Synthwave Sunday

Synthwave Sunday: Meteor, Manhattan 2019



For more info on Synthwave Sunday and why we’re doing this, click here. Today’s Synthwave Sunday post is brought to you by special guest columnist Emperor Rhombus!

My whole high school career was a nonstop metal fest, but during college I had a bad patch of listening to tons of electronica. And I’m not talking Godflesh, I’m talking dance music. I’m talking Infected Mushroom and DJ Kaycee. There was a lot of Molly involved. I wore big pants and glo-sticks. At one point, I felt there was a unifying energy that tied together all forms of life, a power that might be known as “love.” It was a fucking nightmare.

Thankfully, I soon after went to Wacken, got my head straightened out, and reaffirmed my metal roots. Since then, I’ve done my best to avoid electronic music and its fans; it’s not that they’re bad people, just that I went so far down the rabbit hole the first time that I don’t want to even mess with the stuff again. So when synthwave first began rearing its head, and when Vince began writing these Synthwave Sunday posts, I politely turned away. No thanks, not for me.

But I can’t help it. My adoration of ’80s horror movies is just too great. I love the stuff.

This week we received a submission from Meteor, a synthwave act from Medellin, Colombia, and it rocks my futuristic cyber-world. The EP, Manhattan 2019, is a driving mix of huge synth cascades, cutting guitar leads, and overall atmosphere perfectly suited to a post-apocalyptic, technology-choked future New York where newspapers announcing walking corpses flap through the streets and female revolutionaries in headbands and puffy vests have firefights with agents of the new world order.

Is there some of that old electronica I so fear in Meteor? Absolutely. “Black Holes” is a total Euro drug party anthem in a lot of ways, and I can totally see a room full of sweaty twenty-year-olds jumping around to this stuff. But there’s just enough of that John Carpenter edge and that Return of the Living Dead theme creep to Meteor that it transcends that sort of modern hippie mentality of which I’ve grown so distasteful. There’s a drama and a power to this that electronica can’t totally grasp, but which it would do well to learn from.

Here’s “Night Riders” from Meteor’s Manhattan 2019. Go to the project’s Bandcamp to get the full EP.

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