Synthwave is an amazing genre of music for many reasons, of which I could certainly go more into depth as to why, but one such example that I want to highlight today is its overall global appeal. Other than simply the fans of said genre, there are producers who make the music from all over the world as well. Such is the case with Baali Soda who hails from India and, from the lack of any purchases on his Bandcamp page, seems to be a relative unknown that I would like to highlight today because he deserves some recognition! While he does have a collection of single tracks to discover, I instead singled out (see what I did there?) his full length album Neon Knight.
It starts out with “Shores of Atlantis” and, much like how you can get a similar sensation from putting a shell to your ear, this track gives you that sense of being at the beach with the tide rolling in over your feet in the sand. “Ready, Steady, Fight” is like the opposite vibe as, much like the title suggests, it’s one that’ll get your fists up, clenched, and ready to start throwing haymakers; perfect for training montages or for those fight scenes! If your blood got pumping too high on that last one you can bring it down with the next track, “Heart Watcher,” which is peppered throughout with harp like sounds to ease you into comfort.
“Calmful Carnage” is like a mix of the previous two tracks combined, giving you that relatively easy going sensibility while also mixing it up with a bit of a sinister background breakdown from time to time. “Elemental” brings back the chill, almost reminiscent of the first track in it’s design, though if that song were to make one feel the water than this would certainly make them feel the air; it ebbs and flows like vapor. “Neon Knight,” the titular track, has this quality about it that I can’t quite put my finger on other than it is otherworldly, and a bit creepy, but in a good way; like a guardian force in the foggy darkness.
“Night Pilgrim” is an interesting track, beset throughout with some high pitched synth work, that’ll be sure to perk up your ears and make you take notice. “Mars Descending,” not just based solely on the name alone, floats closely into spacewave territory on the sounds of the track itself with the kind of ambient quality one might expect to hear in the background during a zero gravity walk among the stars. “Altered States” is another aptly titled track, as it almost sounds tropical in nature, eliciting that sort of transcendent europhoria one often feels when they’re on vacation. Are you back once again on the first song’s shores?
The journey continues with an “Oriental Odyssey,” where the sounds of bass heavy synths compliment the more high end ones in perfect harmony to the point where you almost feel like you’re in a tranquil temple somewhere in the Himalayas; this would be a great track to use during meditation! The last track, which fittingly enough is called “Adios,” is a perfect send-off to an overall delightful album as it leaves you with positive vibes and just an all around feeling of completion as it fades out. Oh, but wait, there is one more track!
It’s “Neon Knight (Revisited),” which is a reworking/remix of “Neon Knight,” and while there are some differences they are overall subtle but still appreciated. Which, as stated before, is something that can be said for Baali Soda‘s overall body of work in that, up until now, it’s flown completely under the radar. Therefore it is time for their hard work, talent, and music to become fully appreciated. Furthermore, I can only hope that this review will encourage you to check out the rest of their work and to perhaps even make a purchase or two?