Synthwave Sunday

Synthwave Sunday Premiere: Mega Drive, “Source Code”

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There are times when press copy (and premieres like this one) tout artists as “pioneering,” “revolutionary” or “influential,” and more often than not that’s all fluff, or at the very least a healthy bending of the truth.

Then there’s the pioneering, revolutionary and influential dark synthwave act Mega Drive, for whom all those superlatives and a dozen more ring 100% true. Mega Drive’s 2014 banger 198XAD completely changed the game, pushing syntwhave into a decidedly darker, grittier and heavier direction and ushering in an era that saw the genre’s popularity explode into the metal world and the mainstream while expanding its own contained universe.

After exploring plenty of sonically diverse territory in the years since, Mega Drive has returned to the dystopian world of his most acclaimed work with a direct sequel, 199XAD. Following the hard-charging first single, “Gun Hag,” and the mid-paced, groove-laden “SKULjammer,” I am proud to premiere a more introspective number, “Source Code,” from Mega Drive’s latest. “Source Code” might be on the slower side, but it’s no less hard-hitting, with layer upon layer of analogue synths and a haunting, melancholy, cascading arpeggio that drives the chorus hook. It’s Mega Drive doing what Mega Drive does best, hitting you right in those retro-futuristic nostalgia feels.

199XAD comes out on October 4 via FiXT Neon; pre-order here.

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