Midnight Driver - Discotek
Synthwave is an extremely malleable genre – it can be spacey, drenched in cyberpunk science fiction tones - or relaxed, with synths swinging from dreamy neon palms. It can also drag you into the pounding depths of darkwave hell.
It isn't very often, however, that synthwave successfully merges with dance music. Midnight Driver's latest release, "Discotek", does just that – and, most importantly, does it well.
Midnight Driver is the head of Future 80's records a somewhat elusive artist hailing from Bucharest, Romania. “Discotek” marks his fourth and longest release yet, coming in at just over 36 minutes of retro dance madness. This release feels a more polished and cohesive than his previous work – and definitely shows a huge amount of growth and maturity in his sound.
"Discotek" strikes a perfect balance between synthwave and post-disco, nixing the traditional strings and vocals in favor of funky synths, all backed by a relentless, “almost-classic” disco beat.
This high energy release isn't simply a mash of two genres though - it keeps the disco groove going while sliding between the many faces of synthwave. A feat to be admired.
Some tracks like 'Video Love' and 'Rise Of The Artificial' dip their toes into darkwave, while others like “Train To Paris” and “Saturday Night Fever” swing in the other direction towards outrun or dreamwave. Normally, casually strolling through various synthwave themes would give a release like this a disjointed sound, but here we have success – due largely to that continual, driving, deluxe disco beat which really works to integrate the various sounds.
This release is truly fantastic, as is stretches synthwave to these new, dancable sounds, almost creating a genre unto itself. It works so well because it melds retro themes with classic dance music – not the big room wub we've come to see in the 21st century. 'Video Love' and it's accompanying VIDEODROME music video bleeds HPLC verified pure retro cool. It's one of the best tracks I've heard all year.
The seams do show during the mastering. There is a constant record hiss behind the tracks that adds a retro vinyl vibe, but it's too loud and can almost be distracting at times. The negatives of these mastering qualms pale in comparison to the overall value of this release.
This is not one you want to miss. Top tracks: 'Video Love,' 'Discotek,' 'Train to Paris,' and 'Saturday Night Fever.'