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Retro Reverb Records March 2021 Chart Toppers

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


1st Place: Shelter Calm - Giraffe Radar

The piece begins with a reverberating cascade of flowing sound and a background of airy pan pipe-like synths. A lost, plaintive sounding melodic line starts to move over the depths and open space around it. Now a hard-edged pulse of synth moves along with the darkly throbbing beat.

The wandering, distant melodic synth line floats in ghostly notes over the static-filled flow and hollow synth circling as the beat relentlessly shapes and drives the track forward. There’s a a segment that breaks into deep bass with a ragged edge before the beat throbs again.

A stacked up, reverberating metallic synth plays delicate patterns of notes that echo out into the broken space around them before the beat comes in again. The music fades into a segment with sweeping noises flowing through before a rising, triumphant synth sound begins to swell into the music, reminiscent of a string section as it fills the space of the track.

2nd Place: Mantus - Delorean

The track comes into being as the wide open spaces of the track are full of a slow, hollow arpeggio with a rounded quality to it that circles and begins to grow in volume. A harsh, rough-edged pulse of synth moves through and now the massive retro drums hit with a steady beat. The whirling arpeggio grows and sweeps as the drums keep throbbing before a chiming melody sparkles and dances on a glowing synth with a shiny metallic feeling.

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The melody is shot through with dreaming hope as as softly flowing breeze moves through the wide open spaces of the track. The chiming synth has such a delicate quality to it, a gentle metallic feeling that skips lightly on the ears. The beat drives on as a medium-high, full synth calls out with its own warm voice, carrying the uplift and positive feelings of the track even higher. The music moves to a segment where everything bursts before falling silent.

3rd Place: Neon Deflector - Outpost X

A soft airy flow of delicate and ethereal sound rises through as a deep bass heartbeat oscillates under distantly sparkling arpeggios and the drums move in to add more of a gliding pulse of the track as a glowing, string-like, warm melody spins out with the drums and bass providing a strong direction to the track. The lead melody has a singing quality to it and a great deal of starry shining over the driving influence of the beat and bass.

The shimmery arpeggios are joined by breathy female vocal sounds before the track returns to the gently uplifting and energizing melody with its full, round qualities and glow that suffuses the track. The lead melody dances and skips over the surface of the track, feeling smooth and easy, as the starry flickering of light and breathy vocal sounds float in and we fade to an ethereal sensation and breeze.

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