- '80s-inspired synth beats.
- This video from 2012 shows a YouTube user called Alex O'Neil playing arpeggios on a microKORG synthesizer. Without too much effort, he gets some strong ideas going. The microKORG is a small, cheap synth, but there's something about a well-executed arpeggio that can feel massive. Neil Landstrumm knows this well. The Scottish artist has a long, rich history with synth-driven dance music, and on Shitting Diamonds On Jupiter, his first record for Gerd Janson's Running Back, he casts arpeggios in a leading role.
In doing so, he essentially extends an invitation to once again celebrate the '80s. It's not a fresh idea of course, but as Running Back has shown (to use just one nearby example), there's still plenty of life left in the approach. There's little to choose between "Sex With Madonna," "Centurion X" and "Shame." They each match arpeggios with punchy drums and retro-futurist synth bursts. It's a blueprint that "Shame" pulls off best, but all three are fine examples of this style. With its rave-related themes, "Night Walker Zwei" is the '90s outlier. It's the darkest track, although Landstrumm gets a little carried away with the reverb and lessens some of its bite. "HI_LM," in contrast, is the pretty one. It could be the soundtrack to the video game on the EP's cover, a gentle electro trip that concludes an EP with synthesizers and the past on its mind.
A1 Sex With Madonna
A2 Centurion X
B2 Night Walker Zwei