When I first covered Galaxy 80 it was when I reviewed his Stranger Things Tribute album back in October. I knew then that he had a bright future ahead of him, but nothing could have prepared me for his TimeSlave Recordings debut. Lazer Waves is like a love letter to the 1980’s, and in turn it encompasses everything that synthwave pulls from that amazing decade. In short, Galaxy 80 has tapped into a musical goldmine here.
Let’s face it. Just about anyone can grab a laptop, download a few programs, and within a weekend become a “synthwave producer.” I’m putting that in quotations because there’s a big difference between calling yourself a synthwave producer and actually writing inspired music. Honestly, I don’t even care what genre you want to pigeonhole Lazer Waves in. It’s just good, clean fun. As the scene has taken a momentum turn toward darker music and sounds, I can’t tell you how refreshing this record was to review. Warmth seems to exude from every track, and for someone who has to critically listen to music every day, it was a nice change of pace.
Since I’ve touched on the sound of Lazer Waves, I can’t go too far without mentioning the all-star cast that Galaxy 80 has put together! Walt Chancellor Jr adds some top notch saxophone work to the track Carolyn McAdams, Dave Maverick shreds the guitar on Frank Murphy, and the one and only Night Raptor added some pad work to Claire Standish. There’s even a Tonebox remix of the track Rick Deckard as a bit of a bonus after the epilogue!
Lazer Waves, if you haven’t already figured it out, is a standout album, and Galaxy 80 is a name you need to be following. He’s tapped into so many influences with this record but somehow managed to craft something unique. That’s not something you can teach, that’s just talent. Like I said before, anyone can call themselves a “synthwave producer”, but Galaxy 80 doesn’t have to prove anything…his music does the talking for him. Lazer Waves hits on December 1st, including amazing cassettes from the synth powerhouse label TimeSlave Recordings. Check Bandcamp for details!