To most Synthwave fans, Starcadian may look like a tough-to-rank artist considering how his first album Sunset Blood (released in October 2013) sounds like a genre mashup. Sure a few of its tracks manage to have that 80’s sound we know and love, but overall it feels like a slightly more modern electro album with a heavy dose of Daft Punk-ism. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good album and I enjoyed some of its tracks but I wouldn’t argue with anyone telling me that it is more reminiscent of the early 2000s.
Almost a year after Sunset Blood, Starcadian makes his return with the recent release of Saturdaze. Packed with five new tracks and one remix, this album might feel like an offspring of Sunset Blood. The two share similarities but are different in many ways. I’d tend to say Saturdaze is more relevant and on par with the whole ‘’ear movie’’ idea vehiculated by numerous synthwave artists. So get your brain and ears focused on Saturday morning television, it’s going to be a cool ride.
Right from the first track, you can guess there’s something special about this whole opus. The ULTRALOVE gets spread and you’re getting covered with it as you enter the Saturdaze universe. That boasting saxophone evokes the opening of a show of epically positive proportions and frees the other instruments from their silence. Spoilers ahead: While they’re all celebrating, they’ll be joined by an electric guitar eager to take the track to its climax.
Once the induction process is over, you’ll have to boogie because in this sector of Saturdaze, one can either DANCE OR DIE. Sci-Fi fantasies aside, it just might be that time when your annoying big sister took over the remote to put her stupid music show on. After all, you’ve already had a few cartoons, go ahead and share the screen. Who knows, you might enjoy that catchy beat which prompts energetic dancers to fly on stage next to a couple of Keytar players.
All of sudden you’re in what appears to be nightclub filled with power hungry individuals who only share their obsession with MONEY. The further the track goes, the deeper you venture in those luxurious shiny halls. And thanks to that repetitive and hypnotic beat, by the end of it you’ll be a ghoul looking to feast on the very riches of this world.
Either your favorite show is back on or you’ve plugged in your SEGA Genesis, as you’re now welcomed to Sci-Fi City. As the title suggests, you’re invited to come and celebrate the ALIEN VICTORY with this track which conveys a sense of accomplishment. The righteous martians finally managed to overthrow that evil space dictator, probably in the name of a chorus blessed by an electric guitar which allies itself perfectly with the synths. If you’ve just beat the game, this is a great ending cutscene.
Since our saturday morning routine is done, it’s time to chill out and leave along the next track : ENTOPTICA. Memories of that new trip to Saturdaze are slowly fading away in that title loaded with emotion. Those feelings can only be strengthened by a melancholic guitar and dreamy synth melodies. Still, there’s no need to worry, you’ll return next week. And on your way back home you can ponder while listening to a remix of HE^RT that doesn’t ditche the nostalgic feel of the original, but succeeds in making it brighter.
As the sum of its parts, Saturdaze ends up being a really coherent set of tracks. Despite the fact that each title has a different angle, they all aim towards one artistic goal. If I may use a weird comparison, I’d say it’s like zapping from one channel to another during the same air slot (in this case it would be saturday morning), meaning you’d get programs that are different but roughly targeting the same audience. However we’re not talking about your average 400 channels TV because Starcadian’s Saturdaze is more about quality than quantity.