TimeSlave Recordings are back for a 4th edition of one of the biggest and longest standing compilations in Synthwave.
FutureSounds Vol.4 reunites some of the most talented and recognisable names in the scene, with 21 tracks and – once again – all of the profits go to charity.
It features exclusives from the likes of Occams Laser, Waveshaper, Morgan Willis, OSC and many more, as well as a long list of tracks by Synthwave royalty that have never featured on physicals releases before.
All aspects of the diverse world of Synth are covered: from OG Outrun, to Chillwave, through vocal synthpop, and on to Darksynth – plus everything in between.
The artwork is stunning and we have Glenn Jones to thank for pulling together something that perfectly encapsulates the album’s mood.
The album drops on Friday 17th March, alongside sister label My Pet Flamingo’s ‘Flamingo Funk vol.3’.
I had the pleasure of curating it with Mr Patrick Fakeman and we’ve got exclusive previews of 4 tracks from the album, which will be available on Vinyl, Cassette, MiniDisc and Digital formats on March 17th 2023 on Bandcamp.
IVERSEN – ‘What You Do’
“Fresh from their triumphant London gig with Wolf Club last month, IVERSEN have shared their exclusive new track ‘What You Do’ for Futures Sounds Vol. 4.
“From the opening talk box to the front and centre guitar licks, IVERSEN are continuing their journey from what was originally a solo project into a fully fledged synth pop band. This upbeat jam is perfect for the coming summer months – accompanied as ever by Josh’s honest lyrics of love and reflection.
“It’s no secret i’m a huge IVERSEN fan and consider them to be one of the most exciting bands in the scene. ‘What You Do’ continues to prove i’m right in that assessment.”
Morgan Willis – ‘The Way‘
“Shirobon recently argued that the best Synthwave tracks don’t sound like the 80s. Such a basic construct but one that speaks so much to me as the listener, and I fully concur. How have I never thought of this?! I much prefer the French Touch/Nu Disco side of Synthwave and find myself drawn to artists that dabble in it. At the very top of this pile comes the ever-splendid Morgan Willis with a new track! Hoorah!
“The first thing I immediately noticed when listening to ‘The Way’ is that it doesn’t stray from the status quo of previous works. Some of you might shrug your shoulders at this but diehard fans of Morgan Willis will absolutely understand. So many Synthwave artists try to shake things up with each passing single or album and often this can lead to catalogues feeling stretched and without identity. I adore the fact that Mr Willis sticks to his guns and produces a sound that never drops in quality.
“The Way is quite simply another reminder of Morgan’s consistency and brilliance. The subdued imagery of reminiscence in the intro gives way to a bold flashback wrapped in batches of catchy beats and heavy-as-hell basslines. There’s some lovely progression coming out of the interludes and the longevity of each segment of the track is bang on. It’s got funk, it’s got even more swagger and a plethora of feels! Synthwave’s answer to Daft Punk knocks it out of the park yet again with a track that deserves its place on this insane FutureSounds compilation and I know it won’t be the last time either.”
Waveshaper – ‘Exabot’
“Waveshaper’s new single ‘Exabot’ which features on the album is the latest evolution in the artist’s bot series, following on from ‘Giga’, ‘Terra’ and ‘Mega’. The track sounds suitably gigantic for a tune named after the shorthand for a quintillion.
“It is paced like a boss level playthrough with a patchwork of different themes and styles appearing to soundtrack some invisible action. A melody plays on icy digital bells and builds to a slinky industrial beat. There is a moment of major key brightness with some 80s action chords, but these quickly give way to a pounding, modern phonk groove. As the tune progresses, these elements combine, finishing with a triumphant arpeggio section.
“Waveshaper’s ‘Exabot’ also exhibits the modern approach to Synthwave that Shirobon was talking about in his recent tweet, with its EDM-level dynamics and digital sounds that aren’t authentic to 80s era, but it retains a playful retro sensibility.”
Enzo Van Baelen & Kid Neon – ‘Ricochet’
“Opening like a satisfyingly OG synthwave track, Ricochet borrows a vocal sample from ‘Apollo 13’ to set the mood for space travel. The tune is driven by a determined beat, coupled by a call-and-response hard rock guitar lick and synth lead, before pulsing and expanding with a deft breakbeat. For the keen-eared, the track also shares the same James Brown sample as employed in The Prodigy’s 1991 classic – Charly.
“The recurring melody draws comparison to acclaimed synth and vapor artist Zayaz, with a sparkling synth flourish, reminiscent of Ace Buchannon.
“Then at around the two and half minute mark, apropos of nothing, lands an incredible slap bass section, which morphs and rolls into the percussive bounce of the track. The sensory overload continues, with our synth and guitar refrains returning. At around five minutes it crescendos with a final spoken word sample as we splash down to Earth. Enzo and Kid Neon have reached deep into the melting pot of our broad church of synthwave, with EDM, breakbeat and rave culture, and 80s rock fighting to be heard in the explosive maelstrom. I was definitely hit by the ricochet of its power.”
Tracklisting in full:
Various Artists: ‘FutureSounds vol.4’(TimeSlave Recordings)
1. CJ Burnett – Empty Highway (4:48)
2. Occams Laser – Destroyer (3:10)
3. Enzo Van Baelen & Kid Neon – Ricochet (5:03)
4. Phaserland – Nomad City (4:53)
5. Waveshaper – Exabot (3:48)
6. Timecop 1983 – Running Away (5:42)
7. Morgan Willis – The Way (5:21)
8. IVERSEN – What You Do (3:01)
9. Brandon – Malibu Groove (4:25)
10. SLVMBER – Heatwave (feat. Astral Tales) (4:28)
11. Emil Rottmayer – Origins (3:16)
12. Stilz – Departures (3:22)
13. Lucy in Disguise – Fantasy Beach (5:36)
14. Galaxy 80 – Asteroid (3:56)
15. OSC – Christine Said (3:56)
16. New Arcades – Lights (3:11)
17. The G – Waverunner Alpha (3:22)
18. Parallels & Chris Huggett – Golden (4:24)
19. Robots with Rayguns – IWD4U (feat. Jay Diggs) (2:51)
20. Caspro – Astrogaze (3:33)
21. Lost Outrider/WOLFCLUB/Anita Kyoda – Love & IM in ‘05 (3:55)
The return of the FutureSounds series – like its cousin ‘Flamingo Funk vol.3 – sees us once again teaming up to raise money for good causes.
This year we will be donating 40% of the profits to Shelter Cymru, a charity that helps thousands of people across Wales to escape homelessness and who work tirelessly to fight the impact the housing emergency has on people and society.
A further 60% will be split between four charities or organisations close to our hearts.
Our Barn, a charity that runs community-based activities providing learning, life skills and social interaction for young people aged between 16 to 35 with learning disabilities or autism.
Age Cymru, a national charity whose mission is to make life better for older people. More than ever before, older people are facing some of the hardest challenges imaginable. Some live in poverty or can’t get the basic care they need to live with dignity. Age Cymru is there to support them when they’re needed the most.
Queensbury Boxing Gym in Barry, which works with local boxing legend and former World IBF Featherweight champion, Lee Selby, to help provide opportunities to young people through sport and physical activity.
Plus a donation of £1,000 to St Fagans Cricket Club, a local community club in the Cardiff area that provides amazing social and sporting opportunities for people of all ages. Our donation will be used to pay for the installation of a life saving defibrillator on site.
FutureSounds vol.4 will be released on TimeSlave Recordings on March 17th
Written by Enzo Van Baelen