Got a good chance today to sit down and talk to a young New York City based synthwave producer with a polished sound akin to a grizzled old man that has been toiling away on his tracks perfecting every second to get it all to fit in a sonic way to please all ears.
1.What Started you in electronic music?
I come from a very musical family, everyone played instruments growing up so my parents gave me a trumpet one Christmas and from there I played in school jazz bands and such. I absolutely hated playing other people’s music in a band because it felt limiting and wasn’t really showing my potential. In middle school music class, my jazz band instructor realized this and let me join the other half of the class that was being taught Propellerhead’s Reason where I was first introduced to music production.
The first albums I ever owned were given to me by my dad and were Paranoid by Black Sabbath, and a greatest hits album by Weird Al Yankovic. That basically molded what I listen to today which is tons of metal like The Sword, Portal, and Blood Ceremony and cheesy pop music like Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX who are both personal favs. More recently I’ve been getting into this insane psych rock scene coming out of Australia with bands like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Pond. In termsof synthwave my favorite artists must be Tonebox, Mitch Murder, and Lazerhawk. I just absolutely adore everything they do and they each have such a distinct sound that they do so well.
3. Favorite hardware/Vst’s and any secrets to getting that signature polished tone?
So I like to commit that one crime everyone in synthwave talks about which is that I only use software. I use Propellerhead’s Reason and that’s basically about it. Only VST I really use is OTT by Xfer Records and no hardware. This is because I’ve just grown so comfortable with Reason even as it stands as kind of a controversial DAW in the scene since it didn’t have VST support until last year 2017. Reason is just as capable as every other DAW with no plug-ins and a lot of people don’t believe that, so they tend to stay away from it because it works different with its unique rack system. I want this stigma against Reason to go away and for more people to give it a shot because its honestly worth it.
4. Where would you like the scene to go?
I’m usually not the one to be telling people what to do with their music so I view the general synthwave scene as a good balance of a lot of stuff. If you want that new-retro sound, it exists. If you want that pure 80s sound, it exists and if you want a more modern forward-thinking style, it exists too. It all depends on where you look in the end. Maybe the one thing I want to see more is more themed synthwave like more concept albums or something outside the basic themes like space and cyberpunk action and such. A medieval concept album would be so sick with dungeon synth influences and Renaissance era melodies.
5. Any Closing statements
I’d like to give a shoutout to my boys over at Interval Audio which isn’t a synthwave label but released my most recent tune “Neuromancy” under their Elan Vital album. Love everyone over at that team. Also I’d like to share that I got tons of stuff in the works with some singles, remixes, and an EP coming in the Summer so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that because that should be fun. And of course I’d like to thank the team over at Recall FM for letting me on this awesome program!
Odd Color – Neuromancy (Out now on Interval Audio)
Odd Color – Activation Disk