Team Sweatwave is a Synthwave super group who’s main source of inspiration is old VHS aerobic videos from the 1980s. The team includes some really talented producers: Turbo Knight, YORU 夜, Dimi Kaye, Gyrff, and Polemic Heart. Their first album, entitled “Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” features eleven heart pumping tracks of authentic aerobic Synthwave action.
On the cover of “Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” are four beautiful specimens of human perfection who want to see you work it until you can’t work it anymore. The two women have that classic 80s look, perm and all (oh god I can smell it), while the two men stand together yoked as all hell with their perfect smiles and steroid fueled Mr. Universe physiques. I am particularly drawn to the the man on the left who’s standing next to the Dolly Parton wannabe. One of his eyebrows are cocked upwards in such a way that tells me everything I need to know about him.
“Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” is unique in that it goes in a completely different direction than the wide majority of releases made by Synthwave producers. There are ZERO songs (count ‘em) that feel like the long lost soundtrack to dystopian city or driving fast here. This is an album that will go good with anyone’s workout—just in time for Summer.
One of my first memories was watching my mom and my aunt do aerobics in their legwarmers and headbands to Jane Fonda in our small living room. Over the years that followed, I eventually joined in the madness. We were always trying new workout videos. I did everything: Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, Jazzercise, Buns of Steel, and later on in the 90s Billy fucking Blanks’s Tae Bo. Considering all of this, “Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” is really special to me on a personal level. It relates to something I directly experienced myself as I was growing up. While listening to this album, I actually found myself doing some of the old arm exercises that I haven’t bothered to even think about in near twenty years.
Musically, the thing I appreciate most about “Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” is the inclusion of so many tracks with vocals. In a world flooded with elevator music masquerading as Synthwave, it’s quite frankly a breath of fresh air. Mandi Mae’s vocal contribution on the opening track “Limber Up!” was really hitting me in all the right places. I felt like I was back in my old living room working out and having fun. There’s even some surprise hip hop influence creeping in towards the end of the album with “Pulling at My Dreams.”
If I had to pick the best overall track on the album I would say that the honor goes to the absolutely pumping “Rage of the Tiger.” Dimi Kaye’s guitar work really makes that track something special by keeping focus and energy in all the right places. Like seriously–once you turn that song on you’re going to be motivated to start doing sky punches in your kitchen.
“Agents of S.W.E.A.T.” is a tribute to a culture that is all but dead in 2020. It’s like listening to an old workout video from the 1980s. So if you’re even remotely interested in hearing what that sounds like, or you’re an aerboic veteran who’s looking for a nostalgic look into the past—check this out. Just remember to bring some water. You’re going to need it.
RECOMMENDED FOR: People looking for a good soundtrack to workout to, folks who need tunes suitable for a montage, Synthwave fans, and people who have the rage of the tiger.
Stand-out tracks: “Rage of the Tiger,” “Limber Up!”, “King & Queen – Album Mix,” and “Strength, Speed, and Suave,”
Album Color Profile: #CCFF00
You can find all things Team Sweatwave at https://teamsweatwave.bandcamp.com/