I. AM. IN. LOVE. WITH. THIS. While I consistently toot the horn of metal, I have a deep love for the retrowave/synthwave movement that has arisen. I was born in the early 80’s and this style is such a great throwback for those of us who remember that time. I’m also a big fan of cyberpunk, which is a huge influence for many of the artists in this niche genre. Dancing Killer feels like it could be a soundtrack for something like Blade Runner, Akira, Robocop…you get the idea. Its dark and exciting, almost sexual. Finland’s NightStop (real name Ere Ek) has been releasing this kind of music since about 2013 and I’m so upset I never knew about it. In the past 2 years, I have found many retrowave artists to get into. If you haven’t really heard anything like this or are unsure, Zeta (containing Tesseract vocalist Dan Tompkins and Chimp Spanner mastermind Paul Ortiz) is a great group that might help the transition. While Zeta is definitely more reliant on vocals (but if you had Dan Tompkins singing for you, you would be too), the style is essentially the same. NightStop sounds like you’re driving through a futuristic dystopian metropolis at night. It helped that I actually was driving home late at night when I first listened to this. It was perfect mood music. The first song, “Flesh” starts out with a drum intro before settling into its groove. There’s a great sax part that comes in that adds the essential touch of noir that really helps define this type of music. The next song is the title track, which is a little faster and heavier. It has a little more of a deep house sound that makes it sound like into music for Knight Rider or something. There’s a great little bass line that almost is Seinfeld-like due its emulation of slap ‘n’ pop funk bass. “The Cage” is a little softer and more upbeat that the other songs (honestly this record in general is a bit more on the upbeat side that previous albums). It would be great with female vocals on top of it. Its mellow but still very deep. If you’ve never listened to retrowave, its not like trance music where you tend to get lost in it…its very much like a soundtrack for what you’re doing. I like to call it “Active music”. it makes you feel like you’re a part of it or its a part of you.
Many of you out there may not be into electronic music, and that’s cool. Its hit or miss with me. But as someone who has taken a great liking to this particular subgenre (as well as being the perfect age for dark 80’s retro music), this is a great album and does the job as well as any can.