Updated: Jan 19
I don't listen to a whole lot of synthwave anymore. Much of it seem to basically be a subgenre of danceable pop music at this point. But I am still always thrilled when I hear an artist keeping synthwave right where it belongs: in the most nostalgic parts of my mind. So when I heard this EP, I was definitely happy to know that there are still artists out there doing so.
Farcaster's debut EP is not exactly an epic, but it is a solid three tracks of 80s nostalgia goodness that reminds me of every action horror sci-fi movie I stayed up to watch in the late hours of the night while my parents were asleep. And I may have given away my age a bit there, but that's fine.
The synth work throughout the EP is solid and spot on. There is everything from the wide stereo space pads to the slightly uneasy arpeggiated leads that drive the music along in a way that creates just enough anticipation to drive things forward. The combination of these elements works fantastically with the comparatively sparse and cinematic percussion utilized. For instance, the track Quadrant 2 provides a cinematic feel in its synth that is paired expertly with hi-hats and a consistent kick. This conservative use of percussion is just enough to get some semblance of rhythm without overwhelming the focal point of each track: those amazing vintage synths.
The best part about this EP, for me at least, was that it felt like a true homage to 80s sci-fi horror. This matches up so perfectly with the aesthetic of the album and the artist's image in general. With so much of synthwave being co-opted by the likes of pop artists like The Weeknd, it is nice to know that there's still artists out there who are keeping synthwave true to its origins.