The Synthwave Radioshow
'life not film'
Best track: five minute window
click album cover to listen
The land down under or ‘Australiawave’ as I like to call it, has produced some fine artists over time and they are no strangers to the synthwave scene. They've been making music of this genre for a long while now with the likes of ‘Jordan F’, the funky ‘Dream Fiend’, and ‘Vast Hill’ to name a few.
And hailing from Sydney, we’ve got ‘LWTHR’ who has been in music production since the late 90s, but has only until quite recently graced us with his presence & impeccable music taste with big influences from the likes of; ‘Madonna’, ‘Daft Punk’ and ‘Chvrches’.
Having already released a sizeable number of banging tracks and EPs within the last 18 months, his most recent one ‘Life Not Film’ is a truly epic 6 track gem that must be listened to! Written and produced by the man himself with mastering and mixing covered by ‘Efilheim’, this compilation is a ‘Coup de Coeur’ for any futuresynth and dreamwave fans.
Starting on the side of subtlety, the opening track aptly-named ‘Opening Credits’ allows you to fall into dreamy cadence giving you a rather dramatic inclination of what is to come. The composition and arrangements here are very poetic, LWTHR makes you feel all sorts of wonders in the short time of a minute & 40 seconds, pretty impressive if you ask me!
We gradually slip into the next track titled ‘Five Minute Window’, which is a more upbeat track with some additional music input by Pretty Glass Folk from the UK. I’d go as far as saying this is just about my favourite track on this EP because it sounds as though it came straight out of an intergalactic interstellar-esque film or documentary. There’s something futuristic and truly ‘beyond’ about “Five-minute Window” and there’s a little bit of an influence here from synth-funk legends ‘Chromeo’ in this baby…minus the singing, which I like.
Another standout track on this EP for me is ‘Zero Sum Game’ which has been stuck on a loop since the moment I started to write this. Such a track puts you in a ‘Life in the fast lane’ kind of mood with the right amount of oomph, trust me when I say you’ll want to take a drive with neon shades on and the roof down to this number. The intensity of the beat with its melancholy and mysterious vibe make you emotional, this thing is deep! This track might be on the broody side but it also has an outrun rhythm to the velocity.
“Just you and Me” comes in three versions, with different styles of one chord progression, and guess what? LWTHR passes the test beautifully! It’s like a love song written in synth, the first version has a slow tempo percussion beat, perhaps something you'd sip a glass of wine to in a chilled-out music lounge. The reprise version is a sensual one as we pay a visit to the grand piano, a fresh and different rendition to the synthesizer. It has been a while since I've heard the classic piano being induced into a synthwave compilation, so it was endearing to hear this reprise of “Just You and Me” being set in this flow. I feel like this could have been the closing track for the EP as just like with ‘Opening Credits’, things are kept down a notch until you awaken once again with the 8-bit Fax Machine Anthem version of ‘Just You and Me’. It’s both mad and alarming picturing the great composers pressing keys with so many emotions and turning into nothing short of a masterpiece. It is safe to say this would be the synthwave rendition, chaotic like something out of a classic video game when you lose control over the gameplay, I love it!
Overall, I am glad to have discovered another fantastic artist from Australia who uses a vast catalogue of different techniques to his sound. He is obviously an artist who gets his kicks from experimenting with different styles and yearns to find the fun in his music. To sum things up, this EP might very well be one of my personal favourites I have come across in recent months, and just in time to see the year out! He’s crammed a diverse mix of elements into a small number of tracks including futuristic, synth-pop, outrun, with some chill and melancholy thrown in for good measure. ‘Life Not Film’ has certain elements give you a sense that there could be a camera rolling out there in the great beyond. Life might very well be one long film…Truman Show spoiler alert!
a visual representation of the album:
if you're in to this, you'll also like:
arwelone, caspro, back to '84 and lost outrider
Marilyn Perrot, 7/10