Wave // Breaker – The G

The G, an “LA guy in Singapore,” burst onto the scene this year with his debut album Postcards from LA which the man himself describes as “a love letter to the California coast. I made it while I was preparing to leave, and wanted to express my feelings for the stretch of coast from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara—which has so much romance for me. It’s a deeply nostalgic record, which to me conveys warmth with maybe a touch of sadness.” His sophomore release, Cosmopolis, is very much attuned in the same way as it’s been touted as a “retro-futuristic road trip” since its release. “It’s still road music” The G declared. “So in that sense it is similar to Postcards. But it’s about the future, with all its promise and foreboding, and it’s about the romance of looking up to the stars and wondering what’s out there.” The G went on to elaborate, explaining that “I think it has a lot more emotional range than Postcards. So much synthwave is emotionally monotonic—like, “summer, summer, summer” or “dark, dark, dark.” Cosmopolis is a bit of both. There are upbeat songs, like “Arcology” or “Reunited,” and moody ones, like “Shadows in the Neon Rain” or “Stars That Fade.” I’m not always in the same mood, so why should my music be? I’d rather take listeners on a journey. A lot of my favorite albums take that approach, like 88:88.”

Wave // Breaker – Robots With Rayguns

Synthwave is, in many respects, a hard musical genre to nail down and many disagree as to what exactly categorizes any particular act as such beyond the simple utilization of synthesizers. While most might immediately conclude that it involves imitating the sounds of the 1980s, there are those who blur that decade divide and bring in influences from the 1990s as well. Such is the case regarding Robots With Rayguns, an act which has been in the scene for quite a number of years now, who describes themselves as being “inspired by 80s and 90s electro, breakbeat, and RnB.” Indeed, with catchy beats and a healthy dose of vocal sampling, one gets the sense that their music would have been right at home in a dance club from that era or featured quite prominently on MTV alongside La Bouche and C+C Music Factory.

Scandroid – Monochrome

When Detroit based artist/producer Klayton, known also for his electronic-rock project Celldweller, debuted his new synthwave project of Scandroid last year it was met with overwhelming critical acclaim and fanfare. The self-titled album was a wonderfully written and performed piece of cyberpunk oriented synthwave, weaving an interesting and compelling story within, which brought together a well rounded auditory experience that begged to be listened to all the way through from start to finish as a result. With such a highly successful and equally praised debut the main question to ask, now with the release of Monochrome, is “does the follow up rise to the same level as it’s predecessor, perhaps even going beyond, or does it suffer from a sophomore slump?”