Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jordan F In The Slipstream

By Jerry Herrera

The truly beautiful and rewarding thing about being a fan of Synthwave is that it’s very much like watching the birth of a universe:  planets clumping together, stars being born in the furnaces of heaven, clouds of pastel gasses unfurling across a twinkling abyss, and gravity pulling all of it into rhythm and form.  It’s so rewarding to see new producers pop up but at the same time there are those celestial structures that were there when the music gods first said “Let there be Synth.”

Jordan F is one of the first names I came to know when I first fell in love with the genre.  Over the past two years or so, he’s been diligently and consistently putting out singles, an EP and a handful of remixes all of which explore different avenues of synth but none missing the mark.  While other producers may have struggled early on to find their voice (so to speak), Jordan F just seemed to grasp the concept, the “feel” of synth.

Finally Jordan F gives us a full length album, Slipstream.  Fans will automatically recognize 'Abandoned Streets' which I feel is a seminal track and the video by Neros77 stands out as one of the genre’s best.  It’s a slow drive down the alleys of a futuristic nightmare, complete with acid rains and nuclear dust storms sweeping across the desolate wasteland.  If you’ve never heard of Jordan F, consider this his business card.

Making a sudden turn down a completely different avenue is 'Take Flight'.  This is easily my favorite track on the album because it’s just so damned cool.  An easy, pleasant bassline with those familiar power snares and some trance like guitar strings all come together to make perfect cruise music for this transition between summer and autumn.  'Into the Night' follows a somewhat similar formula but with a little more rock thrown in as there is some killer guitar shredding and some power chords in the background.  I should also note that Jordan F is one of the only guys who can make a synthwave drum arrangement and bassline worthy of the hip hop head nod.

'Space Romance' takes the ‘80s love theme and puts a sci fi/OutRun spin on it, with scintillating synth melodies and ever so soft, delayed guitars behind them.  The last minute and fifteen seconds is just pure, haunting bliss and the track creates a sense of travel, and an image of two people crossing oceans of stars to be together.  'Night Wave' is a return to more traditional sci fi synth with a little OutRun thrown in, and while I’ve named 'Take Flight' as my favorite track; I do have to recognize the gorgeous brilliance of 'Hologram Rose' which is another slow, chilled track that is both emotionally evocative and soothing to hear.  While Jordan F chooses to focus on the sci fi sound, it is evidenced by tracks like this that he also understands what makes a song draw out emotions and nostalgia.

Closing out Slipstream is one final race to the stars with 'So Close' before we return to the post apocalypse with 'Abandoned Streets (Part II)' which plays with some melodies and pads that may not have made it into the first version but retaining the grit and terror of the original.

Being one of the first shining stars of Synthwave doesn’t excuse anyone from slouching or putting forth a half-assed effort and it’s clear that Jordan F knows we expect great things from him.  Indeed, Slipstream takes us from the mutant infested streets of the dystopian future to cosmic heights populated with star crossed lovers, and then back down again with the earnest effort and natural talent of a guy that’s been around the block a few times.  Jordan F continues to be on point and his vision couldn’t be more clear.

Rosso Corsa Records presents Jordan F’s Slipstream on their Bandcamp page here. This album stands out from the crowd in its polish and the make up of the tracks, everything manages to sound so well thought out and constructed while remaining passionate and emotional. Slipstream comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and has proven once again that patience in waiting for something great certainly pays off.

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