Neon Radiation – Future TV Themes
Neon Radiation – Future TV Themes – Music Review
Super cool! I’ve heard many Neon Radiation tunes to this point, but this is the first experience I’ve had with the Gary Blake project going all-instrumental for the specific purpose of shoppin’ these cuts on over to the suits & ties of TV-land to see what might come of it all. I might not know a whole lot about anything that’s outside of the realm of music, but I can’t imagine the executives having a listen to this record and not finding a whole bunch of stuff they could readily work with, right up to & including the guy who made it! Gary’s a great dude…and I’d be more than willing to bet that he’s able to carve out a niche of success wherever he chooses – these tracks all sound freakin’ cool to me and he’s definitely on the right track. While it’s technically unreleased right now, hopefully one day you get to hear this stuff – whether it makes it into a TV show or movie or otherwise, there’s some tunes on this record you NEED to hear. Ahhh Neon Radiation…what can I tell ya that I haven’t already folks – I love so much about the music in this Electro project.
With each cut being less than two-minutes in total, there’s no doubt that as it currently stands, Future TV Themes rips by almost too quickly. That being said, I’m guessing each individual idea is likely built to be expanded should there be a need or interest to do it. I found many of these tracks definitely had me wanting a bit more length to’em, but all-in-all, found ideas that were already quite satisfyingly complete, or others that contained the root ingredients of something that could go on to be extraordinarily special.
“Marked Man (Edit)” is like a nouveau spy thriller type theme, though it could honestly make for a great introduction to any kind of show from drama to mystery, almost seeming like it’s specifically designed to be the background sound as the credits begin to roll. Think of your favorite shows right now and how the credits likely have just enough of a song at the start while the flashy intros scroll onscreen with all the characters & actors being introduced to ya…”Marked Man (Edit)” plays out like it was destined to fill that role in some show out there. I might not be certain as to which show exactly, but you could put me down for watching if the intro sounded anything like this does…”Marked Man (Edit)” is intriguing and enticing, and it’s the kind of vibe that hints at something exciting guaranteed to follow. I’m fully into it.
“Robot Revolt” is one of my absolute favorites in this lineup. Gary’s gonna have a few choices to make about what gets shopped around for TV and what might become a future tune for Neon Radiation, and we’ll cross that conversation a couple times throughout this review, but this is definitely one of the cuts I’d be looking at keeping. I know, I know…I’m not here to assess that kind of stuff with this material, but I promise I’ll use the comment sparingly. There were only a few tracks where I really felt that way towards, and the rest made perfect sense to be part of some kind of soundtrack. Ultimately, “Robot Revolt” does too with its somewhat Westworld-esque type of vibe goin’ on, but yeah…I’d probably be looking to keep this track and expand it for the ol’ Neon Radiation catalog – this could be a killer song. I mean…it already IS a killer song…but I’d definitely want more than the 1:37 sample of it as it stands now. Great beat, dreamy vibes that are as mysterious as they are beautifully haunting…”Robot Revolt” is aces.
“Parallel Worlds” is stellar stuff that practically leaps from your speakers with all the intentions of leaping right back into your TV screen…I love the bending of the synths and think drawing that out might even be a solid idea if he needs to make this longer. I don’t really know which kind of scene this would go along with…some of these tunes give you visuals you can see in your mind, others like “Parallel Worlds” are a bit more interpretive and could be applied to a few different scenarios. Something space-like ain’t too far off though…or maybe something like the gritty scenery of a Gotham City…something within that fantasy realm would work I’m sure. It’s got that kind of cold synthetic sound that could be representative of big business types of corporate shows like Billions, or it could be something more sci-fi driven too…”Parallel Worlds” has a flexible musical marrow to it that could be adapted to many things.
“Shadow Agency” is probably one of the tougher tunes to assess as anything other than an intro, you know? It’s currently only a minute & nine-seconds long…and it certainly COULD go in any direction beyond where it has all started here…but it’s hard to know where. From becoming a new Neon Radiation tune, to its intended target of being part of a TV show, “Shadow Agency” could go on to do just about anything. It actually makes me think a lot about how I used to review a project here called Those Shadow People, which was actually part music and part comic book…maybe Gary reaches out to those dudes to see what they’ve got going on, and this becomes the theme song to the cartoon of that. Who knows right? All I know is that Blake gets an interstellar jam & curious sounds flowin’ quickly, and that’s definitely going to be an asset for him going forward if he’s shifting into the world of soundtracks.
“The Red Planet” is probably one of the most universal tracks in terms of where it could fit. This could end up in anything from drama to fantasy and I don’t think anyone would feel like it’s out of place. That being said, it’s also a bit more generic in that regard too…which…might or might not work for Blake as he’s shopping these tracks around. It’s a unique realm of music-making, the whole soundtrack gamut – you don’t want the music to snap people out of what they’re watching, but you don’t want it to be ignored either…ideally, it complements and enhances the visual experience, so something that’s a little less dominant like “The Red Planet” could actually end up becoming something the TV executives would be very interested in because of the fact that it’s not as strong of a standalone idea – make sense? I’d never completely ignore this, because the beat that comes in eventually does jam, but it also proves that Gary’s capable of playing second fiddle if that’s what the situation calls for, and create music that’s more intended to blend into the background so as not to snap viewers out of paying attention to TV plotlines.
