Released back in January, Hyperspace is the debut album from the Pennsylvania based producer Knichael Might and is a real smörgåsbord of sound. What is meant by this is that each track feels different, like an entirely unique dish served among an electronic music buffet, so trust me when I say that you’re going to want a hefty sampling of each. In fact, chances are that, like me, you’ll only be left hungry for more! Let’s dig in.
There’s a number of things out there that go pretty damn good together. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Thunder and Lightning. Nuts and Bolts. Blood and Guts. However, when it comes to synthwave, there can be something said about how certain subgenres go well with specific themes such as the companion piece that is darksynth and horror movies. In the case of Rated-R, this is executed as intended, dripping with that certain type of synth-sleaze that one could only hear on the soundtrack of a late 70’s/early 80’s B-movie slasher flick.
Before I begin this review proper I just want to impart some advice: never sleep on anything. Earlier this year I received a direct message on Twitter from my friend who runs Echosynthetic, an amazing website that also covers the synthwave scene, and he explicitly told me to check out Bonggita because he knew instantly that it was something special. I checked out Bonggita‘s first release entitled The Bonggitaria Incident, which Echosynthetic reviewed and conducted an interview as well, but unfortunately I never quite got around to reviewing it for this here website.
Like with any genre in the realm of music there exists a number of subgenres under the synthwave umbrella such as darkwave, chillwave, vaporwave, spacewave (to name a few) but one that not many are aware of is dungeon synth. Although not a new concept in many ways, as it can trace it’s roots back a couple decades now, dungeon synth has none the less seen a bit of a revival in the past few years thanks in part to the rise of synthwave.
Releasing their first EP back in February, which we reviewed, Nightlights contributes their own brand of neon-soaked goodness to the summer of synth with their follow-up EP entitled Forever. Much like their previous release, the aforementioned Shadows EP, this album is an equally infectious collection of songs that’ll get you up and moving. It all begins right out the gate with a tantalizing intro track, “In The Beginning,” which much like the wonderful cover to the album itself gives those summer sunset vibes.
With the #SummerofSynth starting to come to a close we begin to wrap things up with another stellar release by Ethereal Delusions in the form of Ascension. After starting the summer with the release of the single “Wingman (featuring Noah Bernstein),” and then following that up with a collaborative album with KiLoSo entitled DAY|NIGHT (which unfortunately we haven’t got around to reviewing yet due to our hiatus), it ends with another full length album that is easily Ethereal Delusions’ best work yet.
Skyline Splitter is the debut album of Lightfrequency, the first solo effort by producer Mike Beaton into the realm of synthwave following his duo project of Big Lich with Patrick Stein. While Big Lich tends to rely less on the sounds of the synth and more on chiptune styled metal, thus creating a more heavy and aggressive tone, Lightfrequency is more or less as it’s name suggests: a lighter frequency of sound.
In a recent news post, where I announced the return of this blog from it’s month long hiatus, I mentioned a certain person by name who helped to design our new banner: Bernadas, one half of the UK based radio show The Night Call along with his friend James. Well, today I am extremely proud to announce that the two of them have started something special in the form of a new synthwave label entitled the Nokogiri Nami Society. Their first act is to put together a compilation of some top talent in the synthwave scene and donate 100% of the proceeds to Yorkshire Cancer Research (516898), which you can learn more about here: http://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/strategy-and-objectives/
As for the Nokogiri Nami Society, they explain their own genesis as follows:
Freeweights is a band that hasn’t been mentioned on this site before, which is a crime as their one of the most underrated synthpop acts out their right now, so what better way to get acquainted with them than through a “best of” album? I use quotes around “best of” because the ten tracks on this album are all the tracks that they’ve released thus far so, you might be therefore asking yourself, “how can this be a best of album if it contains all of their songs?” Simply put: all of their songs are the best. Period.