After a well noted first album, DJTen had to venture deeper in the Synthwave genre. Therefore he’s back with TenStarts to bring us ‘’Retrological 2.0’’ which explores a rather urban world. The album offers titles mixing influences from Synthwave, Hip-Hop and R&B, there’s something for everyone.
The opening of the album sounds like it was taken from an 80’s sci-fi movie, that interstellar mass teases well, leaving us eager to discover what’s next.
Master of ceremonies Keith Masters starts shaking us up with a destructive flow laid on ‘’NightWolf’’, a title which mixes some acid bass with some Axel Foley style lead. That’s enough to be diagnosed with 80’s rap madness.
Then it’s romance time with “Satin Groove’’ and its R&B feel. Dana Jean Phoenix’s voice covers us with charm and a thirst for love. The jerky tr-808 combined with synths will make you wriggle.
Deeper in the Hip-Hop universe of this piece, we’re greeted with Blokkmonsta’s ultra hardcore voice, that guy alone could wake up an army of zombies. « Noiron » is a really hypnotic voice, once you’ve digested its melody, getting out of its grip is impossible. A word to sum this title up : Success.
If you ever grow an addiction to retro rap thanks to these titles, then you’ll love « Thrice », some sort of dazzling trip hop that reminds us of the great Tricky. This title evokes a tortured winged trip tainted with romantism through the voices of Leiah Nicole and Frankie Delaska.
Another universe can be found in the album, a darker and way more synthetic universe. Most of the tracks in this section come with vocals, however there are also some amazing instrumentals. Put on your space suit!
‘’Tironium’’ breaks time and space with its arpeggio in order to take us to this new universe. Our trip gets longer with a totally synthwaved bass which show us its Moroder side.
Be careful, Masterpiece ahead !!! ‘’Skynet Rises 2014’’ is the post-apocalyptic syntwhave track which must be discovered at all cost. Machines have taken over, we’ve lost a battle but the war has just begun! This title evokes a mood from a world where Terminator would go face to face with Mad Max.
‘’The inner voice’’ delivers a dark vibe, the perfect ground for Trevor Something and his hypnotic languishing vocals. The chorus, backed with some ultra-melodic arpeggios, will make you shiver.
Also in the retro-future section, ‘’Coda- 1-8 – XVIII’’, a dark offering made with modified drums, synths and voices. It would probably be raining in that cybernetic world if gods ever listened to that track.
DJTen then concludes his album with two bonus tracks, but rest assured, we’re not talking about filler tracks here. The last title, ‘’Perses Falls’’, sets itself in and industrial mood. The listener is immerged in a last conquest with the help of hovering leads, an incisive bass a la Powerglove, and some special effects.
With Retrological 2.0, DJTen delivers a very complete album. The various musical ventures combine to form a piece which offers both diversity and uniqueness. A sound value.
Review by Vincent Duchauffour and Johann Derime