NITE: Synths, guitars, and fabulous hair (an interview)

Okay, time to talk about NITE. I feel ashamed to say this, but I was not familiar with them until I saw them at Absolution Fest in Tampa. I remember very vividly, I was standing in the back by the bar, finishing up some fruity mixed drink, wondering who’d grace the stage next. I saw two guys, rocking haircuts somewhere between those of Mötley Crüe and Dead or Alive, black blazers, and silver epaulettes. You really don’t see that much these days. I know judging a book by its cover is forbidden, but come on. How could I see that and not expect something special? I ran outside to the patio, grabbed my friend by her arm, and insisted she needed to come inside for this act. I had a good feeling about whatever was going to happen next.

And I was 100% right. NITE absolutely killed it. I migrated quickly to the front of the stage where I was too mesmerized by the absolute energy of their music to even remember to record a video. I loved every song I heard. This is the sort of band that makes you head-bang, jump, yell, and groove along. They were captivating and unforgivable. Both me and my friend immediately bought t-shirts.

Now, their online discography is a little different. But that’s to be expected, you know? The vibrancy and energy is still fully present, but I find it a little more dreamy. There’s a niche genre label called “outrun,” a subset of synthwave and a cousin to vaporwave, dominated by a feeling of darker 80s aesthetics with neon-lights, sports cars, and Miami-looking cities. I would like to apply that label here. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre label, picture this: you’re wearing a leather jacket, driving some sort of convertible towards the sunset, trees and buildings are flying past you on either side, the wind’s in your hair, your sunglasses are steady on your face, and NITE is playing.

Anyways. Let’s get to the point. NITE.

Here is their website


And their Bandcamp


So, how did this group start? I know (minus the live drummer) you’re twin brothers. Have you been making music together for a long time?

Yes we have, Kyle and I always dreamed of doing music together. We started playing shows as teenagers doing the same thing. Synths, guitars, and a live drummer. Not much has changed! Haha.

I’ll admit I did a little digging and found an interview in which, I believe, you cited 80s synth legends like Depeche Mode as inspiration. However, seeing you play live I noticed several qualities such as the hair (who could overlook the hair!), immense stage energy, mild guitar theatrics, and crowd interaction that seemed to evoke the hair/glam/power metal/rock scene of the era as well. This was a pleasant surprise to me and added a layer that distinguished your performance from many others I’ve seen. Would you say this is an intentional connection?

Or, to put that more simply- do you draw inspiration from that genre as well?

The first show we’ve ever seen was KISS at the ripe age of 10! I’m wearing a KISS shirt as I type and we even dressed as them for Halloween after we saw them live. Something about that show stuck with us forever. Musically, I’m not entirely sure how much that inspiration makes it to the recording process, but the energy we bring live is attributed to glam rock music.

And I adored that energy!

Thank you 🙏 Stoked you enjoy it!

I was fortunate enough to witness you at Absolution Fest in Tampa a couple weeks ago. This was one stop on a string of concerts. How’s that touring been going? Any memorable moments?

Yeah it was our first time outside of Texas for two years! It’s liberating to travel together as a band and play shows. The show in Tampa was amazing. The people in attendance were extremely warm and that’s why we love Tampa. Absolution Fest and the people who run it are also amazing people! We are grateful you were there for the show! We will never forget it!

And, well, on my end I’ve got a t-shirt and one badly taken photograph as souvenirs from the occasion! As well as the memories, so thank you for that.

I have to ask- during Absolution Fest, you played a short rendition of Personal Jesus. Any plans to make it an official release?

HAHA that’s awesome. I love blurry photos and their charm. Yes we did! We don’t have any plans yet for an official release but we do love to tease little snippets of cover songs in our sets from time to time!

Speaking of covers, word on the street is you’ve got a new release out….want to say a little on that?

We just released a cover of, “Would?” for Alice In Chains. This is a song Kyle and I had a connection to. Discovering AIC felt like rediscovering Joy Division for the first time. There’s no doubt in my mind that the song “Would?” Could’ve been a great post punk song, so we had to make the cross over. We added electronics and Industrial textures to our rendition of the song, we hope people will enjoy our version of it.

I hope the same!

Last question about covers- what are the favorite ones you’ve done, either as official releases or fun snippets?

Earlier this year The Smashing Pumpkins took notice to our cover of 1979 on TikTok and shared it to their story on Instagram/Facebook. That was unreal.

That really is somethin.

(Here is a link to said video.)

So, a quick look at your Spotify shows a hell of a lot of releases. How as your style, technique, preferences, and direction changes over the course of these years?

We’ve been trading remixes with a lot of our friends we’ve made touring over the years. It’s really cool to work on someone else’s song and we’ve even started mixing other artists.

We’re looking forward to releasing our own originals next year. We’re going back to the darkness we’ve captured on our first album, but we’re going to try and emulate what we create live, so it will be heavier.

Nice. Are there any artists that you’ve yet to work with, but would like to someday? Can be “feasible” ones or even just celebrity dreams.

Dream remixes we’d love to work on are anything from Actors or the band The Faint!

I’ve interacted with a few members of Actors- they seem to be really solid people, I’m also a big fan. I’d love to see that come together!

We met them opening for them in SLC a few years ago. Agreed! We love those guys!

Hey Actors! If you’re reading this interview….you know what to do!

Haha love it! Thank you Arthur!

Next question. So, on your Spotify, there are a lot of releases. Albums, remixes, singles. For someone who is new to NITE, what material would you recommend starting with?

Man, that’s a good question. Our cover of “Would?” Is a good place to start for where we are going and we’d still love for people to hear our latest album, “Sleepless”.

What’s your songwriting process like? Unless that’s confidential….

Haha not confidential!

