Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Betamaxx Finds The Right Format

Synthetix has beared witness to the wonderful music from Betamaxx over the past few months and he's now released a full length album compiled from his repertoire. The release is peppered with favourites from his soundcloud and a healthy dose of all new material making for a very compelling experience in quality 80s inspired synth work.

Lost Formats is a rather apt name for this full length record. Apart from the obvious link to Sony's Betamax format, the album carries itself through the spectrum of 80s synth music, from the synth romance beauty of Restless, to the action drama of Pittsburgh Nights and onward through more soundtrack inspired works and then hurtling into the platinum sounds of italo.

The Lost Format itself may be even more an underlying message in the structure of the album, the way that Betamaxx switches gears so beautifully between these styles all on one album is uncommon. The music always sounds true and each piece is loaded with character and individuality. Betamaxx may be a true renaissance man of 80s synth music, putting him in the upper echelons of the scene, for this reason. A distinct love of the sounds and arrangements of our favourite decade is heard radiating through each piece making this album almost akin to a Greatest Hits release you'd be more accustomed to hearing from a seasoned veteran of music production.

One thing that is both refreshing and energising about Betamaxx's music is the track length. This producer is always very succinct with his tracks, seldom going anywhere near four minutes and on average are closer to the two and a half to three minute range. This is very interesting to listen to in an album format. I'm a massive fan of the long form of 80s synth music; sprawling synthscapes that have introductory sections longer than some of the full tracks on this album. But when I listen to Lost Formats each track is a compact microcosm of aural energy. It's like a thirty minute thrill ride that packs so much in in such a short time that you are left exhilerated by it's end and want to get back on it for another ride instantly.

Each track feels complete, it's not as though I wish each track were six minutes long, each composition gets right to down to business and keeps it's message superbly succinct. It's a testament to the song writing that Betamaxx can run a gamut of emotions in barely thirty minutes that many producers would need hours to get through. This format is something that I hope remains found by Betamaxx and isn't lost in the future as it works perfectly and makes for a powerful 80s experience.

With this album under his belt I'm very interested to see what Betamaxx does next. His obvious love of quality 80s music and his ability to create such beautiful homages to the classic sounds mean the sky really is the limit for this producer. Synthetix will be sure to follow this rising star in his glittering journey across the stratosphere in the future.

The Lost Formats album is available on Betamaxx's Bandcamp page here in both digital download formats and CD and LP. I highly encourage every Synthetix reader to pick this up and enjoy a power packed and emotionally charged array of electric 80s synth music.

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