August 7, 2021 — It is always an exciting time for the synthwave community whenever a new project comes onto the scene. Even more so when artists release material really worth listening to — Mark LoProto reports.
This is the first edition of our fortnightly synthwave roundup and is marked by the introduction of a new artist that took a tried-and-true approach to appeal to the masses — by opting to go nostalgic. But that is far from all that hit the circuit recently, as established projects and notable names pushed out new tracks.
Reworking an Original
We start with Irving Force, otherwise known as Adam Skog, who brought to light a new remix to the scene on August 6. This dark/cyberwave artist from Stockholm, Sweden, has been around for some time, but the retooling of his latest release really drew our attention. ‘Sedatives (Starving Insect Remix)’ is a hard-hitting remix of Irving Force’s track ‘Sedatives’ compiled by fellow Swedish artist and doomcore producer, DJ Starving Insect. Starving Insect’s remix has added a dystopian and almost apocalyptic feel that blends futuristic vocals, steady kicks, and distorted basslines that are marginally unsettling, though the beat is highly addictive. Despite the doom and gloom vibe of the original, the remixed track is an upbeat iteration of its namesake title, which actually seems to fit ‘Sedatives’ better than Irving Force’s own.
Breakout Artist Delivers on a Classic Cover
Joining Irving Force in this week full of “new” is Elyxir, an Australian artist that may give other female-led synth projects a run for their money with ‘Mother Mania’. The song is a fun 80s-inspired track that will surely get your feet moving.
Elixir’s unique vocal talent separates her from the crowd, especially in the cover of the Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’. In fact, if Elyxir keeps up the sounds of her cover, we might see her sneaking into darkwave territory (it is hard to top Marylin Manson’s cover featured in House on Haunted Hill (1999), but Elyxir does a wonderful job!)
The 80s Get Some Love
A surprising addition to this synthwave roundup is the first track from new artist Vancelot Prime. His premier track is a wonderful recreation of the classic Knight Rider TV show theme song titled ‘Knight Rider TV Theme (Outrun 21 Summer Version)’.
“Vancelot Prime’s premier track is a wonderful recreation of the classic Knight Rider TV show theme song.”
Vancelot’s version is more hard-hitting, with modernized riffs that add some real power to the track. Though Vancelot Prime is new as a solo artist, he has worked with chillwave outfit Perfect Nothing and darkwave act Strontium Cop on their ‘Terminator Theme 1984’ retrowave remix that was released in November 2020. You may want to watch the official music video below.
If covers are your thing and Vancelot’s ‘Knight Rider TV Theme’ is not enough to satiate your nostalgia, you will want to tune in to Max Cruise’s version of Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’. This one hits a little differently than Loggins’ (original of Top Gun fame.) It is not quite an improvement, though we would hardly call it a step down. Consider it a more successful psycho remake of retrowave. Max Cruise does not add much to Loggins’ track, but its updated audio is welcome.
It is always nice to end a week on a high note, and the last bit of bi-weekly news comes from XENNON who recently released ‘Final Fury’ — an upbeat release that fully embraces the essence of retro and synthwave.
It is the kind of track you can use to introduce someone to synthwave, just so they understand the appeal. ‘Final Fury’ is an inviting creation that blends kicks, guitars, and synth notes for a sound that is faithful to the genre.
Truly, there is never a dull moment in the synthwave community, and Yestermade™ will be back in about two weeks to report of more releases. Meanwhile, you can listen to the tracks mentioned above by following the Yesterwave’s Spotify playlists.