The neo-80s/synthwave trend has been going around for a few years now to differing levels of success. My main problem with it is that despite some fun sounding synths and punchy percussion, it usually tends to get repetitive rather sharpish. Which is why I can’t stand listening to it for more than a few minutes. However, I do love artists like Perturbator, Le Matos and of course, the Hotline Miami soundtrack still does it for me whether I’m playing the game or hyping myself up.
Today, we have Bettenhaus Ryne, a Cincinnati based 80s influenced glam rock, synth pop, early industrial project that released a new single on the 6th of June, Calculation:twenty-three Authority. The single is from an, as of yet, unnamed album that will be released at an, as of yet, unannounced time, so for now, I’ll just stick to the single.
First aspect I notice is how different the production is to most mainstream synth-wave style acts that feel the need to go over the top with production and volume. Here we have some slow building ambiance that quickly blurts towards some effective percussion that isn’t (thank God) some overzealous barrage of thunderous beats. I adore how industrial the song sounds with it’s ominous synths, that house this subtle touch that a lot of producers miss the point of. Yet it still manages to keep this driving nature about it that works with the chase/driving atmosphere that the artists is recreating here. Fitting to this atmosphere is the dirt and grime that a lot of these sounds manage to pick up as they role along – the guitars are probably the cleanest sounding thing on this single and ever they’re distorted!
I think the guitar leads work well here as well – they’re not too reverb heavy and serve as another layer in the measured bricks of sound. Couple this with the synths rolling up and down, there’s some serious sinister sounding material here. This actually fits nicely with whole, dystopian themes that are often approached in these styles of songs, however, this track is not camp in the way that a lot of these tracks are. For an example of this camp and overly produced (not always bad) style, just check out anything on the Miami Cannibal Massacre mixtape that’s floating around on the internet. Again, I’m loving the grit and rough sound of this song as well as the vocals that fuzz in for a few seconds that pulls this track away from the trashy side of ‘clean’ industrial/synth music made in honour of the 80s.
This track does 80s style production proud and sets up a great scene for the rest of the album that I’d be very enthusiastic to hear. It’s themes are firmly rooted and a delight to listen to whether your cruising from the cops, or chilling at home with your shutter-shade sunglasses. Keep an eye out for the album coming soon (hopefully).