Johnny Fallout - Concentric Circles

Released: March 20

I normally don't go in for anything that leans a little too close to dance music, but this latest release from Johnny Fallout kind of caught me by surprise. Of course, on a very surface level it feels like a dance album with the tightly woven beats and a few well-placed risers. But listening a bit closer reveals some very interesting characteristics, namely it's lightly disguised affinity for the retro-inspired synthesizers that ebbs and flows throughout its runtime, with some tracks leaning in harder and others drifting towards the more modern sounds. Along with these nostalgic elements, there's also quite a bit of variety in the styles of each track - drum and bass, house, jungle, and even some touches of downtempo. 

There were definitely a few tracks that stood out for me. One of the absolute gems on here in my humble opinion is "Flow." It's a bit hard to describe it but I imagine it to be something that would feel at home in just about any inspirational 80s movie scene. There's an epic guitar screaming out over some ear candy synth pads and a reverbed snare snare that would make Phil Collins tilt his head. All of this happening at the pace of a moderate tempo ballad gives me all of the vibes I could ask for in a modernized piece of nostalgia. But I also have to talk about the revamped jungle-like atmosphere that is "Point of Origin." Listening to it immediately sets off memories of intense racing games on the original PSX but it sounds cleaner and clearer like it ditched the RCAs and upgraded to HDMI. Ear candy synth pings dancing around the stereo space make a nice compliment to that old school jungle feel. 

While I personally couldn't get into some of the tracks as they drifted a little too close to house music (unfortunately not my thing), I could still appreciate the tight production and the lovely synth design. But that seems to be a really cool aspect of the album here - there's enough variety that you're bound to find something great on here, even if dancing isn't really your cup of tea.   


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