This week’s Synthwave Sunday artist is none other than Venezuela’s Electric Runner. We’re going to be taking a look at his debut release, The Beginning, with an in depth review. But wait! That’s not all…we’ve also got an interview with the man behind the music. Seeing as how Electric Runner managed one of the slickest, well produced, and complete synthwave debuts I’ve ever heard, this should be a fun! Did I mention you can also get a super cool Electric Runner shirt over at Square Wave Clothing? Buy the album over at Bandcamp and then complete your wardrobe at the scene’s best online boutique, Square Wave.
The Beginning, from start to finish, is pretty much flawless. There are no beginner mistakes or experimental stumbles either. As soon as City Lights fades into existence, you know immediately that you’re listening to quality. If you didn’t know already, there’s no way you’d believe it was a debut release. The harmonies, song structure, and production give every indication that this is a marquee release from one of synthwave’s big boys. Endless Dream continues to impress with an atmosphere that pulls the listener into the experience. Do yourself a favor and listen through the best headphones you can get your hands on or a full stereo set up. The intricate details of this song sound amazing when you have the feeling of surround sound and it deserves to be heard in its full glory. Beyond Midnight ups the stakes with an uptempo beat, a real sense of speed, and once the song fully kicks in it’s a body mover. The synth solos at the end of the track are out of this world (I’d love to hear them live…the crowd would erupt!). Killer Call brings a sense of urgency, possible danger, and is officially the soundtrack score for a film that needs to be made. Now. If there are any film producers reading, stop searching, you’ve found your title track for your next movie. The Darkness Within is an interesting track because the title of the song would give you reason to believe it’s going to be bleak, but it’s not. There’s actually a strange warmth to the track, mostly due to the production. The way the harmonies are layered over each other is both chaotic and very soothing. Hopes is the closing song, and it’s a majestic and optimistic finale. It’s harmonic bliss in the form of synthesized music…it’s also my favorite song on the album. It’s almost like a ride off into the sunset closing score for the record. As soon as the song ends you’re going to want to hit repeat and enjoy this whole ride over again.
Alright, now that we’ve enjoyed the music together, how about we meet the man who created this masterclass called The Beginning? I introduce to you, Electric Runner:
For those who don’t know yet, who is Electric Runner?
Electric Runner is this fictional character who travels back in time to find his lover who was kidnapped. No one knows who he actually is but the people give him that name because of the electricity that covers his body when he run (this is the story of my first EP).
In reality, Electric Runner is a musical project started in 2014 by Leonardo Fernandes. I’m an Audio Engineer and Graphic designer who love the 80’s vibe.
Your debut EP, The Beginning released in December. How happy are you with the end result?
I’m actually pretty happy, the feedback has been amazing the sales are going pretty well. I was surprised about how people reacted…the comments on Instagram and Soundcloud are really great and keep me motivated to make more music. I really think that the synthwave/retrowave community is very supportive so it makes it very easy for any musical projects that are starting.
What do you use to record?
My set up is very simple, I use Ableton live with a Avid Fast Track C600 and a bunch of controllers (Apc 40, Mpd26, launchkey 49, Launchpad, Yamaha dtxplorer, etc…). A couple of Roland boutique, Korg Minilogue, Novation Mininova. With guitars I use a Fender Jaguar blacktop, a De Armond by Guild Baritone Guitar, and I also have a Fender Jazz Bass. I use a lot of pedals from different brands like Strymon, Earquaker devices, Boss and Line 6. The plug-ins I normally use are Waves, T-Racks, and Izotope for mixing, and for mastering and my principals soft synths are U-he Diva, TAL LX U NO, Massive, and Serum.
How long have you been writing music?
I have been writing music since I was 13 years old (I’m currently 24). I started playing in a punk band (yes, I love punk rock), then I get into shoegaze, and now here I am.
What is your songwriting process?
My songwriting process is very simple…I just record any idea I have…it can be a chord progression, a melody, or just a beat. After that I start to jam on top of it, and when I have a pretty cool arrangement I start to really produce the song.
Why did you decide to get involved in synthwave?
Because I love this music! I love the feeling of nostalgia that it can bring to the listener, even if you didn’t live the 80’s. It’s a type of music that really can transport you and it is pretty fun to mix synthwave with other genres, like shoegaze, rock, metal, and more.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Maybe this is a cliche answer, but I think it is Timecop1983. I also like Carpenter Brut, Dance With the Dead, Trevor Something, and also Shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
I don’t sing so I would love to collaborate with Ollie Wride or Dana Jean Phoenix because they have amazing voices! I would also love to work side by side with Timecop1983.
What’s on the horizon for Electric Runner?
I’m currently working on new music and trying to level up the quality of it. I still don’t know if I will release a new EP or if it will be a LP…beside that, I’m working on something special for Halloween.
Anyone you’d like to thank or shout out?
I would like to thanks to The Universe, Vampire Step-Dad, Ethereal Delusions, Squarewave Clothing for being so friendly, and as I said, the synthwave community is very supportive, which is amazing. I also want to thank everyone who has bought my EP on Bandcamp and iTunes. Thank you to everyone who have streamed it on Spotify as well! This is very helpful so that I can dedicate more time making music. And obviously, thanks to you Echosynthetic for this opportunity.