Xetrovoid / Featured Artist
When it comes to the cyberpunk fringes of darksynth music there are very few artists who are brave enough to exist in those trenches for long. One man has carved himself out a postapocalyptic niche with a discography that sports some of the best releases we've covered here at Echosynthetic. That man is Xetrovoid, and his name is synonymous with synthwave tinged with nuclear fallout, cybernetic death squads, and the glimmer of hope that still remains when all reason for it is gone. So, come with me as we explore some of his works and hopefully introduce you to something you're going to want in your collections. If you're already familiar with Xetrovoid, then a refresher never hurt anyone, especially when it sounds this good!
We will start our dangerous journey with the latest Xetrovoid release, New Machine. Hitting virtual shelves on August 8th, this four track EP is an exercise in the brutal majesty of cyberpunk darksynth. It hits with the fury of a battering ram but this isn't your run of the mill, right off of the assembly line record. On the contrary, Xetrovoid's tracks feel like they've been pieced together from spare cybernetic parts and salvaged war machinery. Thankfully he never leaves you alone in this world he's created...this wasteland of terrible yet amazing things. As I mentioned before, this isn't a story without hope, and New Machine is a perfect primer if you're new to what Xetrovoid has to offer. It's almost like you get both sides of the struggle with this release...humans struggling to exist and those that hunt them. Gripping stuff! While "Self-Destruct" is the track the embedded player starts on, I highly recommend you go back one track so that you don't miss out on the self-titled opening track. It's a blistering song that really has legs on it, soaring to a pretty incredible finish before it's all said and done.
Next we will head over to Self-Replicating Machine, a six track release that was Xetrovoid's way of kicking off the summer. While other artists were basking in the summer of synth glow, the reigning king of cyberpunk was dropping an album about a future where technology wants you dead. Beyond the aesthetics, it also shows that Xetrovoid is far from a one-trick pony, delivering a deep and moving musical experience. Self-Replicating Machine has emotional highs that are matched by brutal lows, covering a spectrum of sounds that most artists just dream of. This is one of my favorite releases in the Xetrovoid discography, delivering some of the best hooks, best basslines, and overall "feel" of any releases of 2018. Don't believe me? Find "Killer Technology" on the embedded player and prepare to get your face melted. Go ahead...I'll wait on you. See what I mean? What's better is that all six tracks bring the same level of intensity, whether they're pulling at your heartstrings or trying to remove your heart completely.
The end of 2017 saw the release of Subhumans, an album that could very easily have been the soundtrack to the best Terminator film that never got made. There's an edgy nostalgia here, but it's not from your own memories. It's like you're remembering experiences from an alternate Earth, remembering things from a time that wasn't so warm and fuzzy, and a world where subhuman creations, beings created by us to do all of the things that are deemed below us, are all too aware of their terrible existence and impending doom. Xetrovoid's ability to convey all of the above is one of the things that sets him apart from many other artists. The world that the music lives in a fully realized, living and breathing place. From the hastened breathing of humans or the cold energy flowing through the circuits of slaves that do as they're told, the world crafted by Xetrovoid seems as if it was real...or worse...might be soon. I think this quote from the Subhumans Bandcamp page really sums it up better than anything I just said.
As we delve deeper into the start of 2017 and even further back into the beginnings of Xetrovoid's discography in 2016, you start to get an idea of the bigger picture. While he has been consistent as an artist, if you start at the beginning and move your way forward into the albums above you will hear the progression. You will hear an artist painting a world with a synthesizer brush...first you get the background and basic outline, then shapes start to form out of the void. Each release adds more details to the creation, no different than brilliant series of books or a painting hanging in a gallery. What Xetrovoid has done here is nothing short of a amazing and deserves to be held up to the light of day. Art transcends a lot of things, but it isn't always noticed. When you have someone who can take one form of media, in this case, music, and then use it to create world that seems so real...I liken it to a sort of magic. Be sure to click on the links above, listen to the music, and then head over to Bandcamp and explore more. There's lots to dive into and the whole point of these articles it to push you in that direction. Enjoy! I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Anthony Beyer, the artist behind every single one of the amazing images you're seeing other than the one for New Machine, which was done by Luke Brown. Take note out there...picking a good visual artist for your work goes a long way!!!