This was actually the first review I did for my old website, Video/Cassette, but since I’ve switched formats it became inaccessible, and to be honest, nobody was actually reading my reviews at that point. Looking back at it, this review got one hit. One. It seems strange, now that Echosynthetic is enjoying hundreds of hits a day, to look back at a time when nobody was interested. My movie reviews were the main attraction at that time and my experience as a music writer was so/so at best (you’ll see below that my reviews have gotten a lot more in depth, but hey, we all start somewhere). So, if you’re the one person that read the review back in May of 2016, my sincerest thanks and I’m sorry you’re having to see it again. To everyone else, enjoy!
Perturbator / The Uncanny Valley
It’s only fitting that the first review on that site was the new album by Perturbator (aka James Kent). I had no idea that almost a year later that I would be becoming an actual voice in the synthwave community. All I knew was that nobody has a better grasp on the past and making it relevant than he does. The Uncanny Valley is his latest in a string of excellent, genre defining soundscapes, but does the new album live up to the pedigree set by Dangerous Days, I am the Night, Terror 404, and multiple EPs? The answer is a resounding yes.
The Uncanny Valley is more than just an album. Close your eyes and you are transported to a neon and chrome metro landscape. Dark skies, rain, and gleaming metal as far as the eye can see. The music here could have been ripped from the soundtrack of countless 80’s films, but it wasn’t. It was composed here and now and that’s what makes it so special. It’s what gives the album the power to transport you to a film that was never shot, with Perturbator calling the shots. It’s also synthwave at its finest. This is the work of a master who has honed his craft to a sharp, neon pink edge. The album is steeped in atmosphere, darkness, and hooks you cannot deny. If you are looking for a gateway into the genre, you’ve just found it. To those of you who are already familiar with Perturbator, soak up one of the best albums released last year. Period.
Beyond all the amazing music, the name of the album is holding a creepy definition that helps add depth to the music.
Here is the definition: un-can-ny val-ley (noun): used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it.