Neon Shudder - Cadence
Neon Shudder's latest album Cadence weirded me out a little bit on my first pass through as I noticed a heavy hand of jazz implemented in the normal blends of synthwave and 80s inspired electronics. As a man coming from their previous album (viii) neuromantic: the communion of nature and technology, I almost felt as if I was listening to a completely new producer, but as I am sitting here writing this piece that is not the case. I guess you could call Cadence one of Neon Shudder's most mature advances to date.
Cadence is a twenty track concept album that was released back in early June. But when I say it's a concept album, I don't mean in the sense that Neon Shudder just said that and now it's up to you to discover the story on your own. No, I mean that in the sense that Neon Shudder has included a companion story with the download. It comes with twenty chapters as well as twenty different pieces of artwork that go along with each song. So, there is no guessing the story in this case; it's all there right in front of you. I, however, have not had the chance to go over the companion piece so this review will solely be based on the music, as it should very well be.
When I mentioned jazz influenced electronic music, you only need to look at tracks such as 'Go! Go! Go!', 'The Contract', and even 'Blind Ambition'. These songs have the groove and funk of those songs all while keeping in touch with Neon Shudder's love for cyberpunk and futuristic technology. This is the type of music perfect for nights with lads who want to do nothing but play a tabletop RPG and have lots and lots of fun and laughs while doing such.
That being said, the 80s tuned synthwave is not all lost and gone. In fact, Neon Shudder is at his strongest when his more electronic based tracks play. 'Satellite Collector', 'Skinner', and 'Desperate Measures' are all kick ass tracks which exemplify this quality. Especially the last of the three that I mentioned; it's gorgeous.
On top of the synthwave and jazzy tracks are others thrown in the mix which don't really sound as if they have a place on the album, but are interesting works nonetheless. 'Down in the Port Market' and 'Follow the Trail of Blood' both utilize excellent Heavenly and angelic samples, while songs such as 'Loss of Words' are ambient based piano ballads. You really cannot go wrong with any of those.
The only real problem I see with Neon Shudder is the same one I saw last time I spoke of his music: Mastering. He has the production skill necessary to make the music, but an extra coat of polishing would not hurt this man one bit. In fact, I think it would make his album shine brighter than ever before. Perhaps next time he'll be able to get that done.
However, that doesn't really plague the score for this review all too much. I still stand by my earlier comments when I said this is Neon Shudder's most mature piece to date. He still has a lot of room to improve and grow into. Let's just see what this electronic enthusiast produces next.
May 08 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this review
Buy this release
Neon Shudder Bandcamp