.' is taut, driving and bursting at the seams with energetic tension. 'Assault on Precinct 13' appears thicker and meatier than the original, but retains all of it's wistful menace, using squelching synths and live drums to elevate the song to something slightly less threatening, perhaps even vaguely romantic. In fact, the use of live drums on the album is one of the things that really makes it a worthwhile exercise - organic percussion and electronics work in perfect harmony and give the feeling of hearing the songs in a parallel universe. Although generally speaking they are note for note covers they use markedly different instrumentation. The irony is having checked out Zombie Zombie's rather vintage looking equipment list,the songs could quite possibly have been recorded in this way by Carpenter which makes Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter all the more interesting. I suppose the one thing I would like to have seen is some of his lesser well known works covered, especially considering this is being touted as an album, but only has five tracks. Still, small bother when the five we have are so good. - John Mulvey's 'Wild Mercury Sound' Blog - Nov 2010 ds_the_coral&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 Wild Mercury Sound There are thousands of new CDs in the Uncut office, and John Mulvey is on a mission to find the good ones. Check Wild Mercury Sound every day for rash, ill thought-out, yet strangely trustworthy reports on the best forthcoming releases. From forthcoming blockbusters and choice reissues, to underground treasures - we hear them here first. Slow Previewing 3: Ölöf Arnalds, The Coral, Zombie Zombie ....Etienne Jaumetʼs “Night Music” was a big personal favourite around the end of last year, very kosmische techno. And while this effort from Zombie Zombie, Jaumetʼs duo with drummer Cosmic Neman , isnʼt quite up there, itʼs still definitely worth checking out. “Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter” is nothing more complicated than that: Jaumet and Neman covering old Carpenter themes more or less faithfully; perhaps booting up all the sinister synth washes with a vaguely Dingerish pulse. Maybe some of you might find their excellent take on “The Thing” staring out on the frozen wastes this morning.... John Mulvey - Recommended EP - 25 October 2010 RECOMMENDED SINGLE / EP Zombie Zombie – Plays John Carpenter Posted on 25 October 2010 by Bowlegs OK if the title has grabbed your attention then the premise will, a five track EP of remixed John Carpenter soundtracks, including ʻThe Thingʼ and ʻHalloweenʼ. Who is behind this rather novel idea? Herman Duneʼs drummer Cosmic Neman and French electro pioneer musician Etienne Jaumet of course, who else would it be. This is some smooth, dark electro with the kraut rhythms and buzzing synths all wrapped in a atmospheric package. Great stuff!

Zombie Zombie Plays Carpenter Press Review UK  
Zombie Zombie Plays Carpenter Press Review UK  

"Zombie Zombie PLays John Carpenter" UK Press Review. 5 titles LP with cover of John Carpenter. Released in UK November 2010