Starcadian’s Sunset Blood is the best Disco album of the year. There, that’s the short version of this review. It’s a pretty bold statement to make in a year that Daft Punk released their long awaited comeback, but we stand by it. Not that Starcadian’s freshly released début full length record, Sunset Blood, is strictly a Disco album, but it has a strain of authentic Disco running through it’s DNA that puts many contemporary Disco producers to shame. Mixed up with helpings of SynthWave, ElectroPop and TurboFunk it’s the perfect recipie.
Ever since we discovered Brooklyn based producer Starcadian he’s been a particular favourite around these parts, his track Girls Of Midnight clocking in at number three in our top 20 songs of 2012. Nothing about this thirteen track collection of tunes has let us down, and our expectation were high!
A new version of single Ronnie opens the album, it’s funkin’ bass, smooth electric Piano and slightly melancholy vocoding setting the tone for the album, exciting, emotional, electronic music and a badass, soaring, solo. The brooding Robo-Funk of Chinatown is up next. It’s passionate, cinematic, vocals meets rousing vintage electronics approach sending shivers down your spine. Previous favourite Sgt. Tagowski’s high-octane, slap bass fuelled, retro SynthWave meets ChipTune madness is followed by the album version of the single Heˆrt. Heˆrt is a simply beautiful piece of music, A piano led Disco ballad, a Sci-Fi lament that highlights Starcadian’s musicianship, songwriting and production skills perfectly. Spectrum Line, another new tune, is up next delivering it’s big DiscoPop vibes with an R&B twist, all smoothed over with Starcadian’s slightly gritty Electro sounds. The laid back vocoder grooves return on Lovetop, a vintage Disco laden love song, smooth and soulful to the extreme and contrasted with the big ElectroPop of Supersymmetry, probably the album’s Pop highlight. Big beats, slick vocals and catchy choruses all add up to pure synthesizer infectiousness. A New York Indie-Electro feel permeates the dreamy Waters before the album charges into the Cornish assault that is Pompey Pirate, bringing a French Electro epicness to Sunset Blood. Chainsaw riffs and soaring leads scream over a relentless machine beat and cut up, distorted electronics. What follows are three orchestrated, soundtrack pieces. Binary Stars, The Floppy Disk and It Ends Now being classical takes on the themes of Heˆrt, Chinatown and Pompey Pirate. With a John Williams flavour, this trilogy really show off Starcadian’s talent for arrangement as he presents a bombastic cavalcade of rising strings and horns that really get the blood racing. The album plays out on it’s title track, Sunset Blood is enigmatic SynthWave at it’s finest. A mysterious musical exposition, a synthesizer epic that leaves you waiting for the sequel.
It cannot be understated how impressive and confident a début Sunset Blood is for Starcadian. Easily one of the albums of the year. A musical narrative that deftly carries you along with it whist delivering some of the most addictive Disco we’ve heard in a long time. Highly recommended.
♫ Starcadian – Sgt. Tagowski
♫ Starcadian – Supersymmetry
♫ Starcadian – Ronnie (Album Mix)
♫ Starcadian – Pompey Pirate
Starcadian’s Sunset Blood is out now. Pick it up from Bandcamp.
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