Electric Dragon / Dark Water
Want to know what my current situation is as I write this review? I’ve got goosebumps, that’s what? Why? Because Dark Water by Electric Dragon is so amazingly good it has reminded me of why I love synthwave so much. If you’ve found yourself getting bored with the genre, tired of the offerings available, put your headphones on and hit play on Dark Water. This album is a synthwave defibrillator that will shock even the most jaded soul back to life.
From start to finish, the whole aquatic theme of Dark Water is so well realized, so well executed, it’s almost uncanny. Electric Dragon even manages to get undersea sounds to come out of his synths like they’re made that way. Whether its a well placed sample of Donald Pleasance from “Dark and Lonely Water” or vocals from the legendary Becca Starr, everything on this record seems to be crafted perfection down to the smallest detail. I’m honestly in awe of the production, and the fact that Electric Dragon wrote, produced, mixed AND performed this whole thing seems otherworldly to me.
I want to be clear…this isn’t just good synthwave. This is good MUSIC. Period. Dark Water is a genre bending record that pulls so many aces out of its magic hat that you’re honestly going to crazy if you try to pin them down. There’s something for everyone here because there are so many things to identify with. Electric Dragon has quite literally fused everything that I love about electronic music into one perfect record.
I came out on record saying I wasn’t going to do my awards ceremonies this year, especially since so many of the people around the scene are so near and dear to me. Being a positive source for synthwave has ALWAYS been my main goal. That being said, on a personal level, Dark Water is probably not just the best album I’ve heard in 2018, this is a new synthwave standard. Nobody in 2018 is operating on this level…not Brut, not Gost, not Terminus (and what makes that statement so stark is that all three released really, really good albums this year. If somebody asks me what synthwave is, my answer, until someone changes my mind, is going to be Electric Dragon.