“Frontier” is probably the track I’d be the most on the fence about at the moment, or have the least idea about where you could place it. Not necessarily a bad tune by any stretch…at the current length these cuts are at, it’s really tough to conceive that any of them couldn’t fill some kind of introductory role, but I’d guess that “Frontier” is going to need to find the right place at the right time, whereas so many other tracks on this record could readily enhance an existing idea. “Frontier” is almost like one of those short bursts of inspiration where you’d build around the sound and create a new show, as opposed to vice versa. I think Gary’s looking more towards the idea of adding his sonic ingredients to projects that are currently in motion but the notion that his short vibes could also serve as creative inspiration is cool too.
“Supernova” is probably THE track I’m the most attached to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s going to be a place for any of these songs in the right setting as far as soundtrack stuff goes…you could put “Supernova” into film, TV, or even a videogame and it would be an awesome conclusion. That being said, I’d almost think Gary was nuts to let this one go…there’s massive potential for this to go on to become an extremely cool song and a unique part of the Neon Radiation catalog if he wants it to be. Once you hit that forty-second mark, you’ll know exactly what I mean…like I said, hopefully y’all get to hear this stuff one day somehow…right now, every time “Supernova” kicks on and starts clickin’ into gear, I’m reminded about the privileged life I’m leading getting to hear such rad stuff behind the scenes.
“Deadly Game” packs in a severe amount of anxiety-inducing drama within its short timeframe, and would definitely be a good choice for a chase-scene of some kind, or zooming in on a speeding car from up above via the ol’ drone footage…you get the idea. If you pair something like this with “Marked Man” from the beginning of this unreleased record, or something like “Stranger (Edit)” at the end, then you’ve got a solid package of more specific sounds to include with some kind of mystery show or spy film. It’s something that Gary might want to look into when he’s making his pitches to the suits & ties…maybe it’s better to go in with a whole array of stuff they could potentially use anywhere, maybe he’ll need to make the mission more niche at points…it’s probably a good thing to consider both approaches. On the bright side, he’s got plenty of options on how he could go about parsing his music out in that respect.
“Separation” has a lighter, more atmospheric element to it…almost ceremonial to a degree. Like many of the things Gary creates, you can genuinely feel the emotion & passion that comes along with it. Maybe this could be for a wedding set in the future, or even just a scene where you’ve got aliens dancing or something on the lighter-side of the imagination…I could see “Separation” finding its way into many things I suppose. I’m workin’ with the future themes given that’s what this collection of songs is aiming at, but a track like “Separation” could still become part of many scenes here on Earth too. As I spun my way through this record over the course of this past week or so, I kept circling back to this track as being one of the most vibrant and undeniably unique cuts in this particular set…and that might come in handy somewhere. Things that stand out naturally have a chance of doing something great for sure.
“Cipher” is more towards the dedicated Electro side of sound as it begins, and as it expands, it reveals a more welcoming Pop-style thread to it. There are a few tracks on this record that I’d highly recommend that Gary continues to experiment with, not so much to keep’em away from the TV market if that’s what he really wants to do with these cuts, but to continue their expansion, continue experimenting, and see what they can become under the ol’ moniker of Neon Radiation and its growing catalog. “Cipher” is definitely one of those tunes – there is a whole lot of potential here that exists well-beyond being the backing sound to scenes we see on TV in a show. Some of these ideas he’s got are more drawn-out and realized than others are, and “Cipher” is one of those cuts that could already practically stand on its own as it is now. I think it’s likely the longest track in the set too, so it’s got a bit of an advantage in that sense…we get to know this track and its ideas a bit more than the rest. Loaded with sparkling & enticing vibes, a hint of curiosity, drama, and the potential of something special, I think people will love “Cipher.”
“Dead Drop” is among the shorter selections in contrast to “Cipher” right beforehand, but I’d imagine Gary’s got these tracks set up to be of any desired length if the TV executives are so inclined to open up them wallets and purchase a few. Wasn’t honestly too sure how I felt about this track or what its opportunities might be, but I suppose that in itself is commentary of some kind. I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing “Dead Drop” come on before some show I was watching, I’m just not all that sure what kind of show it would be. I suppose if anything, I’m hearing “Dead Drop” more specifically as an intro than some of these other tracks by comparison, but that’s no kind of slight or any bad thing at all considering what the cuts on Future TV Themes have been created for – it’s the intended purpose, which is good. I love the thickness of that bass synth added into it and the combination of light melody on the surface.
“Stranger (Edit)” fits in with “Marked Man” and “Deadly Game” pretty well if you ask me. There’s no doubt that it’ll be to Gary’s advantage to display the whole range of tunes that he’s got there if he’s able to get the attention of the studio executives in TV-land & all, but if he has the opportunity to hone-in on something more specifically like mysteries or spy thrillers & whatnot, he’s got mini-sets like the three tracks I just cited that would be able to be shopped in that regard too. “Stranger (Edit)” has a great beat to it, a tapestry of curious sound that spreads out cleverly overtop, and the advantage of multiple defined parts that could again, be expanded or contracted to suit the needs of whatever project this track might become a part of. I dig it…you’ll find no complaints from me. That’s true of this track, and that’s true of Future TV Themes at-large…this might not be the typical Neon Radiation direction we know and love, but it’s still another display of solid sounds and ideas from Gary Blake, who we know we can rely on to deliver quality tunes every time he switches on the studio boards to record something new. I’d listen to this record as it is right now if I’m being truthful with ya, though I know these tracks are intended to go on to live other lives in the visual realm…the bottom line is, he’s got material that stands out, the know-how to create lots more, and flexible vibes that’ll add to any onscreen scenarios.
Find more music by Neon Radiation at Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1F59MfIZRRrFIB3XAo5IO6
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