D-Noise – Hellraiser – EP Review
Retrowave! Count me in.
It’s kind of funny really…I’m not actually sure just how many people would list Retrowave as their favorite genre, but you’d be extremely hard-pressed to ever find someone that doesn’t dig it. Many people out there would have it in their top-ten for sure if they thought about all the different kinds of music out there, or could look at some sort of a musical-menu or list to help them remember what kind of selection exists. If anything, though it’s based in old-school sounds, it’s the victim of being a newer genre and likely just doesn’t come to people’s minds when Rock, Pop, Alternative etc. are so easy to recall, but I can tell ya based on firsthand experience, just about everyone out there loves good Retrowave if they can find it.
For the rest of you that don’t know where to look & listen, that’s why we exist here. I’ll help you out and point you towards some excellent new stuff happening out of Russia, D-Noise’s latest EP called Hellraiser. Full of dark-alley atmospheres and powerfully rhythmic sounds, D-Noise creates wild moods and music to groove to throughout the four songs in the Hellraiser EP – these are wild & murky tunes that could easily slide right into the soundtrack of your life & fit into it everywhere you can imagine.
“Midnite Fantasy” snaps into its flashy & bouncy sound quickly, establishing that true Retrowave vibe immediately and enticing us in as the seconds tick by with subtle changes to the music that keep us locked into Hellraiser’s first cut. The energy is excellent, the drums keep the movement flowing long & strong…the programming & performance is as tight as the production, and the structure & ideas themselves are of equal caliber – you gotta dig what’s happening here. Strap your headphones on and turn this UP – then go storm the mall or march on the capital…you get the idea…music like this could inspire your days in countless ways. The mix on “Midnite Fantasy” has sparkling clarity from the lefts to the rights…D-Noise is playing within an extremely vibrant & colorful palette of sound and makes the most of every moment in this first introduction to his brand-new EP. It’s got a misty & mythical beginning that quickly snaps into full clarity and riotously rhythmic rad good time, setting the stage for the powerful pulses and melody in the layers on top to shift & move the sounds around throughout its five-minutes in length. Inarguably a perfectly solid beginning and gateway into the Hellraiser EP.
As many times as I’ve spun through this record, I kept coming back to “Spirit Of The Night” as potentially my own personal favorite of the bunch. I think that for the people out there, there’s probably another cut or two that would hit that mark of accessibility a bit quicker than this second tune…but that’s pretty much like splitting hairs – if you like one of D-Noise’s cuts, you’re safe to assume you’ll like’em all. There was just something about the atmosphere of “Spirit Of The Night” that really contained that menace & mayhem in the atmosphere like a complete pro. The switch around the 2:20 mark is as deadly as it gets – that low-end sound is built of pure shadows and darkened hearts – absolutely killer to listen to. Might very well be my favorite transition on this entire record, which might explain why this track seemed to continually appeal to me just slightly more than the rest…not entire sure truthfully. I suppose it just feels like “Spirit Of The Night” puts its boots on and sets forth to stomp your village with zero sympathy from the moment it starts to the moment it ends…you can’t blame me for digging a vibe like this. Excellent atmosphere from beginning to end…you can feel “Spirit Of The Night” crawl under your skin at times, hang hauntingly in the air surrounding you at others, and all the while, D-Noise is expertly shifting the sound towards the devilish finale that this second tune goes on to find. Really smart inclusion of the guitar notes in the final minute or so as well…like all things, D-Noise uses it in just the right doses, small increments that you truly notice when they’re added into the mix…the man’s got great style & abilities.
“Hellraiser,” the EP’s title-track, also gets savagely wicked with the gnarly low-end synth providing the extra teeth this cut bites into you with. The choices being made by D-Noise are noteworthy; he keeps it classic & old-school like The Commodore 64, but still finds ways to push his music into relevant directions that people are sure to love right in the here & now. Like a great riff from a guitar, the synth-line that delivers the main hook of “Hellraiser” is one that an artist couldn’t possibly let go of – you’ll know exactly what I mean when you hear it. You’ll know it, I’ll know it – you KNOW D-Noise knows it, cause he takes it for a real ride on this four plus-minute track…it’s simple, but highly effective. Again, if you look at a lot of what’s happening out there in music right now, it’s not being overcomplicated, it’s finding the right parts that genuinely make an impact and connect when they come up in the song – that’s the kind of control that D-Noise continually displays strongly throughout his material on Hellraiser. This title cut, with its more tangibly dance-inducing movements, shifts D-Noise more towards something like Linus Loves or Dada Life on “Hellraiser” – but as I’ve said many times, that for me, is a good thing.
After what’s been an impressive ride throughout this entire EP, D-Noise innovates his sound even further, taking up the intensity & melody of “Impulse” storming into a brilliant & skillfully assembled finale for Hellraiser. In my mind…there’s an argument to be made that he MIGHT have saved the very best for last – but truthfully, my ears know the differences between how much I enjoy each of these cuts is very, very slight at best – the man’s done a completely solid job on this set of four tunes. Highly entertaining and massively engaging the entire time, “Impulse” perhaps brings us out of the dark a bit more in comparison to the other three tunes through the inclusion of brighter melodies on the surface…that might be what gives this final track a degree or two more of accessibility when it comes to what the people will latch onto. It could be the increased intensity of the movement in the main melody-lines, the fantastically atmospheric breakdown mid-song, the brilliant snap-back into the energy as it comes back surging from the quiet into a final two-minutes of electro-frenzy – there’s a ton to love about “Impulse” and the way it’s been structured to deliver pure audio entertainment at all times. Combined with the versatility in sound, you get imaginative melody, bendy synth-lines, and relentlessly dynamic rhythms continually flexing compelling movements that’ll completely pull you right in to listen.
Extremely strong set of tracks that reveals a real leader out there in the Retrowave sound – find out more about D-Noise by visiting his official page at Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/DNoiseOfficial