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Mirror Ball Melodies: ByteMapper's Devil on the Dancefloor - Music Review

 original Synths

ByteMapper's Devil on the Dancefloor

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"Dan Dare, a high school freshman in love with a junior, knows that he has to do it.  He must make his presence known to the girl of his dreams.  

There is no other time then RIGHT NOW to ask Megan for a dance.  She's right there; the mirror ball spins slow above her.  It is inviting the both of them.  The song is also slow.  Maybe not a favorite of his, but who cares?  Someone somewhere is, as the song suggests, sending him an angel.  RIGHT NOW. 

So what if she didn't come here alone?!  What is her boyfriend doing?  Chatting with the rest of the football players at the punch bowl.  Maybe giving some kid a swirly.  He isn't even trying with her anymore. 

But Dan Dare is trying.  He is moving closer to Megan.  Because he knows how she looks at him from the side of her deep green eyes.

The boy continues to weave through the people.  He sees her again.  The blue dress fits her nicely.  And the green of her eyes is all he needs to know of the ocean.  How many times has he drowned in those waves?  He is helpless.  If this isn't love, he doesn't know what it is.  All he can do is think about her and listen to the mixtape he made for (but never gave) her over and over in his room.  

Suddenly, a hand is placed on his shoulder.  He knows the grip.  And Michael, the dumb jock she arrived here with, isn't happy.  He tightens his grip and pushes Dan back toward the wall.

It is there, staring up at the mirror ball as it spins, where Dan Dare will remain for the rest of the night.  Waiting.


 

ByteMapper's Devil on the Dancefloor

The bio says it all: "Part man, part monophonic bass synthesizer".  But there's something else: ByteMapper is absolutely ALL HEART.  His latest release, Devil on the Dancefloor, is a solid smorgasbord of five wistful tunes that, if allowed, will certainly leave you breathless (and heartbroken) on the dance floor.  You, my friends, have become the Dan Dares of the world.

Get your Casio calculator watchers set to display the correct time.  We are definitely going full-tilt retro with the delicious grooves laid down on this release.  Devil on the Dancefloor strikes those heart-chords early and often.  On a highly creative release like this, there is no escaping the retrolicious sonics.  They are sugary.  They are sweet.  They are in no way a disappointment.  Fun and melody abounds here thanks to ByteMapper's compositions. 

This 5-track release is full of damn good stuff. 

"Synthwave becomes thoughtful and somewhat distant with this release from South Carolina’s ByteMapper."


And it begins with a definite sign of positive – albeit heart swelling – things to come.  Because, sometimes, we all just need a break from the madness of modern life and, with this developed of an opening, you are granted time enough to sit back and enjoy this retro-themed cocktail.  Sip all day long if you must. 

The journey back through the electronic 1980s begins with “Buckshot Bastard” and its infectious (and slinky!!!) chill.  The song, deep with lush electronic patterns, immediately draws us in with a synth line that feels ported over from a lo-fi slasher flick.  It’s not, of course, but the layers and drum fills added to that pattern bring out touches that make this one a heavenly groove to walk toward the dance floor under.  How is this done?  We go from slasher to sweethearts?!  Count me in.

The retro theme continues with “Devil on the Dancefloor”, a song that is over all too soon, as the keys invite us to enjoy an extended vacay while listening to its ripe groove.  Our ears get a slow fade-in and some sparkling keys as the melody becomes magical and, yes, each and every one of these songs feels preset for some imaginary John Hughes movie, complete with that high school dance ending.  Take my hand, Molly Ringwald.  Please.

Your brain is playing tricks on you on the next song.  Surely, it is.  Because, as “Did You Take My Walkman?” rolls out, it is as if Australia’s Real Life has re-materialized with some damn fresh sequential circuits Prophet 5-based tunes.  There IS a beauty to song construction here. It is not so simple either.  And it soldiers on with the sneaky syrup of the percolating moves of “Love in the Atomic Age”, a song that feels like it should accompany Pretty in Pink.  In my ears, with those pitches and those pads, a song like this, damn near flowing outwardly without ANY effort, deserves its OWN movie.  Tell me I’m wrong!

The retro vibe encapsulated inside ByteMapper’s “Does It Ever Change?” is all sorts of dream-educing.  The song’s title might threaten of a dark night ahead but the song, complete with kickass keys and a laid-back approach to life under the glittering mirror ball, is more low-key in its development.  The high school romance plays out again with the dramatic beginning and ethos and, yes, this includes being able to absolutely see and hear and feel this song playing as two awkward teens dance at the end of the movie. Hear that Hollywood? Someone write that movie. STAT!

Synthwave becomes thoughtful and somewhat distant with this release from South Carolina’s ByteMapper.  There is solid emotion tugging on ALL the “feels” here.  And it can damn near reduce you to a puddle on the dancefloor, right next to Dan Dare as you stare up at the mirror ball.

Bytemapper

 


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