It’s here! It’s finally here! Night Raptor has released his debut EP and I can officially say, Flashback was NOT a fluke. This EP backs up what I’ve been saying quite vocally…Night Raptor is the real deal and there’s no denying his talent. Before I get into the music, be sure to head over to TimeSlave Recordings and get your money down on one of the limited edition cassettes before it’s too late (they WILL sell out). Night Raptor also has the album for sale on his Bandcamp right now. Square Wave Clothing also has an amazing shirt available so you can not only listen to awesome music but you can look cool while you do! I’ve purchased multiple shirts from them and I can personally vouch for their quality and their customer service/coolness level (and they didn’t pay me a dime to say that!).
Alright, now back to the reason you’re here in the first place. Night Raptor! As I mentioned in my interview with him yesterday (if you missed it, check it out HERE), Flashback has to be one of the most well received debut singles to come down the pike in quite some time. How could you possibly top an EP teaser like that? Somehow, not only has Night Raptor met my lofty expectations, he’s exceeded them. This is not the work of your weekend hobbyist, this is a well planned, brilliantly conceived, and most importantly, satisfying EP. If you’ve been keeping up with the newsletters (if you’re not getting them, go over to www.nightraptormusic.com right now and get signed up!) then you know that not only are these great songs, there’s a terrific story arc behind them. Night Raptor has used these newsletters to tease songs and continue the buzz he’s built off of his Flashback success.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the masters of the EP early for reviewing purposes and I’ve listened to these tracks about a dozen times already. Flashback is still just as impressive now as it was when it was released. The fact that it is no longer a standalone track, eluding to mysterious music to come, does nothing to lessen its appeal. If anything it gives it more to stand on! I’m going to go ahead and go on record now and say that Crash-Land is going to be a favorite on the EP. It is everything that is right with synthwave…racing tempo, a hook that just will not let go, and layers of synths that carry the duality of the future while remaining rooted in nostalgia (which is much harder to do than you think). It’s a scorcher of a track and you know it’s gold as soon as it kicks in. Shoreline continues the visual/audio journey, giving you the feeling you’re on a distant planet, far off the star charts, exploring new ground. I cannot understate how much the music on this EP seems to be pulling you into its story. Goliath carries a weight and depth very much on par with the title of the track. It’s a Vangelis-esque soundscape that has subtle tone changes that give it an emotional punch. All that’s left is Revelation, a track that features STARFORCE and couldn’t close the EP any better. It’s an optimistic final song that leaves you wanting more (so I started the EP over and listened through again!). Did I mention that Night Raptor managed to get a remix of Goliath by the one and only Stilz!?!
Night Raptor has explored new territory and has planted a flag on firm ground with this debut EP. It is worth every penny you’ll spend on it and then some. This is one of the best releases of the year and one that will be in rotation here at Echosynthetic for quite some time.