Is anyone reading this old enough to remember Commodore computers, particularly the C64 line? No? How about the original Nintendo consoles? Maybe? If not, that’s okay, play along as if you know what I’m talking about. You see, these once-popular systems were great gaming platforms in their day. They had crude graphics and, back then, the music and sound effects in games tended to be quite high pitched. I’m not sure why, but people for decades associated the future and space and future space travel with high pitched sounds. Don’t believe me? Go hunt down episodes of the original Star Trek and listen to all the high pitched beeps and whistles. Then compare those sounds to more modern space flight shows. Modern science fiction features lower tones and fewer high notes. At any rate, a little while back I had the chance to purchase an instrumental album which was composed entirely of remixes of C64 music. A lot of high pitched sound, a lot of catchy sound loops and all mixed together in layers to make some darn interesting music.
The reason I bring all this up — C64 computers, Star Trek and the sounds of science fiction – is because that C64 mix album is what came to mind when I listened to Neo Star Nova-Z’s twelve track album, Infinity Factor. The tracks on Infinity Factor have a strong early science fiction theme to them. Just look at some of the song titles: “Stranded In Orbit”, “Falling From The Sun”, “Dark World” … you get the idea. And what caught my attention is these tracks also carry that retro science fiction sound, the style of early gaming consoles and early Star Trek shows. Granted, Infinity Factor is obviously put together with much more modern technology. The tracks are layered and more complex than anything we would have heard thirty years ago. Infinity Factor also contains some lyrics, not a lot mind you, but they are there, adding a dimension to the songs.
Many of the tracks carry elements of what I would call progressive metal, heavy on the instrumentals, with a strong electronic/computerized sound. It often comes across like something people might dance to at Comic-Con, possibly while dressed as robots. Part of me finds the regular use of the higher notes grating, part of me enjoys the shot of nostalgia this album gives me. My mental jury is still out on whether I really dig this album or not. It’s certainly interesting and I do enjoy the retro feel, but it’s not something I would be likely to listen to frequently. I feel Infinity Factor is aimed at an audience which enjoys a progressive take on a retro sound. Perhaps its audience is a small niche, but that niche is certainly out there. Just like the Truth.
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