Berlin based SynthWave producer Norman Knight, better known as Alpha Boy, is fast becoming one of he most prolific artist on the scene. It was only April that he released his last compilation of work, the Blockbuster Album, and he’s already set with a brand new LP. Released today, Heroes On Tape cements Alpha Boy’s status as one of SynthWave’s unsung heroes. How does he keep the quality up?
From the second the album begins, with an intro piece titled Crus’n In 1982, it;s clear that despite his high quantity output, Alpha Boy isn’t just chucking out any old tracks. Heroes On Tape is fourteen track of some of the best ‘80’s inspired Electro around. The album is built around tributes to classic TV shows and movies of the decade. With titles like Master Of The Universe, Macgyver, Harold F., Flux Capacitor, BMX and Starman, the album is is the music equivalent of a night in with a stack of VHS tapes. Continuing the trend seen on Blockbuster, Heroes On Tape keeps the retro soundtrack feel, but moves itself away from standard SynthWave fare with musical nod to classic SynthPop and Pop of the era with rolling drum fills and catchy lead lines. Various tracks take on audio cues too, like Danielson [sic] (as in Daniel San), a homage to The Karate Kid, which gently covers the post-Italo electronics with an oriental feel and the tense sense of urgency found amongst I’m Coming To Get You. Highlights of the album have to be the warm Sci-Fi Italo melodies of Master Of The Universe, which dips and builds and never looses it’s dancefloor excitement. Harold F., a track so full of soaring synth leads that just listening to it is uplifting. Flux Capacitor, which powers along in rapid fire arpeggios, keeping things danceable amidst the hypnotic synths and evocate tones, and the nostalgic electronic pump of BMX. Alpha Boy has delivered another amazingly good body of work here, how he keeps up the pace is anyone’s guess, but he never seems to let the high output damage the music’s quality, in terms of either arrangement or production. Definitely recommended SynthWave.
♫ Alpha Boy – Master Of The Universe
♫ Alpha Boy – Harold F.
♫ Alpha Boy – Flux Capacitor
♫ Alpha Boy – BMX
Heroes On Tape is released today at Alpha Boy’s Bandcamp.
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