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Synth EP Review: "Faded" by ByteMapper

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


ByteMapper’s Faded is an album that combines smoothly flowing music with a laidback feeling and a jazzy vibe with powerful, energizing tracks that drive with power and bursting light. They form a dense, layered synth and guitar tapestry.

“Faded” comes to life with a delicate pattern of chiming synth notes and warm, reverberant drifts of sound that carry echoing chords. The drums lightly stutter forming a beat that shapes the track. The main melody sparkles in, delicate and full of a hopeful and yearning feeling, singing over the beat and the gliding flow of background notes. The bass pulse adds richness and depth to the music.

A twist of distorted sound comes in before the jazzy, wandering guitar solo twines through the track. The solo is easy-going and cool carried on the resonant guitar. A static crackle cuts in as the guitar fades. Floating synths glide in now with a watery feeling before the track returns to the main melody, shining like sun on water.

Glimmering, metallic, full notes move in an active pattern as a jazz organ carries a lightly tripping melodic line that climb over drums that add their own smooth pulse to open “Nostalgia.” A gleaming synth plays a repetitive pattern that adds more definition to the music as the guitar dreams, adding uplift and a hopeful quality.

The whole track has an ease and a drift to it as wind sweeps through it. A glowing, round synth slowly a hypnotic pattern as single jazz organ notes ring out. The bass is active and deep while the chiming, cool organ notes drift in a caressing line. The final segment jumps into an energetic beat and a guitar solo that is intricate and full of an improvisatory feel before fading into silence.

“It Would Never Be The Same” starts off with the sound of falling rain and a fragile synth carries tremulous notes over a harsher, crackling background that moves into echoing space. Small, glitchy sounds twinkle and sparkle over a light flow of sound, moving in a wave that ripples outward. Out of that wave, a steady, medium-high pulse of synth drifts over the faint crackle and distant, small noises.

The bass line becomes more active as that pulse of distant sound is now also joined by a full drum kit, adding more shape and form. Gentle synth chords glide as the repeating pulse forms a backdrop to a sunlit synth solo like a hazy summer dream. The track leaps into a quicker section with an energetic, sun-drenched guitar solo dances over throbbing beat.

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Bright, full guitar chords with an edge carry minor key notes while the drums hit hard and cymbals clash to bring “Through The Fog Of Memory” to life. An electric guitar plays mournful chords and drifting notes while the drums throb. The distorted guitar carries a driving melody with sharp edges that leaps through the track.

A warmer and more positive line of leaping synth climbs and dances in shining waves around it. There’s a drum fill and now a driving beat moves below charging chords and a haunting choral voice that adds an ethereal quality to the track. Stacked waves of guitar wriggle and cry out in an echoing voice over the drum beat, lost and a little aching.

“Homesick” kicks off as a guitar riff bends and turns over a hissing static background and solid drums batter into the track. The driving drumbeat and rocking guitar move with a warm feeling and the light, easy synth sings a delicately glowing pattern in the background.

The piano-like lead synth carries a positive, energizing melody and sound of birdsong moves with the leaping guitar as it climbs. Medium high, shiny arpeggios flicker out over the stacked, caressing guitar and after a drum fill, we drive back into that guitar as it dances and a solo cries out, full of passion and ease.

Drums throb under a pulsating, twisting synth and distorted guitar drifts as “Halo” opens. The energetic beat adds real propulsion under the writhing guitar. The lead guitar part moves with the expanding and contracting synth as extended chords growl out below. beat. In contrast to the growl, the brassy, singing lead synth carries an uplifting, gentle melody.

The guitar is also full of gentleness, albeit with a little more complexity. The tempo changes and the beat takes on a more uneven throb under the undulating synth with the electric bass adding another layer. The track returns to the drifting guitar part, playing an ever repeating pattern. The drums flicker and launch more rapidly part, the guitar solo intertwining and spinning out into quiet.

“Blood Moon” comes to life with hissing static and soft waves of delicate, full notes with a metallic chiming feeling. Shadowed, sweeping, extending bass growls softly behind the round synths. A bright, dense line of sound moves with a mournful drift, slowly floating on the gruff bass pulse and the misty flow of the underpinning notes.

The lead synth twines and glides in a glowing line of soft notes. There’s a feeling of something more threatening under the float and glide. The melancholy, medium-low melody wanders along, caressing and hurting. Distorted voices whisper in the background and the gruff guitar plays with rising power in long, harder edged chords over the strong drums. The guitar is elevated and adds to the feeling of lost drift while the drums do not relent.

A smoother, more steady beat throbs under climbing, warmer guitar chords that are still shadowed. The melody has a gentle, rising feeling that is lighter and more hopeful over the beat, still touched by shadow as the notes of the guitar ring out.

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