Stilz / Sentient
Stilz is a name that has been, for me, synonymous with the best that synthwave has to offer. From the beginning days of Echosynthetic he's been an artist that I've enjoyed, respected, and admired. Beyond that, as an individual he is an excellent ambassador for artists that are new to the scene. How did he get to the point of being a synthwave stalwart, a household name, and one of the shining examples of what the scene has to offer? A lot of hard work, talent that you just can't teach, and by being a nice guy who is generous with his time.
June saw the release of Sentient, the latest full length from Stilz, on Lazerdiscs Records. As soon as you hit play you know you are listening to Stilz. There's something about the way he structures his songs...I can't quite put my finger on it...that shines like a bright core at the center of each song. That's not to say that there's any, "I've heard this before" complaints to be had here, because there's not. Sentient has a whole lot of meat on its bones, a double album's worth of Stilz here. His ability to portray an atmosphere and pull you into some sort of almost physical space with his music is uncanny. So no, there's no boredom to be found. These songs move you from place to place with ease, and oh do they have sights to show you!
A Stilz release wouldn't be complete without trademark collaborations, and in this case Sentient is a beast! It features work with Siddhartha Barnhoorn, Castroe, Electric Dragon, Nowtro, Red Marker, and Night Raptor. Beyond that, mastering was done by the one and only Absolute Valentine and the artwork was done by Atomcyber (who also did the artwork for Echosynthetic!).
To say that Sentient is a must own is a foregone conclusion. It's a Stilz release so obviously it's a must own, right? Well Sentient is Stilz at his very best and it's a very tight, well produced, well written, and memorable record. Be sure to check out the link below to get your hands on the double cd version of the record thanks to Lazerdiscs Records!