By Kaleb Alfadda
Malachy 'Danger Mode' Robert's newest album, 'Activation' is the first full-length album we've had from Danger Mode since April of last year. The album, described by the man himself as "49 minutes of exhilarating OutRun and Synthwave" deliver exactly that. In a short description, it's the best stuff from the last year in the genre combined into a sweet package bolstering with summer vibes.
The album begins with the self titled stand-out track 'Activation'. Beginning with waves of synth, painting a grand view of 80s title-themed goodness. Ripping right to business tom fills bring us to a hypnotic arpegiatted synth line. A true staple of OutRun music. Staying true to the theme of OutRun music, Danger Mode has perfected this sound and begins to evolve it throughout the rest of the journey.
'Beach Waves' begins with a similar feeling of 'Activation', but if it was soaked in sun, sand and lots of pretty babes. This song is what OutRun is meant to be, simplified yet complex enough to be a staple for anyone and their "driving tunes". Yet at the same time this song plants itself poolside for a feeling of nostalgic fun and partying. No summer jam is complete without a bitchin' solo, if that's the kind of stuff that floats your boat, prepare to sail the neon soaked waves.
Immediately following is 'Electrified', grabbing your attention with a ripping bass groove and some punchin' percussion. Earlier I had mentioned the album evolving over time. This is because the same OutRun and Synthwave under and overtones are apparent throughout. Danger Mode always brings something new to the table, and as 'Electrified' begins to unravel we (the listener) get a sense of a romanticized melodies that are guaranteed to keep your moving.
Danger Mode has an obvious soft-spot for those 80s heartthrob moments, because we're brought back to those exact moments with 'Sunset Interlude'. In the same sense that 'Beach Waves' give you the warm and energetic vibes of poolside fun, 'Sunset Interlude' give you a real soft and emotional perspective of that. The use of padded chords are fantastic here.
And then 'Elimination' plays.
I've always been under the impression that this kind of music can either be happy, and light, or dark and glooming. Danger Mode mends both of these feelings into one kickass song. This one is a MUST play. Absolutely beautiful uses of panning and noise, creating a dense and unforgettable atmosphere.
Danger Mode is a staple of the OutRun and Synthwave genres, and with masterpieces like this, in an era where over-saturation is something we see everyday, Danger Mode manages to take the very best, most memorable aspects of these genres and melds them into something new, refreshing and inspirational without ditching his roots. This album comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and is available for purchase in digital formats on Danger Mode's Bandcamp page here.