Parisian Darksynth producer Grimlin released his first full-length, Trapped On Tape. Drawing from the same dark pools of inspiration that heavyweights Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, and GosT, influenced heavily by cult horror movies and the sound of synthwave pioneers Justice, but by the smart use of movie samples he manages to carve out a unique area of the crowded Darkwave arena.
Opening track “In Tenebrae” sets the mood immediately. An unsettling drone, like strings on a piano being rubbed, is overdubbed by Satanic chanting before giving way to a punishing beat. The title refers to both the Dario Argento movie Tenebre, one of the three witches of his Trilogy of films, but also references artist Serhiy Krykun’s sci-fi take on the Tenebre movie poster that adorns the album cover.
“Hollowgram” builds like a rocket about to take off. The beat flanges back and forth between the speakers like an oppressive wave taking physical form. The black funkiness builds until a klaxon sound relieves the tension. Operatic voices seem to ride on top like dark dark angels announcing your doom.
“Space Dementia” is pure Carpenter-esque delirium. This is a driving at night kind of song, something that will propel you through a dark cityscape with bad intentions. “Posthuman” has an evil plodding beat, like your about to enter Hell itself, before transforming into pure 80’s synth synethesia.
“Night Prey” has a metallic beat that really creates the feeling of stalking something in the dark, until a shredding guitar solo pierces the veil of unrelenting banging. “Slash Fiction” brilliantly incorporates the screeching sound from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre into the body of the sound, layering on top of it to create a sense of urgency.
“Phantomizer” uses a sample from Halloween 5 to create a pulsating assault that changes keys before breaking down into a church organ refrain. Title track “Trapped On Tape” starts as a simple melody before launching into 70’s Giallo disco.
For a first album, Grimlin demonstrates a confident, muscular take on the genre. He might not be as orchestral as GosT or as versatile as Perturbator, but Trapped On Tape is an announcement of an exciting new voice on the scene. It will be exciting to see where he goes next.
You can buy your own copy of Trapped On Tape here.
You can listen to a sample of the album below: