Following up their collaborative music video to Turbo Killer, Carpenter Brut and creative team Seth Ickerman (aka Raphaël Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard) combine to bring us Blood Machines, a science fiction dystopia movie. The film may have garnered mixed reactions, but this review covers only the soundtrack.
Imaginatively speaking, Blood Machines feels like a combined effort building the visual experience through the soundscapes. But what we have from the intro is the battle bus that awaits an epic Carpenter journey. The theme wastes no time ramping up some full-on computer game riffage followed by an unexpected turn in pace with ‘Attack of The Amazons’ and ‘Ceremony’. These latter two tracks also meet nicely and call to mind Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack.
‘Mima’ breaks off into a more Bladerunner 2049 vibe where everything sinks even more into dystopia. ‘Souls Wreck’ is the long-lost feeling that surrounds you on a walk in the acid rain-laden streets, pining over a digital surreal love and its subsequent loss. ‘Heart Ship’ is a brooding ensemble that starts with a respite and builds slowly. It evokes tinges of S U R V I V E and Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s Stranger Things score. ‘Bloody Kisses – The Swift’ is one of the most atmospheric instrumental tracks on the album, ranging a Chromatics inspired midway section towards a typical furnace of Carpenter organ keyboards. It could also be a re imagining of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator theme in some incarnation.
The final three tracks consist of ‘Lago’s Sleep’, ‘Grand Final’ and the ultimate standout track, ‘Gone Now’, with French shoegazers, Pencey Sloe. Here the voice is as haunting as it is atmospheric, drawing to a close with a perfect dark synth upon layers of heavy drums. It’s a sinister end that draws to a close in a molten plume of smoke.
This is a composition as good as any in the Carpenter back catalogue.
Release Date: 17/04/2020
Record Label: No Quarter Prod
Standout tracks: Gone Now, Bloody Kisses – The Swift, Mima
Suggested Further Listening: Carpenter Brut – III (2015), GOST – Non Paradisi (2016), Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch – Blade Runner 2049 OST (2017)