I’ve got a special Synthwave Sunday for you this week. Not only am I highlighting the new full length from Atom Force, After Dark, we’ve also go an in depth interview! I’m admittedly a bit biased on this one seeing as how Atom Force is yet another shining talent we have here in the state of Georgia, but his music speaks for itself. Everybody ready to dig in?
Ready for the Night starts After Dark with an uptempo number that is so steeped in 80’s nostalgia you can almost feel the night breeze as you peel out down the neon soaked boulevard. A glitched out guitar solo brilliantly places the track in the here in now before a saxophone run brings you right back into the past. It’s a great balance that totally works, and it shows how synthwave is growing and molding itself with each new release. Don’t Go follows nicely with a funky, night life fun, Robots With Rayguns-esque hook that continues this adventure we’ve set out on. So far so good!
If you couldn’t tell from the album art, After Dark is going to take a turn into dangerous territory, and it does so with the Murderous interlude. It’s imposing, menacing, and builds a tension that you could cut with a knife. Graveyard Bash comes crashing through the darkness with a Knight Rider-ish hook that just doesn’t stop. It’s a killer track that definitely stands out as one of the hot singles of early 2018. The way it grows and builds around the hook with swirling harmonies is a credit to Atom Force and his creativity. You’re gonna have this one on repeat.
Drawing Down the Wolf starts out like it was pulled right out of Big Trouble in Little China, while also serving as a serious body mover. It’s also another track the builds on itself, growing stronger with each layer added as the music progresses. The breakdown at the end of this song is sure to bring a live audience to a frenzy (hint, hint…get that live show up and going man!). Final Girl, one of the most ambitious tracks in the Atom Force discography, is a tour de force magnum opus of dark synthwave. I’d put it shoulder to shoulder with the best the heavyweights in the industry are producing, and I don’t say that lightly (I’ve covered them all). It’s progressive, brilliantly paced, and a whole lot of fun. Finally we get Atom Force’s first track, Creeps (which dates back to 2014), as a bonus track. It’s a perfect coda to After Dark and also shows that Atom Force is no fluke…the guy is talented, and has been since he broke into the scene.
You can find After Dark at Bandcamp by clicking HERE!
Ready to talk to the man behind the music? Me too! Here’s my Synthwave Sunday conversation with Atom Force:
I am beyond pumped to have you on the site! Do you mind introducing yourself to anyone new to Atom Force?
Thanks for having me! I’m a lover of the 80’s altogether, but also take a lot of inspiration from the late 80’s – I’m HEAVILY influenced by the cheesy films of that era, especially horror & martial arts films.
You’ve got a new album out! How thrilled are you that After Dark is out?
I am SUPER psyched. I released 1988 back in April 2017 and I’ve been slowly working at After Dark since. I wanted to have something spooky, something creepy, but something funky as well.
There are a TON of goodies that come along with the purchase over at Bandcamp. Can you tell us a little more about what you’re getting for that $5.00 asking price?
During the creation process, I’ll often jump to other forms of media to keep from getting writer’s block. I sketched, I drew, I even wrote a companion story to the album, because that’s what was going on in my head while I wrote the tracks. One of the bonus items is that – a companion story to the album. Lots of 80’s horror tropes to be found within. After 1988 was released I had a lot of fans asking if I’ll ever do anything like my debut song again (Creeps, included as a bonus track on Bandcamp) so this album was dedicated to the horror fans. With the Bandcamp purchase you get front and back cover designs, a sketch done during the brainstorming phase, a digital poster designed for the album and the written story – plus the the bonus track Creeps.
What setup did you use to record the album?
I mostly recorded in FL 12, though I recorded and did a lot of editing in Audition CC as well.
Explain your roots. What got you into synthwave in the first place?
I think everything started when my father gave me a Phil Collins album back in 1986. “No Jacket Required” Had a huge influence on me. Back in the 90’s I was doing a lot of DJing, which slowly transitioned into doing live shows. Mostly club music of the era, House & breaks, but there were darkwave circles around so through friends and such I later began hearing about synthwave.
Favorite movie soundtrack?
So hard to pick a favorite! If I had to pick one, I’d say the soundtrack for Big Trouble in Little China.
What was your go to album last year?
Bart Graft’s Green World Dream. Super relaxing album.
You’re a Georgia native…what are the chances we could see some Atom Force on the 2nd Annual Echosynthetic Fest lineup?
If I get the invite and I’m set up for live, I’d say the chances are great! I’m practicing my riffs just in case.
Anyone you’d like to thank or shout out?
Oh definitely. Rick and Marko of Synthetix Music, Luigi Donatello, Noah Kaufmann, huge props to Andy Last, without them I wouldn’t have such great inspiration. Same goes for Who Ha and Watermelon Banzai. They’ve been really great outlets for me to hear about new artists and music. Shout out to Square Wave Clothing, outfitting us in the finest retro threads, and last but not least a shout out to Echosynthetic! Love the site and everything you do for the scene.