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Retro Reverb Records December 2021 Chart Toppers

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


1. Honeybeard - Lighthouse

This track begins with a powerful oceanic roar and a cymbal flourish that’s joined by a rapidly driving beat and bright, exultant synths that carry a melody which pops up into brighter moments while remaining full of more worried, pained emotions. The driving beat and thick bass support emotive vocals that contrast a hopeful rise with more tragic elements. The opening lyrics express fear and struggle over the throbbing bass pulse.

The elevated synth’s flashing glow emphasizes the chorus’ yearning, almost pleading message. The words call out for the light to be kept on so that the narrator can break free “from this deep sleep”. A sharp-edged, darkly gritty synth carries an active, shadowed melodic line in contrast with the climbing vocals and their clarion call to struggle back toward the light. The drums are huge and propulsive while the vocalist has a sense of heart and need in his voice.

2. BEKIMACHINE - Crescent (AUW’s Nightshade Remix)

The song begins as dense bass rumbles below slipping, elevated synths that echo into a void spattered by rain and full of the sound of breath. Cold chimes touch the music as a slow drum beat pulsates in. beki’s vocals sound distant as delicate piano notes arpeggiate and shadows rise from the bass. Metallic sounds ring out into the openness around them in a wandering pattern. The airy vocals shift, full of desolation, while a digital synth curls around itself.

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A hollow, ethereal pattern dances while the drums pop and throb. The vocal melody is drifting and empty as hollow, bright chimes glisten over the stuttering synths that rise in waves. Elevated, cosmically flickering synths shimmer and fade while wind sweeps. beki’s aching, abandoned-feeling vocals call out while an interwoven synth pattern with a buzzing edge cascades through the song. The music fades on distant, metallic chimes and the distorted vocals.

3. Just Love Me - Ankh Wave

This is an emotive love ballad. The song opens with a gentle, throbbing bass waves lapping against delicate, high synths that sparkle out over a floating sonic swirl. Ankh Wave’s smooth, soft voice glides out, full of emotion. His voice carries a trembling melody while the massive retro drums shape the song. Glittering synths sparkle in a melancholy, melodic line over softly dancing piano and the steady drum and bass pulse which adds depth.

There’s a sax-like quality to the wandering synths that cry out over the intertwining, shimmering sonic shapes and piano patterns. Ankh Wave’s voice aches and glides along as the chiming synths interlock and sparkle around one another. The moves into a segment with bursting drums, fragile piano notes and bass flow. Ankh Wave adds his enfolding voice and we fade on rougher edged, deep synth pulses and reverberating piano notes.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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