By: Anand Harsh
Longtime fans of Abakus have been tapping their feet and twiddling their thumbs waiting for popular culture to catch up to them. Trends like vaporwave (and the even more ridiculous Simponswave) along with the explosive popularity of the Stranger Things soundtrack have brought a renewed interest to the retro sounds of synths and fascination with its early progenitors. Again, Abakus fans are like "What took you so long?"
Russ Davies has been playing around with synths since the 80's, and in that fallow ground between its dusty relegation to back bins and its newfound renaissance, perfected the anachronistic sound and pleased his niché fan base. Which brings us to the release of Departure tomorrow (October 11), a towering 11-track monolith of delicate synthwork and fun dance hits. While a bulk of the album trucks in this reverb-soaked, earth tone and rugby shirt aesthetic, there are also a number of kickin' house and techno tunes in the mix.
Today we premiere "Storm," which juxtaposes an 80's sound with the early aughts slacker hit, Richard Linklater's Waking Life. The dreaminess of the song reflects directly the dreaminess of the conversation. You can picture the animated characters warping and shifting along with the modulation in melody. More Tangerine Dream than Vangelis (or even S U R V I V E), the new Abakus sound is even crisper than the old (because, well... we all know much better now).
Whether it's the millenial obsession with nostalgia, or the ability of the internet to ressurect incredible art long thought dead, we're not really concerned. Let's look back on the fads of old, this time with giant-framed rose-colored glasses. I know we can do it better this time. Abakus sure can.
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