Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Class Action II Compilation

 Synchronized, synthesized justice. A calculated effort from heroes of the synthwave scene, joining forces to troll the legions of media theft sites, sites that pirate music and either offer it for sale, or offer it for free download. Retro Promenade and Weekend Warriors Distribution proudly present....

The compilation is kicked off in high gear with Epoch's epic track, "ZZ (Double Zeta)". This track is full of atmosphere, high energy optimism and infectious melodies. Kinda gives me a Back to the Future vibe. The funkiness of the groove is complimented with synthesizers dripping in cybernetic precision. I liken the track to surfing through space....on surfboards crafted using the severed spines of petty music pirates. If you're gonna pirate music, pirate to listen...not to share or sell. Or else we'll find your spine a space-carving surfboard out of it....and surf through space listening to "ZZ (Double Zeta)".

Second track up is my track, yet another song under the Jon of the Shred banner. I call it...."Calculated Justice". Calculated Justice is a musical journey filled with orchestral symphonies, wailing guitars, and synthesizer soundscapes.

The third track up is The Sweeps - "The Last Dream (RP Edit)". Soothing vocal melodies soar above tense synthesizer soundscapes, as if the angels of heaven are patiently pleading with the music pirates to reverse their inconsiderate, wicked ways. Catchy melodies reminiscent of classical music carry the instrumental hook valiantly. A nice synthesizer breakdown conjures images of music pirates deep in thought, their guilt gnawing at their subconscious like frenzied termites.

Next up is "Chrome Beach" by KFDDA. The song starts off with a frenzied bass, joined later by it's good ol' friend and trusted ally, the synth lead. The quick notes give way to a more broken pattern, like stabs in the dark, stabs of a neon blade deep into the back of music pirates, their black blood draining across the soil, where soon, mutated venus fly traps, man eating venus fly traps, will emerge from the ground. A tasteful ending sweeps the track out, and right into....
"Cutiest Petutiest Gluteus" by Who Ha. This song is an absurd combination of cheesy epicness. The vocals give me a Talking Heads vibes, but with the self-aware cheekiness of the Flight of the Conchords. The lyrics are cut of the same cloth, cleverly written and imaginative. And as good as the vocals and lyrics are, the music backing it all might be the best part, making the listener imagine scores of fist pumping people in all manners of 80's apparel; neon head bands and visors, teased out hair, spandex with all odds and ends of incoherent shapes, working out in unison, mocking the music pirates, forcing them to smell their sweat covered socks.

Next up is "Out on the Raging Streets" by Ex-Machina. This bass has got some groove to it. A gated synth in the background rises and falls in chromatic glory over the top of the funky backdrop of bass and reverb soaked drums. Melodies on various synths come and go as they please, teasing the listeners ears, urging them to nod their head up and down in respect for the groove, but at the same time left and right at the music pirates who would dare steal all these glorious artists music.

And on to Laurence McFunk's funk odyssey, "Herb Moxie". This track features some very interesting melodic hooks, exploring all kinds of emotional terrain in the space of a single measure. Some refrains reek of classical inspiration, as if Mozart was raging Moogs after railing generous lines of cocaine. The song breaks down and in comes some funky leads reminiscent of Parliament Funkadelic meets a Rocky Balboa training montage. The analogue brass sings songs of triumph, songs of the demise of music pirating sites, dismantled and burning, where their charred remains will soon be urinated on by the childrens. Did I mention the cowbell?

Out from the speakers leaps the "Samurai Force Neon," courtesy of Beatbox Machinery. This track starts with a high-energy arp before a hollowed out, airy lead takes control with catchy, optimistic melodies. Really reminds me of cartridge games, particularly gameboy classics like Kirby's Dreamland. The optimistic vibe of this song makes the listener ponder whether it is a song that represents a post-music pirate world. A world where all music pirates have been dealt with, and we can all rage without fear of untalented asswipes stealing our music and reselling it as if they are legitimate music distributors. That is the future in which the Samurai Force Neon reside.

Logan Sky takes us to "Shinjuku City" next. What starts as a contemplative journey soon gets more intense as bass stabs and sweeping pads heighten the tension. This could very well be the soundtrack of fed-up artists and producers, donning laser weaponry and neon armor, infiltrating the pirate base to lay down some justice. But something goes wrong....the pirates are pumping a mixture of DMT and Salvia smoke through the vents, causing the listener to stumble through very interesting broken up segments, a unique break down.

John Sparxx is up next with "Love". If ever there was a movie in which the music pirates engaged in an all-out war with enraged music producers, I feel like this would be the track that rolled over the credits. The leaders of the synth resistance would be standing on the bloody battlefield, the dead and wounded on both sides littering the ground, a ground painted red with blood. They would look at each other, nodding solemnly, saying more by remaining silent than ever they could with words. And somehow, as if through synchronized destiny, they all leap into the air, right fists raised triumphantly, and freeze right there in mid-air, at the collective peaks of their majestic jumps. BANG. Credits roll, as infectiously catchy, bittersweet yet triumphant melodies coax you into a synthesizer high.

From these moments of meditative reflection, we're completely blindsided by Dan Terminus and his track "Restless Destroyer," a true marvel of heaviness. A perfect contrast to the track before it, Dan Terminus takes all the optimistic post-pirate musings and brings you back to reality. It's but a pipe dream; we still have a war to fight, comrades. And the war sounds like it's gonna be in the trenches and fought dirty. No worries....synthwave producers like it dirty.

