Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Carpenter Brut Explodes In EP II

Every so often, and leaning more to the side of infrequency in recent times, a release comes along that changes perspectives, definitions and possibilities. In more modern times I've found this to happen more with singles than full album or EP releases. The track that all of a sudden turns clouded ideas into a sharply defined image. The song that does everything perfectly and it's brilliance, often in it's simplicity, is allowed to shine. These kind of experiences are what raises the bar and explodes previously conceived ideas. This has already happened for me, personally, this year with Silent Gloves and Patrick Baker's song So Real and it happened last year with Klockhaus's amazing Brainchild track.

These moments that are so deeply inspiring musically are often few and far between and often rarely form so beautifully in one track; let alone in a full EP release. Carpenter Brut has achieved this, however, across the entirety of his new EP ominously titled EP II.  I've had the pleasure of spending an extended period of time with this EP before it's release and it's given me the chance to really take in this monstrously epic musical armageddon of transcendental brilliance and allow it's many dimensions and emotions to be fully appreciated.

EP II transcends genres, ideas and perceived limitations of genre specific music and forms it's own vision that is as fresh as it is visceral. The amount of creativity in each of the six tracks goes above, beyond and inside out the mere definitions of genre titles. There is panic, violence, beauty, anger, love, brutality, clarity, fear and hope entwined throughout each and every chapter of every experience. Singularly faceted narratives are not the Carpenter Brut manifest but rich and densely layered monuments of granite hard rock and billion volt electro are and they crafted and summoned with a level of arcane knowledge and understanding of great rarity.

The sheer ferocity of this release becomes abundantly clear with the opening blast of slasher electro violence in 'Roller Mobster'. Musically this a repeated bludgeon attack at high velocity with no where to run or hide. The soundscape is a endless barrage of violent synths blasting with high impact knock out blows, completely unrelenting in their viciousness. This alone would be fatiguing for an extended period but, as happens so often on this EP, the Carpenter Brut magic tempers the violence with far more delicate harmonies and details that add new colours and layers while keeping the brutality in check and trading off neither in the process. These contrasting elements are used throughout EP II and it makes the assault on the senses cut even deeper and intensely than one would have previously believed possible.

The antithesis to 'Roller Mobster' is, ironically or possibly intentionally, track two 'Meet Matt Stryker'. We're lulled into a dimension of dangerous intentions but the moods are hopeful and full of driving passion. There is humanity in the music that one can feel and this is taken to even more powerful emotions with the supremely rockin guitars. The build is explosive and visceral as marching rhythms of mechanical precision lead to mellower passages where the guitars soar with great beauty above the chaos. The final act brings the power drive to maximum levels with a culmination of melodic energies perfectly in sync with each other.

The more ambient sides of Carpenter Brut are often his most alluring throughout this EP and the reason for this is the context he uses them in. The slow burn of 'Obituary' with it's haunting vocal and otherworldly elements create intimately close scenes of distilled ideas given complete clarity. There is absolutely no denying the horror lurking beneath the surface can only be contained for short periods and once it's unleashed the intensity seems to magnify to the power of ten for every successive second of the experience until it seems unbearably severe,.. but the hunger for more lingers.

I can, without any shadow of a doubt, say that 'Looking For Tracy Tzu' is one of the single most awe inspiring musical experiences I've had in 2013. The structure of this track is astonishingly tactile and packed with so many elements from 80s styles and beyond that it's four minutes and seventeen seconds feels like decades of lush mellifluous euphoria. The melodic refrain in this piece is absolute perfection while the story told around it is stunningly jaw dropping from beginning to end as danger, hope, violence and reverence become a phenomenal spectacle of pure panache.

Considering vast amount of genres covered in EP II, from passage to passage and song to song I find it interesting that track five, 'SexKiller On The Loose' is possibly the least diverse. This is by no means saying it's a lesser track than the others contained, but due to it's forthrightness and un-complex nature of arrangements it becomes something that has a slight edge to it's refinement. In the context of this release it arrives as a raging exposition in disco violence that knows to limit to it's appetites and it's this singular desire that garners such intensity and vigour from first kiss to last heart beat.

Completing EP II is grand finale, the fait accompli of the Carpenter Brut experience: 'Hang Em All'. Melodically delicate in it's introductions it fast becomes as full force frenzy of focused fidelity before stripping things back to an intimation of vulnerability. The animal instincts and ferocious killing power are all consuming, however, and a final blaze of glory is exploded into the night sky as the wreckage from a fabulous disaster rains down upon the scarred earth. The narrative tells a story of exhausting triumph that rises in the face of adversity, gaining power and momentum until the final victorious climax.

I still find it very hard to believe this EP clocks in at under twenty five minutes in it's entirety as it feels so incredibly involving and entertaining that you're certain more than an hour has passed. EP II is a time machine of musical dark matter that defies all previous conceived ideas and theories on how music is experienced. Repeated listenings drive this home even further and just like a favourite movie you want to revisit those favourite scenes of action, sin and violence over and over again.

Carpenter Brut presents EP II on his Bandcamp page here, and you can also pick up a physical CD copy (+ digital download) through Black Bvs Records' store here. This record has achieved a new high point for the many styles contained and explored throughout the six tracks. From the emotional soundtrack oriented melodic pieces to visceral giallo disco and into fiercely intense electro the music in it's purist sense beyond simple definitions. EP II goes above and beyond the limitations prescribed by people like myself and instead makes it's own world and dares us to enter it at our own mortal risk.

Although it's still September and there are many more releases to come in 2013, Carpenter Brut's EP II is THE record of 2013 thus far. There is no record I've heard this year that comes close to the intensity, intimacy and pure exhilaration of the music contained within it.

This most certainly makes Carpenter Brut's EP II a Synthetix Reference Experience of the highest calibre. I've no doubt this record will stand as a testament to exactly what true artists are capable of producing in the field of 80s inspired synth music when creativity and passion are given the purpose and vision to fabricate truly extraordinary music.

1 comment:

  1. Epic review. Epic EP. Great words Rick :) Dan Haigh - GUNSHIP.