Do you miss the eight-bit soundtrack to Super Mario Brothers or Megaman? Do the basic sine waves instill a sense of nostalgia for you? Are you yearning for classic 1980’s inspired music? Whether you are or not the music is out there. Joe Trickey aka Anaphora recently released an album entitled Simplicity, which pardon the pun is simple yet enjoyable. Some of the songs seem straight out of your Nintendo while others skip the eight-bit sounds entirely. Simplicity is a mixed bag of instrumental electronic music that displays an artist who is showing potential and talent.
On the opening track “Fixing Toys and Fighting Monsters” you can picture the outdated 2D graphics and controllers. The synth tones are undeniable warm and gave me a fuzzy, nostalgic feeling. On top of that the melody will get stuck in your head however on repeat I could imagine it making you mad. “Digital Picnic” revolves around the same idea as the first song but was better in pretty much every way. The melody is catchier, the tones are warmer and the overall structure was more inventive.
The third track “The Planetarium” ditches the video game theme and trades it off for music that sounds like something one would use for the series Cosmos. It starts off with potential but gets lost along the way. The organic sounding drums didn’t fit with the majestic synths and the lead synths sounded too wacky compared to the warm, contemplative synths the song started with. “The Day the Sun Went Out” revolves around a deep club beat that pumps synths out of an interstellar sphere while I couldn’t help but laugh at the beginning of “Gandalf” because of its silliness.
“Dr. Death” reverts to video game synths again. It is more of an end of the level boss theme hence the title. “Fundamental Singularity” is a pretty solid track showcasing a bit more versatility from Trickey.
Simplicity is a decent album but not yet on the level where it can compete with top tier electronic acts. The concepts are a bit scattered and the programming isn’t very complicated or innovative. That being said Trickey shows moment of inspired talent. He will most likely have to increase his arsenal of gear, technique and ideas which I could definitely see happening.
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