The electronic music alliance Synth Alley released the second volume of their project, Neon Pixel, on Spotify and other digital music services on December 30. Seven tracks have been included in the compilation produced by eight talented bounce, tech house, dubstep, and psytrance music makers from ICON Collective, a top electronic music academy out of Los Angeles.
What do Jauz, NGHTMRE, Slander and Kyzo have in common? They all have been involved in the ICON Collective at one point or another. This college of music is known as a stepping stone to becoming a name in the EDM industry. Synth Alley takes one step further and combines the forces of four Asian brands (Kanjian Music, Pillz, Remix China, Electronic Music Information) with roots at ICON Collective and promotes their tracks together around the world.
The first song on Neon Pixel is ‘Whatever you call it’ by A$UKA and MunchKing. Right off the bat, listeners know they are entering an electronic playground inhabited by big room synthesizers and trap stylings. Halfway through the tune, the breakdown goes low for a few moments right before exploding into a dirty EDM incursion on the eardrums. If a temple celebration got out of hand with people dancing against the robot overlords, ‘Whatever you call it’ would be the soundtrack to the mayhem.
‘Life’ by Encryption and MunchKing and ‘矩阵’ by TONG breathe new life into dubstep, while Dr. Z shows he has some chops in ‘Malfunction.’ ‘Dimorphos’ by Bubble crane creates a unique trap energy, and ‘Time Chaser’ by Acid Lips has a deeper than dystopian feel to it. With some Daft Punk-like vocoder sounds and Fatboy Slim-like keys, CHYL’s progressive ‘Right on Time’ lets listeners get the feeling that the AIs may be taking over, but they haven’t quite won the war on humanity yet.
While things may look and feel bleak at the moment, the music from Neon Pixel provides a sneak peek into what the future sounds like.
Neon Pixel can be streamed here.