Pittsburgh duo Arcade High makes music that is unabashedly nostalgic, hearkening back to the days of “letterman jackets, arcade lights, fast cars, and warm summer nights.” Contrasting with the air of detached irony adopted by some artists that traffic in 80’s signifiers, Arcade High’s love of that era’s sound is enthusiastic and full-hearted. “Save State,” one of the songs from their upcoming release New Impressions (Telefuture), plays like a cross between Melrose Years-era Tangerine Dream and an 8-bit cover of a track from Lamb Of God’s Sacrament album. Bouncy, dirty bass lines collide with thunderous drums and electroshocked synthesizers to create a sound that makes you want to put on a trench coat and some steampunky sunglasses and zap yourself into a pixelated Spy Hunter arcade console (a game in which in which the graphics are so primitive that your getup wouldn’t matter, unfortunately). Arcade High’s attention to detail is impressive; the track begins with the sound of a tape being popped into a player, and midway through there comes a moment where the music drops out, and the “tape” is ejected, blown into, and reinserted (still in step with the beat) before the music fades back in. “Save State” manages to make me yearn for a time that I never actually experienced, which is quite an accomplishment. A great listen for fans of classic house music a la Virgo Four, A E S T H E T I C types, and people planning to binge the new Stranger Things upon release.
Check out more from Arcade High: https://arcadehigh.bandcamp.com/
and from Telefuture: https://telefuturenow.bandcamp.com/