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Thursday, January 21, 2021

After The Season - Croatian Foundation (track spotlight)

Where We Ever Truly Free??

Croatian producer Anthony Castle has reached out to us here at Skyecity with a selection of beautifully crafted tracks to dive head first into. His project “After The Season” was created in the middle of 2019 and has already gathered a strong base following on Soundcloud of over a thousand listeners. One track that really lodged itself into our brains was “When we Were Free” so lets have a bit of a scan down and see why that was.

If you are looking for a staple judgement of what the atmospheric 80s movie synthwave genre should sound like, After The Seasons release When We Were Free comes pretty damn close! Sometimes in life simplicity can win many a war, as long as you remember to keep as close as possible to your original stand point. We here at Skyecity believe that’s what After The Season were aiming for here.

When We Were Free Is a flourishing; melodic, concept track. One that clearly has its own signature sound but is so heavily grounded in its roots that its very hard to critique. The slow tempo coupled with the melodramatic heavy presence holds a lot of weight in your ears. Its girthy and dense, leaving a lasting memory of nostalgia. Infuse the live distorted guitar and what you have mixed together in my opinion is a true example of the fundamentals of the genre!

Now I must clarify, when I talk about “Concepts” and “fundamentals” this in no way means the track isn’t distinctive! We really enjoyed the route the track took us on, a trudging road through hard times with only fleeting light at the end. The road is one we must all walk eventually, “Man will be what he was born to be, free and independent”. The Bass notes being our over-encumbered steps forward, the guitar being the light leading us through, and the swirling electro-choirs representing the unknown that we must walk head on with.

We really enjoyed getting this song through the tubes where is just sounded syrupy and thick. A masterclass in foundation! With this level of understanding of the genre we definitely think that After The Season is going to perk up on a lot of peoples radar very soon, we just can’t wait for more!

Be sure to check After The Season out on Bandcamp or Soundcloud so you can keep up to date with new releases!

Remember a share for me is a share for you, enjoy! And keep sending me them tracks

*Reviewed using the Schiit Modius DAC / Loki PreAmp EQ / Valhalla 2 OTL Tube Amp / Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro Headphones*

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

L’Empereur Enters the Fight!!

Old Games - New Players!

Every now and then an artist or team will reach out to us here in Skyecity way above the clouds, sometimes they drop us Soundcloud links...and sometimes they really really impress the whole team.

L’Empereur have entered the realm of Darksynth with their EP “Roman After All” and it went straight onto the tubes for some quality treatment! This EP could not have come to me personally at a better time. The infusion of history & archaic influence has sparked a huge interest in me recently, being able to mastercraft sounds from a long gone era and mould them into the futuristic genre we are all here for is something that not only have I not seen before, but something I was HOPING existed. Stay tuned for a full breakdown of our 3 favourites from the EP below:

The EP opens with “knights Of The Temple” (at least in the soundcloud listing order), a well rounded journey of a track. The flow between the stages are clean and crisp, which is important for an over 5minute song! The bass line is dark and punchy that grips you from start to finish, never straying out of its own lane to break the narrative. The mids are effervescent and whispy providing the signature darksynth sound that the big players in the industry commonly go back to time and time again. Remember with dark synth that simple mids and a strong beat are your core aspects, let the highs carry the team through the track. Speaking of, the lead line in the upper frequency is transparent as glass, its exactly where it needs to be which is front and center. It’s piercing to a level that screams “here I am, follow me to greatness” and never becomes too much. Honestly the track was a banger to open to, loved the flow, loved the movie lines in the breakdown, very strong start to the EP!

Ok L’Empereur we need to talk. “Darksynth Dracula” 3rd track on Soundcloud. I feel like my brain was at some point invaded by some cosmic deity and my darkest needs for a synthwave track sucked directly out and beamed to France for you to create. The constant rush, the dread, the nostalgia, its the track I had dreamt of but could never find. Its a clear cut favourite for me from the EP. When this track is playing I’m teleported back to my childhood with Castlevania on full volume as I start my 5th or 6th attempt at the boss. A seriously strong contender in the scene and a track that all retro video game fans will have an instant connection to. My personal pick for best on the EP

The most outlandish and distinct track on the EP in our ears is “The Age Of Rome” and this one is a true curveball. An exploration into what I am now going to call TribalWave! The carefully blended sounds of Conan the Barbarian, Age of Empires, and synthwave massively caught us off guard. Modern drum tracks encase the antiquated drum tracks, synths encase the harps and strings, its such a strange mix kinda works! After dropping in bass breakdowns and some choir tracks L’Empereur are on to a winner with a hugely identifiable sound signature and one that will leave you both puzzled and amazed. Seriously just trust us on this one and give it a listen, you will be converted!! (Wololo)

In conclusion we loved this EP, it provides a strong foundation for the new composer L'Empereur to build from and develop in line with. Their unique angle on composition and cross contamination of genres creates such a fantastic aura that I believe this budding artist is going to be one to watch for the future! We cant wait to hear more from them and look forward to getting in touch again.

Be sure to check L'Empereur out on Bandcamp or Soundcloud so you can experience the whole EP

Remember a share for me is a share for you, enjoy! And keep sending me them tracks

*Reviewed using the Schiit Modius DAC / Loki PreAmp EQ / Valhalla 2 OTL Tube Amp / Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro Headphones*