Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carpenter Brut Builds A Nightmare

Word has been spread amongst numerous members of the Synthetix.FM Facebook group about a new producer of the blackened synth arts calling himself Carpenter Brut. First James 'Gost' Lollar discovered this marvellous EP and then this was later reiterated by Werkstatt Recordings and one more time by Dimebag Dante. It's rare for an EP to get such hype three individuals and after experiencing this release I can see why. Many thanks to the above synthficionados for enlightening me to this great work.

What instantly grabbed me with this EP is the cover art. It's not often that cover art really effects me instantly. I think the last time was Mitch Murder's Glass Cities EP with Charlie Vicetto's stunning cover. But this release's cover hit me hard for completely different reasons. The photograph of the snow covered landscape and the inverted cross on the modernist church is a superbly descriptive image. Instantly this brings to mind countless nunsploitation and satanic themed movies from the 70s and the likes of the Dario Argentos and Lucio Fulci's of the world, replete with their synth soundtracks of chilling designs. This one image took me directly to the place where the music begins and serves as serendipitous visual accompaniment to the aural landscape.

This self titled exploration into the darker side of 80s synth is not as bleak as one might envisage. Sure, theres is a great air of maliciousness in the tracks, but theres an irrepressible element of rawness that dominants the sounds. It's a primal energy that's animalistic and predatory, totally base and riveting throughout. Opening with Escape From Midwitch Valley the atmosphere is sparse and menacing, the chords strike at the heart of fear and each new instrument is introduced in a way to emphasise it's innate power. The guitars slice through the hazy blend of synth melodies with total precision and the music builds through choruses of unearthly powers. The story is beautifully paced with a true mind for making soundtrack styled synth work with a delicate frailty that is then contrasted with megaton power. This first track sets the tone for the EP perfectly and it's unnerving ending adds even more to the experience.

Breaking the shackles of doom with a blast is the second track Disco Zombi Italia. The lead melody that drives this experience is the definition of rawness in it's delivery. Hugely catchy and charged with the elemental forces of nature. The structures are much more traditional in this piece but it works exceptionally well through the ripping basslines and welcome reprisals. Crunching details and breakdowns genuinely keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this track. It's execution is flawless and it's combination of 70s sounds with more 80s arrangements is totally k-rad to the max; horror disco synth at it's finest.

Moving into LA Venice Bitch 80s the sounds begin to move out of the dark and into the light ever so slightly. Music is almost joyful in it's triumphantly arranged melodies, reminiscent of Mike Oldfield or Giorgio Moroder soundtrack work, but also adding in glossy 80s elements that spice up the flavour while keeping the integrity of the sounds consistent. The pace is kept high, which makes the lead melody work extra hard as one would think this melody would have more presence at a slower speed, but the energy Carpenter Brut injects into the music magnifies it's power beautifully.

Things take a turn for darker climes in the aggressively performed Wake Up The President. Sounds are dark and dripping with nocturnal obeisance which shape shifts into a vigorous writhing mass of hatred and terror. The modern glitch touches throughout this track add a great deal to it's instability and threat of total collapse to the nightmarish synthscape, but for all it's horror and brutality one can't help but be hypnotised by it's ferociousness.

Continuing directly in 347 Midnight Demons the glitch driven nuances resurface out of the black depths with a supercharged lead melody and rousing guitars. This track is a horror OutRun styled anthem that once again brings that primal rawness out in the sounds while still keeping the listener engrossed with the sumptuous melodies. This piece has a virtual intermission that first put me off balance, but it's triumphant return to a crescendo of uplifting rock synth magic was exaggerated by the pause. Hugely energetic and totally kick arse from beginning to end.

The Carpenter Brut EP finishes with the grimy and salacious Le Perv.  Sexual depravities course through the soundscape as a horror movie of confusion,  brutality and revenge plays out before us. One more time the modern nuances are used to maximum effect with the rawness of sounds making the experience completely visceral and unavoidably confrontational. The dramatic upheaval through the final minutes of this epic is something that must be heard to be believed. It's a thrilling conclusion to an incredibly rich experience which leaves the listener exhilarated to dangerous levels and now with a deep and insatiable hunger for more.

For a debut EP, Carpenter Brut's work speaks for itself, in it's own language and has no need for subtitles. Each composition is so wonderfully individualised and full to breaking point with passion and energy that it's almost overwhelming. It's rare for a producer of any style of music, regardless of it's vintage, to stamp their own hallmarks all over their initial creations but this is exactly what Carpenter Brut has achieved. His brand of 80s inspired synth music really defies definition and this reason alone makes it a Synthetix Reference Experience.

Buy your copy of the Carpenter Brut EP on his Bandcamp page here as soon as you can and allow your heart and mind to be taken to places your dreams and nightmares only gave you glimpses of previously.

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