January 23, 2014

SPACEPUNKS GO CHIPTUNES: crashfaster - further (2013)

Our inbox has been host to a slew of awesome music submissions as of late. I don't know what going on, man, but I love it! We can't even keep up anymore, it's just album after album. We're doing our best to catch up, though. The latest in this string of awesomeness is San Francisco-based outfit crashfaster, a 4-piece band performing an exciting mix of electro-rock and chiptunes.

As you may know, we here at TZEEEAC are huge fans of electronic music, as long as its underground, obscure and preferably about cyborgs murdering people with laser gauntlets. Perturbator, Umberto and pretty much the entire Aphasia Records roster comes to mind, so if you have even a passing interest in cyberpunk and 80s sci-fi movies, you should click all of these links, turn up the volume and prepare to have your house broken into by replicants.

Having said that, crashfaster come in less from a "dark neo-noir tales of sex, drugs and violence set in a dystopian neon-lit 80s vision of the future" angle and more from a "hey guys, not everything is bleak and horrible in the future" kind of perspective. Most of crashfaster's songs are highly danceable, featuring retro-sounding synths (allegedly created using actual Gameboys) and a mixture of serene female vocals courtesy of vocalist Keiko Takamura (whom I suspect is already in the hearts of starry-eyed computer geeks all over SF) and electronic vox from the band's mastermind Morgan Tucker, reminiscent of early Daft Punk. Their sound is further rounded out by an actual human drummer named Devin Nixon and guitarist Ryan Case, laying out some futuristic distorted guitar riffs to provide a harsh counterpoint to the chiptunes. Speaking of which, the chiptune use is fortunately moderate and they are well programmed, so if you're going in expecting those hard-hitting noises that made you want to turn your speakers off while you were installing your cracked copy of Earthworm Jim back in the 90s, relax - these guys know what they're doing. 

Each song on further sounds just a bit different than the previous, as the band doesn't confine themselves to one style of music - instead, they mix feelings, beats and atmospheres into a cohesive album that will keep its listeners on the edge. For me, the highlight of the album is definitely closer, a thumping, upbeat song with robotic vocals and a really cool groove.

Oh, and this video they made for beacon is one of the coolest things I've ever laid my mutant eyes on. Not only is it a bitchin' song, but the video features a dude exploring an abandoned space station where he finds a bunch of skeletons. Skeletons are cool! I'm also embedding an official live video showcasing their awesome stage presence.

PS: If you're looking for a more chiptunes-heavy sound, crashfaster have got you covered, too! Check out their first album disconnect on their Bandcamp page.

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