I went into this article expecting to review Airborn’s last full length LP, The Airborn Express, that came out at the end of last year. It was available for 4 euros on Bandcamp and that seemed like a good deal to me. But as I scrolled down a bit I noticed that I could have the entire Airborn discography, which included 6 additional singles for 5.50 euros I was immediately sold. Not sure if this is a promo that’s running right now, but I urge you to take advantage of the amazing deal. Now that I own all this great music it makes a lot more sense to give you an overview of ALL of it instead of just one sole review.
All Talk No Walk is a blissfully ambient track that echoes its way into your brain. The production on the track is amazing, with each sound seemingly in the right place, despite the fact that there are a lot of competing layers. It’s a builder of a track as well, with more and more going on as the song progresses. What you should also notice is that Airborn isn’t your run of the mill, sounds-like-everyone-else electronic artist.
The Druid Master had me interested before I’d even pressed play thanks to its name. Like its name, the song has an air of mystery about it while also asserting itself strongly. Strong beats, static, crunchy guitars, and a drum and bass elements are all present in yet another well layered track. I think the guitar work is what stands out the most here as it is used in unconventional ways. Again, it has a sound and feel to it that’s unlike the music others are putting out. Score another win for Airborn.
Demogorgon writhes out of the shadows with production work that is dark, dark, dark. As soon as the track starts your kept off center, danger is just around the next corner, and there’s no hope the sun is going to rise. It’s very impressive how Airborn was able to convey such an oppressive atmosphere in this track. I guess having seen what the upside down in Stranger Things looks like helped me set the visual stage for where this song took me.
Entropy brings us to our first LP of this journey. It’s filled to the brim with amazing electronica that takes me back to playing Wipout XL on the Playstation back in the day. And that’s where Airborn is setting himself apart…while everyone else is deep diving into the 1980’s, he’s tapped into a sound that was the soundtrack to my 1990’s. This is top shelf material that sits right up along the works of Underworld, Orbital, and Fluke. Don’t believe me? Listen to a few tracks. If this album had been released in 1996 we’d be talking about Airborn in the same regard as those artists I mentioned earlier.
The Airborn Express is the second LP I’ll be covering. It feels very much like an older sister to Entropy…an album that is steeped far more in the 1980’s than the other Airborn work. It’s a brilliant slice of progressive synthwave work, but like everything else Airborn has done, it’s not content with sounding like the rest of the pack. There are complex harmonies, atmospheric tracks that show a deftness in the studio, and progressive structures that challenge the status quo of synthwave.
Norwegian Shuffle takes us back into single territory. Drum and bass beats, soaring synth work, and well placed acoustic guitars set the tone here. The breakdown in the middle of the track is a highlight as depth charge bass focuses the track into that one moment only to reset itself moments later. This is a standout track, to be sure, especially due to the elements used and how they are fused.
Hippie Wizard is the last track I’ll be covering, and it’s a doozy! It’s a Jethro Tull, psychedelic flute journey filtered through Airborn. I love this because A.) It shows a depth of influences B.) The music is never boring because Airborn is willing to take risks. If you like your music progressive and you’re tired of the same thing everyday, this is a track tailor made for you.
Alright, we’ve completed our journey and I can say with a sureness that Airborn is one of the most talented artists on the scene. Not only does he have a solid grasp on multiple genres, he’s GOOD at them. There’s a lot of music to explore here and I strongly urge you to deep dive into these works that I’ve touched on. Head over to Bandcamp and give him a listen and support artists like this that are pushing music forward.