I love synthwave and electronic music. And I love musicians returning from the void. So the return of synthwave artist Dynatron is of immediate interest to me. It’s been 5+ years since we’ve heard anything from him, and he is back with a full length album called Origins. It releases on October 15th.
Dynatron is Jeppe Hasseriis of Denmark. He is something of a legend in this genre, even helping to launch synthwave, and I would say revive electronic, when he started releasing music back in 2012. He is, of course, a longtime guitarist for death metal bands The Cleansing and Usipian, too, so he has quite a range musically.
Yes, this is synthwave. The music is electronic and lush and colorful, and I would say bent towards spacey, mysterious vibes mostly. Blade Runner and Alien are obvious influences on the tone, with Vangelis and Jean Michel-Jarre being the grandfathers of the sound Jeppe has amassed here. The album itself is about a search for meaning and hope within the vast, dark recesses of this besieged life, and so the music does a fantastic job of coaxing those feelings to the surface.
Let me just say it: I love this record. It has more than novelty or flash in its toolbox. Jeppe has constructed beautiful melodies, searing electronic tones, and real feelings of a search or a journey. It is one of those records that makes you want to start it over as soon it as finishes.
One of my favorite parts is the inclusion of metal guitars. You don’t see that often in synthwave music, but it really works here. An example of this is the second track, “Close Encounter”. This song hangs aloft in mystery and sensation at first, but soon come the jarring and beautifully heavy riffs that add so much weight and grit to the experience. The song is practically more metal than synthwave at points, and I absolutely can’t get enough of it and its various transitions in rhythm and beat.
The single is the title track, and, wow, is it good. “Origins” has such a pleasant, beauteous tone that I think anyone, regardless of their musical tastes, will like it and its purposeful melodies. Another favorite is “The Portal”, a cinematic piece with darkness and foreboding flickering at the edges of its periphery. Yet another great track is “Future”, this one being more subtle and gradual. It never really climaxes, but its beat is satisfying and memorable.
One of the best songs on the record is called “The Machine”. It has a cyclical electronic tone at its core, but its feelings of anticipation are what really draw me to it, along with its filmic qualities. “Epilogue” closes the album, much in the way that “A New Place” opens it, with tender tones and thoughtful story-telling vibrations. And I think, between those two tracks, that Jeppe really is telling a story that matters, not just within his own mind, but to each of us. And you can feel it as the album closes, that “what if” or that “how” that races through the heat in your veins.
Dynatron is back, and this album proves that nothing has been lost. Origins feels whole and vivid, with not a bad track on it. There is a definite focus that produced much fruit here. If you love soundtracks, electronic music, synthwave, or even just great melodies, you need to give this a shot.
Find Dynatron online: