"If you regularly played video games or watch horror movies of the right type, you know there’s never one form for a boss monster. They always come back at least once, transformed by the sting of defeat and/or physical pain, faster, scarier, stronger, more pissed off. This is, of course, often a metaphor for our own fears and pitfalls and how they only seem to increase when confronted. If only the hero can persevere then they shall be defeated but it’s never a matter of a single victory; defeating the largest of our fears is always about dedication and growth, the hero changing and adapting as the villain does. Such is the case with music as well. Those who stay put, die, consigned to the bin of history, the discard pile of those who were too set in their ways and unwilling to grow.
Those who can adapt are the quintessential hero, rising above the challenges to stay supreme and powerful. In the menagerie of synth and retrowave we have access to these days, who better to embody the figure of the 80’s hero, shirt torn and muddied, face filled with cuts but eyes still burning with passion, with dedication for the fight, than Carpenter Brut? He is the demon of the night, wielding dirty synth tones and killer beats in a constant effort to keep the listeners of the genre fixed on his sounds, a constant effort to defeat the staleness that creeps at the edges of the genre. And so he did with 2015’s Trilogy, a fresh and excellent take on the milieu of synth, retro and even dark wave. But can he keep adapting? As the villain of mediocrity and repetition rears itself constantly above the Neo-Tokyo that are the electronic genres today, will Carpenter Brut rise to the challenge and attack with a new approach or stick to his guns and begin fading away?"
"Why are so many of synthwave’s top artists from France? Beats me. But why was Tampa the cradle of American death metal? Massachusetts the birthplace of metalcore? And why did black metal spew forth from Norway’s icy, chilled loins? I haven’t spent enough time in France — the indubitable epicenter of the synthwave / retrowave movement — to be familiar with whatever underbelly inspired so much music that’s so dark and sinister, but it’s certainly there, lurking, waiting, hulking, brooding, just below the surface.
More to that whole “synthwave is metal” theory: whoever’s behind Carpenter Brut would certainly get all the references in the above paragraph. There’s the music, of course, which is dark and gnarly and hits as hard as a Chase Utley slide tackle. But then there’s the painfully on-point imagery and aesthetic, taking an obvious cue from metal. The album cover (above), the occult-inspired track names, the mysterious identity of the man behind the curtain, the upside down crosses, and then… THIS FUCKING T-SHIRT.
Carpenter Brut’s chosen moniker is so perfectly literal. Carpenter — as in John, the master of horror — done gross. And gross it is: filthy and heavy as in EP III opener “Division Ruine,” the slimy and sleazy saxophone on “Paradise Warfare,” just downright DIRTY like coke of a mirrored table on “Disco Zombi Italia,” and melancholic and sad as on “Obituary,” as if we may actually be hearing the epitaph for humankind, recently overtaken by the machines once and for all."
"In sitting down to attempt to write something vaguely review-like about Trilogy – a towering compilation of retrofuturistic bangers, recorded and released by one of synthwave’s brightest torchbearers over a period of several years – my mind and pen immediately drifted towards a rather trite, broad-brush analysis of the genre of synthwave itself: to considering the degree to which it lives and dies with its stylistic and cultural influences in a way that most music simply doesn’t; pondering the playfulness with which it toys with nostalgic soundscapes and rose-tinted colour-palettes before proceeding to chuck them all into a blender; and pontificating as to the genre’s ability to thrive in the past whilst fixing its gaze firmly on the future. Perhaps its sheer scope and variety as a triple EP is what drove me to attempt to neatly encapsulate the essence of an entire genre, for how else could I possibly articulate exactly what makes all 18 terrific tracks tick? However, after crumpling up an environmentally-un-friendly quantity of paper, I realised that it wasn’t all that complicated. Well, not really. All one really needs to know about Trilogy before dipping ones toes in its hazy, neon pond is as follows: This shit SLAPS."