I’m not gonna lie, it feels kinda weird to resurrect my Retrocution column for the first time in more than a year… with an artist who, by his own account, has been actively trying to move away from “conventional” synthwave for a while now. But for James Kent, I’ll make an exception.
After all, Kent’s work as Perturbator was one of my earliest exposures to synthwave. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as big a fan of this music — maybe a fan at all — if not for Dangerous Days. So even though my tastes within the genre have since shifted a bit more toward the pop end of the spectrum, I tend to listen whenever Kent drops something new — conventional or otherwise. And in the case of his latest effort, Lustful Sacraments, the listen proved to be quite an excellent one.
Synthwave is one of those genres that has become a go to for metalheads due to its horror movie kinship, its wildly creative sound and its imagery which at times can mirror some of extreme metal’s most enduring gorehounds. Perturbator and James Kent have been at the tip of this spear since Terror 404 back in 2012 and has shown more and more growth and depth on each successive album. Now, with Lustful Sacraments, the band dive further into the industrial side of the synth coin but do so in a way that doesn’t leave anything behind. Think of it as an experiment gone incredibly right.Head inside for an in depth discussion via The Nine Circles Audio Thing.
We got a quick one for you today, folks. French synthwave veteran and Lazerdiscs newcomer Aru put out a new track called Fighting Hatred that builds on the dark, dreamlike atmosphere and the French Touch style that he has been known for since he started writing synthwave songs at the tender age of fourteen. His nostalgic brand of upbeat and ethereal pop has been featured on a number of compilations and zines and even on national TV in France. High accolades, but it’s well deserved and it’s what drew Lazerdiscs to ARU in the first place.
On Friday, Lazerdiscs Records announced Introspection, the debut album from French synth act Billy Mays Band. Over the album’s eight tracks, producer Kevin — nope, he’s not actually named Billy Mays — concocts an entertaining blend of synthwave and retro guitar rock. In an increasingly crowded synth landscape, it winds up being quite a memorable listen.
Ahead of the album’s release on August 30, Nine Circles is pleased to share a premiere of Introspection‘s second track, “Videostore.” Hit the jump to give it a listen!