Pittsburgh based SynthWave producer Betamaxx has just dropped his début album, Interface. We’ve been following Nick Morey tunes for a while now, and as far as the current crop of emerging SynthWave artists go, he’s up there with the best. He’s also not afraid to go off track either, injecting his work with sometimes surprising elements.
Interface kicks off with You Can’t Catch Me, a pseudo-Intro piece before launching into the album proper with Contra. Contra sets the tone for the record with its jackhammer Italo beats that play against bright pads and starlight leads. Betamaxx goes further down the path of melody with this release, each track, rather than a collection of layered arpeggios, delivers intertwining melodies, beautiful moods and a surprising array of influences. Of course, there’s your typical ‘80’s movie soundtrack inspired pieces like East Coast Summers and The Sure Thing, but there’s a smattering of Electro-Funk on Betamaxx’s ode to Yamaha’s DX7. DHHeaven and Nu-NRG of Silicon Dreams. On the whole what impresses the most about this album is the musicality of it, just check out Adrenaline Lust for some seriously deft fingered soloing. Not just for lovers of 80s revival music, but for all synth music fans, this album should definitely be investigated. If there’s one criticism I could apply to Betamaxx, it’s this, and to be honest this doesn’t just apply to Betamaxx, but the current SynthWave scene at large. Interface comes just four months after Betamaxx’s last album, Lost Formats. These two albums could have really been cherry picked and merged into one truly stunning piece of work. And that happens a lot on the SynthWave scene, people releasing albums of everything they do every five minutes. I guess the message is, you don’t need to release every single track you write, exercise extreme quality control and only release the best of your best, and give your releases time to breathe. One album a year is a lot for most artists. Right now the SynthWave scene is descending into a by producers for other producers mind-set, which is great fun and all very nerdy, but for the scene to gain the wider recognition it so badly deserves. Still, Betamaxx’s Interface is an excellent example of forward thinking SynthWave right now.
♫ Betamaxx – Contra
♫ Betamaxx – DXHeaven
♫ Betamaxx – East Coast Summers
♫ Betamaxx – Adrenaline Lust
Betamaxx’s Interface is out now.
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