Plaisance is up next with "Virgin Atlantic Challenger II". This track immediately gave me a Megaman X vibe. I can see Megaman X fighting through stage after stage of Maverick, each Maverick being the soul of each different pirating music website. With each pirate website Maverick defeated, Megaman X powers up his X-Buster, more diverse with each victory, stronger with each win. In a way, each song on this compilation is almost like a power up, each sitting on it's own but happily next to the other. The track rages on, energy high and bass clanking with a driving force. Leads of varying varieties variate the track, with occasional game FX serving as unique musical transitions between song sections.

"Before It Rises" by Wulf spills out of the speakers, a wave of velvety synths soothing the ear. A fat bass takes the lead, bringing us to a melody both wistful and transient. The song goes through various movements, each melody offering a different perspective, but all unanimously agreeing with each other on one key point......DEATH TO MUSIC PIRATES! BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD! 

Antroid Aubroid takes the mood from relaxed to mischievous. Synths bounce and bubble like a giant cauldron, the writhing bodies of music pirates thrashing around as their skin peels off, a penance for their crimes. The mischievous nature of the track doesn't let up, with some claps used in a delightfully cheeky fashion - as if we're clapping as we stand above the aforementioned giant cauldron filled with music pirates. A few minutes in some otherworldly synth leads take charge, taking the track in a light Sci-Fi direction.

Straktobeam's track "Midnight Run" starts off cinematic and atmospheric, before breaking into an energetic groove. The highlight of the track has gotta be the synth leads, but you gotta love the android voices. Sounds like robots giving the music pirates a final, cheerfully melodic warning - stop pirating our music or be prepared to have your face melted off with futuristic laser technology the likes of which your feeble mind cannot even BEGIN to comprehend. Then just as you think the track is winding down towards it's outro, it pulls the rug out from under you and settles into a hymn-esque breakdown, hoover synths like sirens of the sea beckoning to your ears. The track builds back into it's signature groove.

"A Serial Killer's Wet Dream" by Dress-2-Kill kicks off with tasteful sound effects before a driving bass takes over, John Carpenter-esque synth leads dotting the soundscape like Michael Myers knife into a music pirates back. Fuck, did I already use a knife into music pirates back analogy? I should have saved it for this track, because it's got that old school horror vibe.

From the slasher vibe of the last track we transition nicely into a more zombie vibed track, "Bleed Air" by McGain. A windy sweep really has that Italo Zombie vibe going on...Goblin would be proud. The track goes into more melodic sections, conjuring images of tropical shores, a beautiful paradise.....rolling waves....and beaches stained red with the blood of music pirates, music pirates that were dealt their fate from the hands and teeth of the undead. As each vital organ is ripped from a music pirate, an angel in heaven above gains a pair of wings.

"Eurasia" by Discoballistic starts off with great atmosphere. Upward spirals of synths are an audio delight, and a driving groove eventually breaks into a cinematic melody. Almost out of nowhere, a highly mischievous and infectiously catchy melody grabs the listener, as if grabbing the throat of a music pirate and ripping with intense force. The melody has an almost carnival vibe, really reminds me of some of the songs from the Super Mario RPG soundtrack, which is a compliment of the highest order.

The "Natural Order" of Spacious Sweep seems to be an order of atmosphere and melody. Energetic drum fills dart between stabby, melodic synthesizers. The drums sound like the drums of war, signaling a charge into enemy territory, territory lined with music pirates who's heads we shall sever and attach to the tops of our keytars to the atmospheric melody of the natural order. The synths are warm, punchy and lush, just the sort of sound to compliment a tribal beheading of those brave, yet stupid souls who decided to pirate our majestic music and put it up for free download.

Kiile is next in line, with the track "Into the City". And into the city we go. The bass gets things started after an ambient intro. Grooving, steadfast and true, melodic elements start slowly filtering in, filling the track out piece by piece. Interesting panning work comes into play, a synth going from left to right, much like a worm crawling it's way through a music pirates ear, tunneling through the pirate's brain like the dirt it is. Guitars twang as if from a distance, guitarists standing on the top of mountains and raining their fretted justice across the countryside.

"Receive the Receiver" is a decided change of pace. In On It is in on it all right, in on a catchy and unique groove. Things take a dramatic turn when the leads come into play, telling stories of music pirates being torn limb-from-limb over pits filled with sharks and alligators, their final demise a warranted spectacle observed by music producers and fans alike, nationwide, accompanied by this pulsing soundtrack.

We land from that synth high with "Landings" by New Arcades. New Arcades hits the ground running, as musical elements join the initial synth line, building the track up with each measure, as if it's the theme to a glorious marathon, all the runners donning the scars of war, now free after vanquishing their music pirate foes on the field of battle, triumphant melodies and extravagant fireworks dancing above their heads as the neon lit runway proves to be the road to ultimate victory.

RF Extreme encourages us to "Fight the Day" with this penultimate track. The atmosphere is intense and cinematic, telling stories of stealthy assaults on the bases of music criminals. As a man of nostalgia, I am not the least bit disappointed in the fact this track conjures cherished memories of Goldeneye 64.

And so, here we are. We've arrived at the end of our music pirate killing journey. Fixions is given the honor of tying the bow on this music present, and does so with "Bone Sand". The song starts with all kinds of interesting audio tricks, before breaking into a solid groove lined with glitches and unorthodox synth choices. Vocals cry with power, singing in celebration of the defeated music pirates. The song plods along with a sure-footed groove, a fitting end to this musical saga.

And so here we are, at the other side of the compilation, a compilation designed as a big middle finger to the people selfishly profiting off the work of others. If any good can come of music pirating, it's ideas like this. Be sure to check out the album on Retro Promenade's bandcamp! Although I'm sure you can find it on dozens of music pirate websites, those cheeky cunts. In closing....VIVA LA SYNTH!

1 comment:

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