We’ve got to be honest, two albums in one year always raises alarm bells for us. There’s a big danger of quantity over quality with such a packed release schedule, and the feeling that there’s no self-editing going on at the production end. In a day and age where everyone just throws up every single thing the do on the internet, for artists trying to create a buzz there’s a strong chance that releases become so commonplace that no excitement exists anymore. That said, we are big fans of Pittsburgh based SynthWaver Betamaxx, who album Interface from January this year we are still loving, and he has just released a new full length record, titled Sophisticated Technology, on Telefuture.
We were pleasantly surprise to find that Betamaxx has kept up his high quality productions throughout 2013 next 13 tracks. The album launches itself on a collaboration with French synth wizard Tommy, Breakthrough, a track that wears it’s more robotic side of the 80s influences on it’s sleeve. A cavalcade of tweaking arpeggios and laser beam synth lines that, whilst futuristic, leans on the side of the optimistic. Dolby Dance and Zenith are next, a chilled Beach vibe slice of retrowave and a hyperactive Italo Pop tune respectively, both showing off slick arrangements but featuring a slightly out of place muted guitar. Maxximum gets things back on track, a pulsating slab of instrumental RoboPop that is as emotionally resonant as it is playful with it’s twisting lead lines. When Redlining 6th kicks off there’s a slight feeling that it;s all over the place, but that soon reveals itself to be organised chaos as the track descends into pinpoint precision, multi layered, driving SynthWave with a hypnotic solo. The enigmatic synthesizer squeaks of Inside Information lead us to Reel To Reel, featuring Mike McG. A heavy Synth Funk tune that pairs B-Boy beats with ghostly vocoded vocals and a storming lead line, sprinkled with just the right amount of metal dance to give it a machine groove. Chrominance and Memorex Discotheque are both frantic, Outrun style tunes that drive the album toward it’s conclusion of the synthesizer relaxation of New Horizons and hopeful euphoric mood of the album’s final, cinematic, track, Remembrance. Overall Betamaxx has beat the odds and delivered a second amazing album in one year, sure there are some really jarring guitars here and there on the record that largely feel tacked on, and some of the hi-octane tunes are a tad by-the-numbers, but on the whole Sophisticated Technology is more killer than filler and well worth your investigation.
♫ Betamaxx (Feat. Mike McG) – Reel To Real
♫ Betamaxx (Feat. Tommy) – Breakthrough
♫ Betamaxx – Maxximum
♫ Betamaxx – Redlining 6th
Betamaxx’s Sophisticated Technology is out now.
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