These Magenta Magicians known simply as 'DeltaCity' have been circum-navigating the outer rim of the neon grid since circa 2018 with the well-received release of ‘Digital Memories’ which was undoubtedly a concept album, a postcard from the Grid and certainly a neon dip dyed missive to everything they love about the Synthwave/80s genre.
'Delta City' are Two gentlemen who hail from the UK, Philip Chrysandrea & Tony Stavrou.
There is no denying the fact that they are serious about Synth and there is nothing more thrilling to me than to watch the chrysalis of a band emerge into something sleek and defined. It is this definition that is well apparent in their recent release ‘Tokyo Recall’
The album opens to what I can only suggest being one of my favourite releases of this tawdry year, ‘Starkiller’. This track almost unfolds before your very eyes. There is 1.17 minute instrumental of cinematic quality before we hear the ethereal like vocal seep in and somehow it takes the track to majestic new heights. It’s well-crafted and produced beautifully and a fantastic opener to the album though to be honest I’m almost on edge at this point because if you start at the top where else can you go except stay there which can be very difficult for any band to accomplish no matter who you are!
The track that flows after is ‘Mitsuo’s Revenge’ and from the very start the instrumental reminds me of a Samurai’s Lament. You can almost hear it played over a one shot take that pans out to show a battle worn Warrior standing on a breezy cliff’s edge contemplating something...his revenge perhaps? Ang Lee if your reading take notes…
The track tells a great story and is lyrically well placed, I’d wager the purists amongst us would prefer the entire track as an instrumental number but I feel it works as one. Either way its job done with respect to the imagery and feeling it invokes. “Tomorrow, the Dawn is gonna see me rise”. A motto for our times!
Continuing the Japanese theme is track 3 and the album’s title ‘Tokyo Recall’. This track of itself surprised me as the previous two numbers had gently lulled me into dream like security. The beat itself is a little more dramatic and skips along with the Japanese soundalike Synths that punctuate the track throughout.
The next track up is ‘Hang on’ and as soon as the spark of this song rebounded off my ear drums I myself was thinking “hang on”...it has a super out run sort of feel. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this track was somehow a homage to an Arcade game Sega released late 80’s (ish) and on doing a tad more research I was right. It’s an instrumental of good quality, it does feel a little out of place having heard the three tracks that have gone before but that means relatively nothing. As a stand-alone track it punches above its weight and is something I’ll listen to again and again, whether it gels with the album I’m not quite sure but I’m not one for convention.
‘Moonlight Dreaming’ is up next and brings me the familiar akin to the first three tracks. That’s no means a bad thing at all. Again, it shows off their production chops to great ability and it ebbs and flows really well. I found myself wanting to take a second listen without any forethought, then a third and a fourth…nice job guys!
‘Shadow Warriors’ stealthily drops from the ceiling of this album as track no. 6 and it’s a sure-fire winner in my opinion. Whether it’s the introduction of a Guitar or the seemingly pure quality of the production and vocals that captured me it’s hard to gauge. All I know is that this track features vocals and lyrics by Matthew Gertz from the American Slacker Podcast show who fostered a friendship with the Duo after interviewing them a few times and it appears to be a collaboration we never knew we needed until now!
Next track samples Les Brown who is an inspirational speaker who essentially force feeds us all what we should know which is to NEVER GIVE UP! Especially on your dreams. The track is called ‘Highway Runner’ and is essentially a re-working of a previous track they had released back in 2019.
The remaining three tracks on the album are just as engaging with the standout being the final track ‘Last Kiss’. This song is weighted in poignancy for anyone who’s ever loved too much and lost or just serving as a reminder to treat every moment with that someone special as it’s your last. Savouring the friendships, relationships and loves we have as we never know when it will be last time.
Taxi!.... Delta City please!
Favourite Track: Tied – Starkiller, Hang On & Shadow Warriors
Least Favourite: N/A
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