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17 dec. 2019

2019: De favoriete releases van Alpha Chrome Yayo

Het is december, de laatste maand van het jaar. Nog even en 2020 gaat beginnen. Een mooi tijdstip om terug te kijken op een schitterend jaar vol gave nieuwe synthwave releases. In deze special komen de favoriete releases voorbij van verschillende artiesten. We gaan verder met Alpha Chrome Yayo, ¨synthwave´s hottest producer¨.

It´s December, the last month of the year. In a bit, 2020 will begin. A great time to look back on a wonderful year full of cool new synthwave releases. In this item we talk about the favorite 2019 releases of different artists. We go further with Alpha Chrome Yayo, ¨synthwave´s hottest producer¨.

Alpha Chrome Yayo - Twirl

It’s been a strange year for me in a lot of ways, but something that has remained constant and heartening throughout 2019 is a deluge of utterly tremendous music being released in the synthwave scene and adjacent circles.

Here are a few personal favourites of mine from the last twelve months or so. Suffice to say, this is just the tip of the tinsel-covered iceberg. To list all the releases that I’ve spent wonderful time with would take up far more space than I should be allowed here, so I’ll try to keep it tight.

But before I get stuck in, just a quick word of thanks; this music and the creators behind it mean a tremendous amount to me. Synthwave as a whole might come from a place of nostalgia, but the emotion that these artists inject into their work goes far beyond rose-tinted spectacles. There is a retro sensibility, sure, but this is music is new, it is exciting, it is vital. And it has inspired my own work to no end.

In no particular order…

Bart Graft - The Quiet Earth
Continually defying convention and expectation in the best possible way, Bart Graft released this in September, and it’s rarely strayed far from my stereo since. Cloaked in Greek tragedy, it’s new wave and post-punk with lashings of tasteful shred and balmy, luscious pads.

Faint Waves - Great Blue
With the assured aura of high fashion, this LP of catwalk cool and balearic breeze is completely infectious and eternally in style. And, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s an alternate cut of the opening track, featuring aesthetic maestro AeroStar. Two geniuses at work.

Dimi Kaye - Not Holding Back
Dimi doesn’t just live and breathe outrun; he defines it. And with this hotly anticipated album, he completely embodies the spirit of late-night, dead-man’s-curve synthwave. Full of adrenaline-pumping anthems, this release sounds dangerous, as all outrun should. But beyond that it carries a message of pure positivity and the power of self-belief.

The Less Dead - Static
A recent release, having only come out last week, Static nonetheless slips in here as one of my very favourites this year. It’s clearly a true labour of love for The Less Dead, and is without a doubt their most confident, ambitious release to date. A treasure trove of emotionally charged musical riches, it’s also got appearances from Millenium Falck and Ampholyte, who take it to another level.

Cat Temper - Something Whiskered This Way Comes
Fusing the denim ‘n’ leather radittude of Heavy Metal Parking Lot with the mad-scientist experimentalism of Oingo Boingo, Cat Temper’s ‘Something Whiskered This Way Comes’ is a fur-filled opus of leftfield synthwave. With fist-pumping bangers and groove-soaked jams, it is a wild ride from start to finish; pure joy, distilled.

Danny Madigan - Teletron
Living in the synth-rock end of the spectrum, Teletron sees Danny Madigan fuse electrifying midnight-romance with something more primal and experimental, and it’s an utter joy. While the instrumental numbers are wonderfully explorative, when Danny busts out his kinetic, energising vocals it’s like sticking your fingers into a power-socket.

Board Sports - Get It
Soaked in shimmering azure-tinted synth, Get It is a stunning release from Board Sports, who typify the consummate cool of balmy beachside beats and slick grooves. Even in darkest midwinter, with this album it’s always summer.

MicroMatscenes - Scenes
Mateo of MicroMatscenes is a composer in the truest sense of the word, with such a vast mastery of his craft. The titular Scenes are perfectly formed snapshots of nostalgic vignettes, energised and blasted into 2019 with unbelievably polished performances and songmanship. Genuinely jawdropping.

Gab Manette - Dream Dimension
When it comes to transportative music, Québec’s Gab Manette is a master. With every release, Gab takes the listeners on a sonic journey; be it through idyllic synth or umami chiptune. With Dream Dimension, he takes us on a subconscious adventure that feels more spiritual, more meditative. A sculptor at work, Manette’s sounds are carved from something that is both primal and altruistic; a soul-searching, soothing salve.

Full Eclipse - Expo 2
Alright, I’m calling it. Full Eclipse is some sort of wizard. Thankfully he is using his powers for good, imbuing the tracks on Expo 2 (and everything else he touches) with such life-affirming, healing properties that it can’t possibly be of this world. Where a good album can make your day better, a great album like this can make your whole life better.

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