Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Night Crawler & Friends Play Road Blaster

Night Crawler's latest track, Road Blaster, has been released with an assembly of 80s inspired synth talent unsurpassed in recent memory. I think I'd have to go back to the Teenage Criminal release of Hero mid last year to find an equal to the talent enlisted to remix a single track for an EP release.  It provides ensemble visions of the original idea that covers massive expanses of the synth spectrum in a magnificently inspiring manner.

The Road Blaster EP, as one would expect, contains the original by Night Crawler which is then followed by remixes from Miami Nights 1984, Tommy, Dynatron, Protector 101 AND 80s Stallone. I'll get to these retellings in due course, but first lets get rockin with the originator. The original incarnation is a superb synth wave track that takes in classic videogame soundtrack elements, but is by no means a ChipTune affair. The energy is set to turbo and elements of OutRun-like chase excitement charge the atmosphere like electricity. The samples used are not familiar to me, but work exceedingly well. Road Blaster has overall aesthetic really does feel like a soundtrack to the classic arcade game of the same name, which I'm sure provided some of the inspiration to the composer.

The music is arranged for maximum excitement, unrelenting in it's delivery and driven by thousands of horsepower straight into the night, the entire track is packed with action and details that grab the listener by the throat and refuses to relinquish it's grip. With this in mind it's time to experience MN1984's take on this. I was expecting this remix to actually be more OutRun skewed but instead we get a funky synthstravaganza that evolves into something entirely different. The panic on the streets gives way to smooth piano runs and a more deliberate pace, it also feels like the spirit of Lazerhawk possessed MN1984 during the end stages, which is totally rockin. The final result is spectacular while still remaining true to the original.

Moving into Tommy's universe for the second remix of Road Blaster we are treated to the flowing majesty of Tommy's synth magic that seems to follow the action on the streets like a ghostly alien angel. Ever watching over the dangers of the night but ever present as a guiding light. It's no secret I adore Tommy's style and by injecting these sounds and emotions into the experience and removing some of the more mechanical elements one gets a dazzling display of beautifully entrancing music.

As soon as I saw Dynatron's name in the track listing I had an idea of what could happen, but I wasn't prepared for the eventuality. Familiar opening stages are then smashed into oblivion with crunching guitar riffs and a battery of drums and percussion. The mood gets darker, but the energy remains similar to the original and a tangible danger accompanies each building second. By the time the guitar solo side swipes the listener the rolling carnage takes off to the heavens in a fireball of aural triumph.

Protector 101 begins weaving his own arcane magic on Road Blaster right from the outset. Menacingly conceived synths and machine gun hand-claps immediately make things very obvious that darker powers are controlling the experience. The swell of the synths and devastatingly metronomic percussion allow for zero chance of a happy ending, but in the face of all the bleakness an ember glows through the final chapter which colours the mood with a forceful intent of revenge and denial of adversity. Clenched teeth and a steely gaze end this version of Road Blaster most succinctly.

The final episode of the Road Blast series finds 80s Stallone getting his disco back into action with a bright italo revision which is made even more sparkling from the previous chapter. The samples are enhanced with classic Stallone samples and complemented by a mirroring melody that dances up and down the bassline like a shadow boxing android. This remix is probably the most removed from the original but the original intention from Night Crawler is still felt throughout. It's the perfect finish to a fantastic EP.

The Road Blaster EP is presented on Night Crawler's Bandcamp here and is a FREE release. This is a must have EP for any fan of any denomination of 80s inspired synth, with the amazingly diverse amount of soundscapes contained within this release you're sure to find a Road Blaster that's right for you.


  1. That Dynatron remix is the finest shit I have heard all year. Mind blowing solos and crunching guitars.

    Rick, are you on Twitter? Would love to get updates of your superlative posts on there.

  2. I do have a Twitter account I've never used. I'm still working out the best way to implement it. I'll be sure to plug it on here as soon as I get it working. Thanks for the kind words, Steve!