Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Is It For Flash Arnold

Flash Arnold has certainly been a prolific producer of rivetting and engaging synth experiences in 2012. The artist's penchant for truly rockin 80s synth masterpieces is most apparent on his new EP, This Is It. Four chapters of gloriously written and arranged synth gold await us and the experience goes a long way to showing how this producer's prowess for the classic 80s sounds is the dictionary definition of top-shelf.


The title track opens up with a methodically arranged aesthetic that feels almost workmanlike in it's delivery, but it draws the listener deeper with every bar of chrome-smooth synth work. The real highlight of this track in particular is the lead guitar. The amount this adds to the energy and ambience of the track is absolutely monstrous. The solos wail over ethereally swirling synth melodies and the crushing rockumental riff that completes the track is thoroughly energising.

The Flash Arnold sound is fast becoming iconicised by the electric lead guitars that provide the perfect harmonic contrast to the melodious synths. This is taken to the next level in track two, The Final Chase. What would normally be considered a hypnotising and calming excursion in keyboards becomes a volatile crescendo of rockin raucousness thanks to the sublimely implemented guitars. Flash Arnolds has proven that high action soundtrack synth is even more engaging with the six stringed axe swining wildly for the fences.

The authenticity of the production enhances the rhythms and melodies even more with every instrument feeling correct, and never appearing jarring or out of place. This in itself is a magical achievement for any producer wanting to get the 80s sound down perfectly. The New Wave melodies Flash Arnold channels from the heavens themselves makes things feel even more wonderfully retro.

It's these authentic melodies that can be experienced the most succinctly on the EP in Flash Workout. Shades of Devo eminate through the bassline, but the orchestral stabs, bright synths and ripping guitars take things to a whole new level. The timing and arrangements are utterly flawless, each element is finely balanced and the end result is textbook 80s magic. This has instantly become my favourite Flash Arnold experience thus far, totally radical and rockin to the max.

This Is It rounds out it's quadrilogy of quality soundquakes with the menacing Shadow Runner, a much darker and nihilistic piece of sountrack synth that beats with panic and steps in time with danger. The music is allowed much more ambience to evolve without the pressure of hooks and riffs, keeping itself in a state of encapsulated darkness that allows the listener's imagination to be captured and enslaved through a Siren's call of melodic malice.

Flash Arnold's latest EP feels delightfully concise and complete throughout all it's chapters, each soundscape bears it's own complete identity and it shifts moods like high end sportscar shifts gears, often resulting in just as much of an adrenaline rush to the listener.

This Is It is presented by Aphasia Records on their Bandcamp page here and is definitely a Synthetix Reference Experience, all lovers of classic 80s sounds should pick up as soon as possible and enjoy it as often as possible.

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