24:7 / Naeon Review + Interview
24:7 is back, and he's looking to avoid the sophomore jinx with his follow up to the stunning Zero Hour. Not only does he skip the stumbles that artists sometimes suffer on their second album, he's positively improved every aspect of the 24:7 sound. Naeon feels more organic, focused, and bigger in scale. In short, it's one of 2018's best and I am so excited to have it as part of our re-launch party!
Something that a lot of synthwave suffers from is canned sound...compressed and tinny instruments, badly chosen loops, and inexperience in the studio can all contribute, among a dozen other mis-steps. Naeon is an immediate breath of fresh air. The instruments sound like they were all recorded live for the album, leaving the listener with the feeling of being a part of the experience. It's not an impersonal inanimate thing...Naeon seems to be a living and breathing album.
Don't just take my word for it...even his contemporaries are raving about the new 24:7:
In what has to be an uncanny string of successful releases, TimeSlave Recordings should be very proud to have this album as part of their line-up. You can find it right now over at Bandcamp in a number of formats, including limited edition vinyl, compact disc, and cassette! Check it out now before those analogue formats sell out! Scroll down for my interview with 24:7!
Welcome, and thank you for talking to us! How does it feel to be part of the Echosynthetic relaunch?
It's an honour! Echosynthetic was one of the first websites I found dedicated to covering this music when I first got into the scene a few years back, and it's great to see it go from strength to strength.
You’ve got new music out! What can you tell us about Naeon?
It was a lot of work! (laughs) It's a 13 track album which draws upon quite a few different styles in the synthwave genre, some cybersynth stuff, outrun, bit of darksynth, some mellow dreamier melancholic stuff and some full on foot stompers!
It's out now via Timeslave Recordings this time on Cassette Vinyl and CD! (which I guess can be considered a retro format now).
Did you approach the new material differently than Zero Hour?
Overall the approach was similar, I am really happy with how Zero Hour turned out but I definitely wanted to thicken up the overall sound on this one, turn the reverbs and delays up to 11, bigger drums, bigger melodies and harmonies etc. I wanted to try and make it as epic sounding as I could with some longer songs, a few different time signatures here and there and have a different dynamic to each of the tracks. I've always been drawn to music that moves around a lot and keeps you guessing and I've tried to keep things interesting on each track. In a lot of ways some of it has that 70's prog rock feel but set firmly in an 80's synth kind of way.
Naeon is available on vinyl! On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited does that make you?
That’s a firm 10 for me! Something I would have thought impossible two years back when I started all this. Bit of a bucket list moment really, we are just finishing up the vinyl masters now and can't wait to spin it when it's pressed :) Timeslaves have been putting out a lot of quality vinyl this year, some of the classics from the scene and original artists that were signed when the label first started and it’s great to be a part of.
What got you into music, specifically synth based?
As I kid I had a very random collection of 7” singles and cassette singles..... I fished my old collection out of the loft the other day and the bulk of it is totally cringeworthy, we're talking things like 'Do The Bartman'...... I did find Gary Numan’s Cars and Paul Hardcastle’s 19, which I guess was early signs of Synth love. I've always loved the Rocky 4 soundtrack, and I am a sucker for that over the top 80's film music like Peter Cetera from Karate Kid. It's fair to say I like power cheese anthems!
Then as a teen I got into Metallica and Megadeth etc and played guitar in a few metal bands and it wasn’t until a few years ago when a good friend of mine OSC Steve played me Current Events by Mitch Murder and I loved it instantly and then dove right into the scene discovering other artists. I thought I'd have a go myself and try to bundle in all my love of big anthemic synth tracks and classic video game music, and try to make tracks that are laid out with a more conventional song structure with lots of melody harmony and progression.
Top 3 films of all time?
That’s just an impossible question surely!...... I'm gonna have to pick three favourite 80s films that I still watch every year.
War Games, Three Amigos, and Planes Trains and Automobiles
Best live show you’ve ever been to?
That’s a tough one too..... It’s probably a tie between seeing Dave Matthews play in Boulder on my 19th birthday and Metallica at Donington a few years before. I'm from the UK but worked in America for a few summers and really got into Dave Matthews earlier stuff, which is pretty much unheard of in the UK!
I certainly remember more of the Dave Matthews show, it’s hard to recall much of the Metallica show after standing in mud for 12 hours and drinking 30 pints of watered down Carling...
I'm yet to see any of the big synth guns play live yet, but I hope to make more Synthwave shows this year, as I really enjoyed the retro future fest last year in London.
Any parting words?
Nothing outrageous, just a big thanks to the Timeslaves crew for the faith, and a big thank you to everyone that supports the music, and the scene in general