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Synthwave Single Review: Alphabot, "Stereophonic"

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

Artwork for Alphabot's new single, "Stereophonic"

Artwork for Alphabot's new single, "Stereophonic"

Alphabot’s single, “Stereophonic,” has a interesting combination of tension, some floating qualities and a bright synth melody that still has moments of darkness hidden in it. Despite the smooth flow of the medium tempo drums and the bass's depth, there’s tension that pervades the song.

“Stereophonic” has a smooth, full sound quality. Alphabot has built up layers of sound in which each part performs its function well, integrating into one comprehensive whole. The production is of a high quality, allowing each of those layers to have character, but stopping them from clashing with each other. This is a track that has good flow to it.

I was particularly enamored of the drum sounds on this single. They aren’t overwhelming, but they have that same smooth quality as the rest of the production. I got a sense of movement from them, but everything was quite silky and relaxed.

There are fault lines of tension running through “Stereophonic.” They’re subtle, but there was always a vague feeling of something just a little off kilter hiding below the surface. The sonic touches that Alphabot has added seem to keep that tension simmering beneath all of the elements of the sound.

As the track opens, we get reverb drenched synth arps that begin to repeat a pattern that is joined by individual synth chords that come in a rising sequence, ratcheting up the tension. The melody has a limber quality and a subtle darkness despite the brightness of the synth sounds. The sustained synth chords that move underneath add more tension to the tune.

Flickering arps drift in and out as the melody comes around again, just touching on the darkness. This is a track with hidden forces acting underneath that smooth surface. I think that “Stereophonic” has an underlying emotional tenor that is tinged with something slightly uncomfortable.

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Overall I enjoyed the listen to “Sterephonic.” It certainly had a rich, full auditory palette and generated an emotional reaction in me. I’m hoping to hear more from Alphabot to see where else their sound might go in future music.

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