Thursday, April 3, 2014

Running All Night

Fresh off the potent synthesizer high I got from the Class Action Compilation Volume II, I moved on to the Wave Runner Records compilation, "Running All Night." Ironically, I am listening to this in broad daylight, 9:45 AM Eastern Standard Time to be exact.

The compilation kicks off strong with a track from Highway Superstar called "Boardwalk Sunset". And what a fitting name it is. Melodic and engaging, vibe leads give way to chimes, and an almost Law and Order groove kicks in, bongos slapping away in the background.The song is dominated by wholesome saxophone licks, as if a saxophonist is standing on the boardwalk, raging as the sun sets, getting prepared to run until sunrise.

Now that the sun has set and the boardwalk is behind us, we are joined in our run by Phaserland and Nikki. The track is a perfect followup, with percussive synths that remind me of Meat Loaf in his "Bad Attitude" era. Mellow vocal melodies courtesy of Nikki are instantly catchy in a retro fashion, as one would expect. Electric guitars ephemerally wail in dual harmony, and the track ends on it's hooks.

Mitch Murder's up next with the help of Miranda Carey on "Just 'til Midnight". This song starts with a cheeky drum and percussion jam before busting into some funky synth-pop. The staggered nature and classy vocal hooks can't help but remind me of good ol' Michael Jackson. Really like the hook of the track, with the vocals and synths calling to each other back and forth. 

Next up we have Sunglasses Kid laying down synthscapes for Kristine to sing over. "Time in Time" continues the funky swagger the last track, but this ones got a whole different swagger. The slap bass clangs underneath the breathy, sensual vocals, orchestra hits punctuating hidden hooks between the more obvious melodic hooks.

Lush, warm synths greet the listeners waiting ears at the onset of Lueur Verte's track, "Malibu Sunrise". The melodies are calculated and effective, speakers drowning in an ocean of synth. A guitar twangs faithfully in the background....bring that up in the mix! It is just barely within listening reach, but damn is it tasteful. Several tasteful breakdowns contrast the sure-footed groove.

Hopeful melodies permeate out and a tom fill beckons a full groove with steam. A Space Love Adventure is cooking with gas on Nicole (ASLA remix).....or better yet, rocket fuel. The Sci-Fi charged jaunt gives way to interesting breakdown and gets backing into even higher gear, racing through celestial dimensions at a steady pace. A synth solo hits as warp speed is reached. And just when we slow down to take view of planetary bodies, we kick back to warp speed with a bitchin' and tasteful guitar solo.

We drop from warp speeds to an atmospheric, wistful soundscape. SelloRekT / LA Dream's track "Alive" soon breaks into a great pace, synth melodies sounding reminiscent of "Waiting for Darkness" by Ozzy. A synth guitar tackles out melodies, accompanied by lush synthscapes, the ever present synth melody keeping the song moving.

We get a second helping of Lueur Verte with "Night Slasher 2". A bass stabs the space beneath a staggered melody. Arps shimmer in and out as a haunting melody creeps into play, before the track stops cleverly...then busts in. The chase has begun. As the song changes pace and goes through it's various phases, images are conjured of boogeymen stalking demoralized, promiscuous teenagers through spooky forests.

Starforce and Tommy team up next for "Interstellar". This track takes us back to the stars above, surfing the astral planes in melodic glory. Triumphant melodies soar above driving bass lines. Hooks are in abundance, a variety of synths taking charge, most notably a warm, airy lead.

A dark melodic hymn quickly gives way into a raging groove, courtesy of Farfletched in "Car Clova". The bass line has tasteful pitch drops, really adding to the funky groove. Fast paced synths raise the tension, and the slightest hints of guitars break in and out of the mix tastefully. Sweep pick inspired melodic breaks keep things interesting. Back into a hook, and we feel like we're in Castlevania 2042, staring down a cyborg Dracula. But Dracula isn't here to fight...he's here to get down, as the groove kicks back in and the Count busts out bodacious dance moves, demons and zombies alike all clapping and stomping in unison with the beat, encouraging Dracula to rage until sunrise...'twas Belmonts plan all along.

A nostalgic sample of the answering machine message we've all had at some point quickly breaks into a poppy groove. Swagbot brings the funk with "Trying," with piercing vocals cutting through the thick and uncompromising bassline. Lots of pitch bend funkiness gives the song a signature swagger.

Adeyhawke keeps things interesting with a very interesting melody wrapped up nicely with all kinds of glitched out awesomeness. "Disco Idalium" is a bag of surprises, constantly keeping the listener guessing as it goes from one musical passage of inspire insanity to the next. A very unique and daring sound is on display here.

An Arcade Version of "Welcome to Nocturne City" is up next, and Perturbator knocks it out of the park as always. The arcade vibe on display is a very interesting and faithful recreation of Perturbator's usual sound; it's as if he sampled his own music into a C64 to achieve such a faithful recreation. The track is full of raunchy bass and mystical leads. Chromatic passages ramp up tension, from a breakdown to a frantic melody that reminds me of the original Super Mario Bros Bowser music. The song ends on a melodic high, darting SID synths dropping rapidly in pitch and volume.

"Dystopia" kicks off with a haunting melody before giving way to a fascist groove compliments Nightcrawler and Vincent Salvia. The dark harmonious synths tell tales of violent totalitarianism and dehumanization, capturing the atmosphere of 1984 with sweep bass tones and droning terror. The song holds hope though - a guitar solo kicks in, crisp and hopeful....the resistance will rise. The guitar gives me the vibe of 80's metal in the best ways.  Nothing says rebellion like a wailing axe.

Dynatron takes us on the penultimate journey. "Unquestionable Judgement" is unquestionably heavy. Guitars chug as two simultaneous melodies overtake it each, melding together and dispersing. The track breaks into a modest melody, cinematic in nature, as synth stabs rise and fall, bouncing between octaves. A palm mutted melody returns before breaking way into an atmospheric breakdown. The song crescendos, ending on a high note with tasteful guitar wailing, leaving the listener wanting more.

The final track of this epic synth journey is an additional Swagbot number called RocknRolla. A galloping bass takes the listener on a journey, riding neon lit steeds through glitched out realms of funkiness. A simple 4/4 beat soaked in reverb breaks way to snare riffage, an almost march aspect present. And with the sound of a reverse cymbal after a glitched out breakdown, our journey ends.

If such a thing as synth overdose were possible, I would surely be a candidate after listening to 40 brand new Synthwave / Outrun / New Retro Wave / Dark Wave / Horror Synth / Wave Wave tracks in such a short period. But instead, my creative batteries are restored, as if said batteries had a nose and just railed an 8ball of fire cocaine, so I shall crack my figurative music spine, shaking loose the built-up synth fragments lodged in there and get a nice flashback trip, regurgitating this euphoric memory into a brand new track.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you should strike me down I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.