Future 80’s Records
March 2, 2017
Buy at Bandcamp
Turbo Drive is the first mini album released by Synthatiger, a trio comprised of Andre Neumann, who has composed for indie games such as Dux, Redux, and Razion, Dusting Rockville, and Marco Gross. The album itself tells a story, complete with sound effects and vocals, and is synthwave in nature. Is this release worth picking up?
The EP opens with “Synth City,” setting the tone for the rest of the album with its moody synthwave sound, reminiscent of an 80s action/sci-fi film. The melody itself is quite engaging and I love how the piece gradually builds. I could do without the sound effects but they do help establish the scenario. The titular tune, “Turbo Drive” exudes an 80s sound and offers a more engaging sound with the addition of the electric guitar. The vocals certainly fit the tune and help to amplify the 80s sound, but I could personally do without them. For those wishing for a non-vocal version, there is an instrumental version included on the EP. Likewise, “Beyond the Grid” also includes vocals that I wish were absent, in part due to the fact they sound overall cheesy, but the edgy sound of this tune, particularly in the bass line, is pretty nice overall and helps to drive the piece along. There is also an instrumental version of this tune. “Away from the Galaxy” features spacey synths and has a softer soundscape compared to the rest of the album. There is a bit of a chillstep vibe from the piece and the melody itself is quite beautiful. It’s certainly the highlight of the release for me.
There are also two remixes to be found on the release. The first, “Turbo Drive (Workout RMX by Dr. Future),” does, in some ways, remind me of something you might hear on an 80s workout video. There is a more synth driven feel to this piece compared to the original and the lack of vocals certainly is a welcome approach, in my opinion. The end result is quite enjoyable and really does justice to the melody of the original. The other, “Beyond the Grid (RMX by The Megadrives)” is a stellar contribution to the EP, featuring gritty FM sounds, ethereal synths, and some extended sections of the original. As with the other remix, the vocals are absent, allowing the instrumental aspects of the original to be accentuated by the heavier sound. Of the two, this is certainly my preferred remix.
Turbo Drive is an interesting synthwave release. While it isn’t entirely my cup of tea, due to the vocals making the tunes in which they are present sound a bit too cheesy, fans of synthwave in general will find something to enjoy. If you enjoyed the music of Hotline Miami or Furi, this might be worth looking into, but while the melodies are nice, I’m not entirely sold on the overall sound.
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Posted on September 18, 2017 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on September 18, 2017.