Cassetter is the brainchild of Polish producer Mateusz Wajs. His debut album, “The Fugitive” features ten tracks and four remixes of postmodern Synthwave. I really dig the aesthetic of this release. The cover artwork is electric and purple. It features a silhouetted figure standing on a stairway leading up to futuristic looking play/pause above a neon-soaked city.
“The Fugitive” has a concise low end throughout that is frequently sidechained to the kick. This creates a pulsing vacuum effect/illusion that’s all the rage right now in the age of the DAW. This leaves plenty of “air” and space up in the higher frequencies allowing Cassetter to create a atmosphere with saw leads, ping-pong arpeggios, noise sweeps, and various other spacey sounding pads.
If you’re into the futuristic Synthwave vibe, I’m confident that you’re going to enjoy this one. “The Fugitive” is like one continuous song that refuses to let up. Its best moments are found in the catchy “Chased by the Hammerhead Robot,” the almost Eurythmics sounding lead in “Drive through the Night,” the bassy “Neon Towers 2,” and “Eyes with a Soul” which features the always amazing Megan McDuffee. Overall, “The Fugitive” is accessible, something worth dancing to, and an easy listen. I think it’s worth checking out.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Synthwave-heads looking for a solid album to add to their playlists, people who like to dancing to heart-pounding bass-driven rhythms.
Stand-out tracks: “Chased by the Hammerhead Robot,” “Drive through the Night,” “Neon Towers 2,” and “Eyes with a Soul” (feat. Megan McDuffee & Time Travel)
Album Color Profile: #4A148C
You can find all things Cassetter at https://cassetter.bandcamp.com/
Let’s face it, 1980s inspired Synthwave/Outrun has lost a lot of its novelty over the last three years. Despite this, producers are still creating content for a genre MASSIVELY overflooded with projects. A lot of these projects aren’t so much actual Synthwave as they are other genres of music. Since when did Synthwave become the buzzword that opened doors in our search engines for producers who aren’t actually producing Synthwave?
Enter Retrodict. A Synthwave producer from Romania who produces actual Synthwave. Retrodict’s sophomore album “Marble Desert” is nothing short of what it claims to be. It’s fun, instrumental Synthwave that has that classic 1980s sound that we all love. Everything is here to help bring about nostalgia in even the most weather-torn synthwarrior: A pulsing low-end, dreamy synthesizers, and an attitude right out of the 1980s. “Marble Desert” sounds like a moody B-movie about a cop gone rogue. “Eyes on You” was my absolute favorite cut as it stands out as the most nostalgic and beautiful—at least to me. “Road Blasters” was also a nice change up from the overall tone of “Marble Desert.” It features reFX sounding guitar leads that remind me a little bit of Dance with the Dead. After spinning “Marble Desert” several times, I kept feeling like I was listening to early Perturbator a la “Nocturne City,” which is just fine by me. As a synthwave fanatic I eat this sort of thing up. And if you happen to be a hardcore purist of the genre, I suspect that you’ll love it too.
Overall, Retrodict has released a solid album. “Marble Deserts” has a modest run time, a clear production value, and an accessible sound that will be familiar to everyone who loves genuine Synthwave.
Protip: put this album on while you do your daily workout routine.
Stand-out tracks: Eyes on You (the best track imo), the title track “Marble Desert,” and “Road Blasters.”
RECOMMENDED FOR: Synthwave purists, retro-addicts, and children of the 1980s.
Album Color Profile: #311B92:
You can find all things Retrodict at https://retrodict.bandcamp.com/
Alpha Chrome Yayo’s “The 19th Hole” is a golf-inspired album that feels like the missing link between synthwave, vaporwave, and pure 1990s nostalgia. It made me feel like I was being transported into a world where the sport of golf was the highest good and everything else could go straight to hell.
What’s magical about “The 19th Hole” is how incredibly visual it is. Every song on this release has a story, and with it comes a full experience that gave me memories I didn’t even know I had. I even felt a sad at times, because I knew these memories weren’t even mine. They belong to all of us–and to me this is the biggest strength that “The 19th Hole” has going for it.
Have you ever gone on YouTube just to watch old corny commericals from the 1980s and 90s? Remember how badass the “Crossfire” theme was? Well, Alpha Chrome Yayo does that for golf.
The golfing theme to ACY’s “The 19th Hole” might sound like an odd artistic decision–but it works out beautifully. Are you looking for fresh feels? Then grab your clubs and get your ass on the green. Tee off starts in one hour.
Don’t worry–you’re home now. Pressing play has never been this exciting.
RECOMMENDED FOR: People who want nostaligic feels, lovers of golf, lovers of Synthwave, Vaporwave, 90s Sega Saturn FMV games
Stand-out tracks: In the Clubhouse (After Hours), Sweater Round the Shoulders (And One for the Waist), Power Drive (ft. Danny Madigan), Where the HELL is that Caddy?!, The Smell of the Green
Album Color Profile #196F3D
You can find all things ACY at alphachromeyayo.bandcamp.com