Timestalker / No Saviours + Interview
From the second that you hit “play” on Timestalker’s latest full length release, No Saviours, you know immediately that this is the work of a craftsman. If you’re familiar with Timestalker and what he brings to the table then you at least know that he pulls no punches, consistently delivers quality that rivals the top tiers of synthwave, and layers hooks like no other. For you new listeners out there, this is your lucky day! You’re about to get introduced to the best kept secret in synthwave!
One of the biggest praises that I can give Timestalker is that he writes dark synthwave with heart. More often than not you get a competition over who can go darker, heavier, or outdo the latest dark synth trends. The end results lack character and they lack soul. Timestalker side-steps this completely by infusing his music with a verve that is completely his own. Much like Occams Laser, he’s able to put his stamp on the genre in a way that makes everything else a pale imitation. This isn’t done with the intent to overshadow anyone else, and that’s half of why I’m so impressed with Timestalker’s music. It’s genuine.
No Saviours had some pretty big shoes to fill as a follow up to 2017’s Pandemonium, which was absolutely spectacular. Timestalker side-steps this potential tripping hazard as well by writing an album that sounds nothing like its predecessor. Not only does this prevent comparisons, it also allows both albums to stand on their own as unique creations. Filled to the brim with body moving beats, headbanging hooks, and the “feather in the cap” Dimi Kaye guitar work, No Saviours serves as a prime example of where synthwave SHOULD be heading as a genre. Timestalker has taken the well worn synthwave path and repaved it…there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you’re doing it right. And believe me, No Saviours is oh, so right.
I had the opportunity to talk to Timestalker this week about the new album! Here’s our conversation:
Timestalker, thanks for taking the time to talk to me! How are things?
Thank YOU for the big interest in my music, means a lot! Things are great actually, a lot of pressure fell off my back when I finally could say that the album‘s finished. It‘s always an exciting time around an album release, but there were times before that when I had troubles to keep going and I was close to never be able to finish the album at all. But it all ended well and I‘m very proud of the end product.
You have a new album! How does No Saviours differ from your previous work?
Like my previous release Pandemonium it is conceptual. The cover artwork tells the story of a guy who is fighting alone against an army of cyborgs. There are literally no saviours for him to help.
The difference between my previous work and this first full-length is the extra year of practice since then. My ideas got better, my skills got better and overall I think I managed to create a fuller and more mature sound. Full-lengths also leave more room for experimentation and you have more time to build up an atmosphere that the listener can dive into.
The album is kinda built around the epic 8-minute-track in the middle of the album, one of the tracks I‘m most proud of.
With streaming being such a popular way of experiencing music these days, what's it like releasing an album in the "digital age?"
I think it‘s still important to give your fans something to long after instead of feeding them with track after track after track all the time.
Sure, streaming changed a lot of things but physical releases are still big in the synthwave scene. Most fans are collecting vinyl, and there the conceptual album still works way better than just some singles which are randomly thrown together.
How does the album writing process unfold for you? Does the music flow through you or do you command the music?
Hm, it‘s different from song to song I think. Sometimes I have a clear idea of how the song should sound like. Then the composing process is very fast, other times I either don‘t really know in which direction the song will go or I had it in my mind but then it doesn‘t turn out how I wanted it to.
Best in that case is to let it rest for a while, work on other snippets and sketches and return later with a different view on it.
Sometimes I even discover some sketches that I made from previous records that I didn‘t like at the time but when I rediscover then, it happened a few times that it just clicked and I loved it immediately.
With 2018 almost under our collective belts, what do you think 2019 has in store for you?
Hopefully new music! At the moment I‘ll take a break from composing and focus on other stuff that I had in mind for a long time. I plan to do some merch (got a nasty looking black-metal-style logo ready for you guys) and also I‘d really like No Saviours to come out on vinyl. So these are the next steps. At the moment, I‘m really excited to see the feedback for my new album coming in and the many new people I hopefully get to meet on my journey. I‘m not finished at all!