Welcome to 2015 on Synthetix.FM! What a better way to return than with a blockbuster release of monstrous magnitude with the brand new Carpenter Brut EP. Before we get down the the nitty gritty of EP III I thought I'd make mention of the upcoming edition of the Valentine's Day Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape. For this year's I'm taking submissions of Synth Romance tracks from producers. Last year I did all the selections myself but this time I wanted to open it up more. What's Synth Romance you say? Well the best way to describe Synth Romance is with last year's Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape, which you can check out here. All submissions can be sent by initially messaging via the contact form on the left hand side of this page. Tracks don't need to be exclusive but if there comes to be a cut-off point exclusive tracks will be given preference, but I doubt it'll come to that. Submissions need to be in by the 10th of February so feel that glossy, irresistible 80s love this Valentine's Day and get rockin on the Synthetix.FM Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape!
Carpenter Brut's EP III: The Bar Is Raised, Whilst It's Cracked Repeatedly Over Your Head
By Rick Shithouse
Synthetix.FM has been feeling the love and rockin the scene with Carpenter Brut's debut EP and his sophomore release in 2013. With the completion of the trilogy EP III ushers in new sounds, new ideas, new attitudes and six freshly sharpened, chrome dripping creations that are sure to have you thrashing in an electrofrenzy. A distinct progression can be heard through all three EP's as Brut becomes more adventurous and broadens his palette beyond your daily colours. New golds and blacks ring with vivid intensity; coming together in a cacophonous madness you can't dare look away from.
Adventure and intensity seem to be the two most prolific traits in Carpenter Brut's aesthetic. Over the course of the three EP's these two qualities redefined our perceived notions of their limitations, thoroughly exploded further in successive releases. Much like the mind altering progression from EP I to EP II; we're presented with another high voltage dose that pushes the sounds beyond their safe zones and into levels so searingly hot one can barely hazard a glance into the aural apocalypse presented.
Opening with peak levels exploding into fragmented dimensions 'Division Ruins' smacks in you in the bass with its open palmed brutality. The intensity is hot and thunderous, time to adjust is minimal before you pass out but this is where Brut's masterful balance of light and dark comes into play. Much like a professional torturer, Brut knows the limits of human endurance and tempers the molten aural magma with lightly dancing sparks of emotive melody. The beauty and beast combination of synthscapes is thoroughly satisfying and full of rich, deep bodied flavour. Each breath pulls back deeper and each step closer to oblivion becomes a tantalising experience. Synths are robust, full or passion, taking on 70s progressive tones when needed and loading up on kilograms of C4 when required to. The build up is extreme, the wind up spectacular. You're barely able to breathe and then Brut pulls out the needle-nose pliers. You can't help but laugh in sheer, insane terror.
The picture changes view with the second track 'Paradise Warfare'. One can't help but be awed by the selection and implementation of instruments used in this piece. The last song you heard with saxophone solos and steel drums that felt like it could kill you is this song. Decidedly smooth in it's jazzy, lounge laced opening moods Brut makes for an adventure into nihilistic escapism that you'll be completely entranced by. The experience of 'Paradise Warfare' is as diverse as it is rewarding with Brut's thirst for adventure and commanding of the emotional side of 80s melodies melding into a bloodbath in the palm filled tree line.
Following up 'Paradise Warfare' with 'Run, Sally, Run' Brut is taken off the leash entirely and given a license to speed into armageddon as stereo synth melodies intoxicate the mind under rolling death machine of bass and drums. The pursuit is treacherous and the singleminded thirst for intensity that Brut explores crashes, tumbles and explodes over and over and over again in a tirade of Slash Electro carnage. The choirs of angels offer no solace amongst the fervent onslaught Brut exacts, but they sure are pretty.
The pursuit ends in recapture with Brut slamming you back into your captive chair and the volume of terrifying vehemence in 'Turbo Killer' rises like the beast itself from the depths of Carpenter Brut's blackest nightmares. The enormity of the sound is beyond comprehension. The chainsaw basslines tear deep gashes in your emotional psyche only to be contrasted by the warmth and positivity of the lead melody. Brut whispers electric promises to you, in tones barely distinguishable as voice. You try to make them out; only to be brutalised by the pounding, assault from the Carpenter's bludgeoning tools of torture.
EP III takes on a new angle in the adventure with 'Anarchy Road', which is also the lead single off the release. By using traditional vocals the Carpenter Brut aesthetic suddenly takes on a much more humanistic quality that is sure to surprise many. The track is a slow burn of lightly dancing sparks that grow into a flaming whirlwind of devastation, rising and falling before launching head long into oblivion in the final act.
The clean, sweet phrasing of the vocal track is something that surprised me mainly because of how accessible and non-confrontational it is; which seems at odds to the tone of the track. That said, the vocal does offer a fragile humanity to the experience and perhaps this contrast is indeed a stroke of genius that has been lost on me. Including the human voice as a focus and delving more into songwriting is something that I hope Brut pursues further, but I'm left wondering how much more anarchy could've been in 'Anarchy Road' with a different approach to the vocals by using a style more befitting the intensity and power of the sound Brut creates.
The final track of EPIII reduces the brawny intensity of previous experiences and instead takes on a thoughtfully constructed atmospheric masterpiece. 'Invasion AD' takes dials the terror back to menace and then escalates to DEFCON1 and drops atomic cavalcades of synth sadism from the sky in barrage after barrage that scorches the earth and reduces life to ash. The final act finds Brut reaching to the heavens amid the complete destruction of all he surveys. A rapturous armageddon brings the cold embrace of finality as last vestiges of sound decay to zero.
In this final piece of the EP trilogy Carpenter Brut has created something that doesn't just demand your attention, it craves your focus and rewards you with a concentrated, merciless intensity while still being able to deliver emotive melodies that hook deeply amid the vicious elements. The vintage sounds resonate deeply within the chaotic constructs bringing a balance that seems impossible amid the levels that fly off the scale from second one of track one. The progression in songwriting, production and identity has brought Carpenter Brut a long way from EP I and one can only imagine where the future of Carpenter Brut lies. As of writing this he's just completed his first live shows and with news that he's recruited more members into the Brut family one can barely fathom where the sound will venture next.
Carpenter Brut's EPIII is presented on his Bandcamp page here, in digital downloadable formats as well as CD. In the coming months the trilogy of EP's will be packaged and sold as a compendium, so keep an eye out on his Facebook page for updates. As with the previous two EP's in the series this is an absolute Synthetix Reference Experience as it redefines, once again, what Carpenter Brut is capable of. Over the six tracks brand new ideas and sublime implementations of existing ones are given new life, light and colour and even where some elements fall flat for me personally one must still applaude Carpenter Brut's ability to adapt and create new experiences well out of his comfort zone. The undeniable intensity of the Carpenter Brut experience is even more rewarding and enriching this time; I can only hope that Brut's creativity and inventiveness spread their wings even wider in the future.