REVIEW: Stargrave – “STARGRAVE”

As I sit here droopy eyed and in need of my next caffeine fix, the music of Stargrave transports me to a digital realm where I surf laser beams into the future. To be clear, this is an especially retro future, of the sort that would certainly have welcomed you in 1985, bleeping synths and pounding 808s plodding in the background. As such, there is a heavy electro element to the music, less electronic than almost breakdance influenced, like a neo-primitive EDM. It’s almost like you’re in your favorite 8-Bit video game, fighting against impossible odds to save the President from ninjas. Or robots. Or punk rock dudes with whips. You know, like how the streets were in the 80s.

The tracks here are uniform in sound. The description rendered above fits the entire album as more than just a theme, but a mode of operation. Stargrave is about this bleep-blop life. You can imagine the creator(s) of this music sitting in a basement lined with Commodore 64s, all wearing Nintendo Power Gloves while they bang out the next bopper in their mission. It’s exactly that stylized, submitted here as neither good nor bad. Still, for a lot of people this may play as a novelty, at least insomuch as it requires a certain mood going into the music to really get into it.

To draw some comparisons here, the music is like local legends Ultra Pulverize, Kraftwerk, or Japanese Telecom. For those familiar, this is high praise to earn such a prestigious and varied set of contemporaries, and one that Stargrave easily merits. Despite the niche aspects of the project, the music is imminently listenable and well crafted; if you were to exchange a lot of the digital qualities here with acoustic instrumentation, this would be extremely well composed indie pop. Add vocals (think Daft Punk, another fair point of comparison here), and you are on to what Stargrave is cooking. And yeah, I’m fine with making references to The Rock whenever possible.

Listen below and get ready to cyber. You be the judge of what that means.