Synthwave Sunday: Wice, Self-Titled
Danish dark synthwave act Wice reminds me of why I got so heavily into synthwave in the first place: it’s the feeling, the mood, the vibe that it invokes. It’s a yearning for a past era, a Blade Runner-esque dystopian technocracy that existed only in films and in the world of hazy dreams, aided by our own memories… or what we think we recollect, anyway. It’s the combination of the old and the new, reality and imagination, the past and the future, all smashed together into something that somehow, against all odds, fits remarkably well in the late ’00s cultural landscape.
Gunship’s Dan Haigh summed it up perfectly in a 2017 interview with Dread Central:
“The history of synthwave is a total mind fuck. When I think about what we do in Gunship it’s something like: channel the feelings conjured by your memories of a past time which had an emotional significance to you, a time which was partially informed by values and events which were, for the most part, contained in the imagined non-reality of certain filmmaker’s movies, partially mixed with your own experience of actual events, then express those feelings using decades old technology connected by any means necessary to ultra modern technology while attempting to create something fresh and original.”
What’s even more remarkable about Wice, with Haigh’s quote in mind, is that the guy is a fucking baby! Look at these photos on Wice’s Facebook page — a child! Relative olds like me (at a ripe 36) and Dan Haigh at least kind of sort of remember the ’80s, even if those memories were distorted by being super young, in awe of the world around us and unable to fully comprehend which parts of the era’s art were fiction and which weren’t. But Wice? I’d be shocked if he has even that fuzzy a recollection of the ’90s.
Who gives a fuck, though, right?? The music is fucking sick, and that’s what matters most. Maybe it takes a truly fresh perspective to knock it out of the park in this genre, and that’s exactly what Wice has done on his new self-titled album, released last week via NewRetroWave. The tones are perfect, the sonic layering is sublime, the melodies are masterful and the songs, most importantly, are smashes.
The youth are alright. I’d even venture to say the youth fucking rule. There is hope for the world after all.