Kyle and I start off individually, usually on an instrumental portion. Then we trade off and start building on to each other’s projects. We will trade project files over email a lot.

We do the same for mixing other artists, it’s great to always have an extra set of ears!

Is the lyric process the same way?

Yes it is! Everything is shared, we try to be as collaborative as possible and keep each other accountable to create the best song we can possibly create.

I know choosing a favorite piece of music is like picking a favorite child, but is there any riff or lyric you’re particularly proud of? Time to brag.

Our song Moonlight from our album, Reborn is a song we are proud of. The music came out really quickly but the lyrics are brutally honest and vulnerable. I still look back and love what came out, it’s cathartic to play live too.

You started making music as teenagers, and now you’re in festivals across America. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to your teenage selves if you could go back in time?

Great question! Just keep it simple and do it because you enjoy it. It’s far more important than success.

Nice. Last question for you, to wrap up the interview: is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Thank you for giving us your time and energy to listen to what we create! Thank you for going out to a performance and having to go through all the struggle to get there! You are amazing and inspiring.

Kiss of the Whip: an interview

Ever heard of Kiss of the Whip? Well, if you’ve clicked this article, you now have! Kiss of the Whip is the Baltimore-based solo project of Tristan Victor. The sound is a delightful vintage-feeling, metal-flavored, dark-yet-vibrant sort of post-punk synthwave.

I had the pleasure of seeing him live at Absolution Fest in Tampa recently (I even scored myself some merch!).

You can find his Spotify here, Bandcamp here, and Facebook here.

So, Kiss of the Whip is a solo project. How did you come about starting it?

After spending years playing in metal bands, I experienced a long creative drought that blocked me from songwriting for a number of years. It took reengaging with goth and darkwave music (which I was a fan of from a very young age and then shelved in favor of metal and hardcore), and making the clear decision to become a solo musician to unblock myself. I am eternally grateful to dark electronic music for allowing me to do that.

Was there any particular facet or area of the goth/darkwave scene that really helped spark that re-engagement? Your story of, to a degree, artistic reinvention reminds me of how Gary Numan came back into the scene with a new style inspired by, if I remember correctly, Nine Inch Nails.

It’s hard to say — it’s a musical style that speaks to me in a very deep way. It also helps that electronic music is more easily conceived alone (as opposed to in collaboration) and I really love to have the ability to represent my artistic/personal vision with little to no interference.’

On the topic of your artistic vision, how would you say your style/technique/direction has evolved since the foundation of this project?

I’ve been working hard to increase my skillset in all aspects, from songwriting to performance to production. I believe that improving in all of these aspects make the artistic vision clearer and closer to my intentions. Sonically, I think that identifying particular production techniques and pieces of gear that translate my world outwards is very important. Lyrically, I work in quite an improvisational way and I think I’ve been improving in making that process smoother and more authentic with practice.

Nice. Bragging time- what’s a lyric (or stanza, etc) that you’re particularly proud of?

There is a song on ‘Like Love Only Real’ called ‘Black Jeans’ with a chorus I am quite proud of:

“I saw your heart and it was black/ I heard your words and they were white/ I bit your lips and they were red/ I spread your ashes and they are grey.”

Something about the symmetry and meaning of those lines really feel right to me.

If I’m correct- you sell merch with that line on it?

I do!

What’s your favorite piece of gear?

Many pieces of gear! I love the Universal Audio Apollo Twin for recording, the Roland SH-2 for synth bass, the Roland JV-1080 for soft pads, the 1010music Blackbox for sampling, and the Roland System-8 for saws leads.

I know you’re releasing some new material in the future. Are there any directions that you want to go? New sound experimentation, perhaps. Or a group you’ve always wanted to work with.

I am almost done with a new album — the direction continues to move towards the more aggressive and more melodic, with additional epicness via classical drums and synth strings.

Personally I cannot wait to hear that.

So, we met at Absolution Fest. How was this most recent bout of touring?

It was so amazing having the opportunity to share the stage (and car! And hotel rooms!) with the amazingly wonderful Hallows. They are incredibly generous and talented individuals who I am proud to call my friends.

To close this interview, is there anything you’d like to tell your current fans, and anything to tell anyone who’s hearing about Kiss of the Whip for the first time?

I love and appreciate every one of you! And thank you so much, Arthur and Sounds & Shadows, for taking the time to speak with me!

Dea Decay: a Digital Delight

If you’ve never heard of Dea Decay, today’s the day to change that! Also known as Dea Siculus, she’s a Florida-based electronic/synthwave artist and streamer. Her Bandcamp page currently contains two albums: December 2020’s Magic Lantern (which was briefly and previously touched on here) and June 2021’s Evolutionary Anachronism. Magic Lantern is a sample-packed more experimental album. It’s highly engaging, and every one of my listens through it seemed to go by so quickly. Try to keep pace with it! Evolutionary Anachronism, meanwhile, is a deep delve into the world of cyberpunk. It’s equally as intense as the previous album, but in an altogether different way. It’s cinematic. It’s escapist. I play the Cyberpunk 2020 role-play game in my free time, and immediately sent this album to my friends. It’s that kind of music. Let it be the soundtrack to your cyber fantasy.

Now, back to Dea as an artist. I had the pleasure to interview her recently, and here are the results from that.

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To start off- how’d you get into making music?

Well about 2 years and 6 months ago I got my first synthesizer. I had only just learned what they were (kind of) and decided I’d get one. After messing around for awhile of just making sounds with it I decided to start making songs.

What was your first synth?

It was a Korg Monologue. I had played keyboards before and just thought synths were a fancy term for keyboards until shortly before then.

But I didn’t even get a synth with the plans of making my own music just thought it would be fun to make my own sounds and continue to do sheet music. But in trying to learn more about synths and creating sounds, I found people made music on their computers and could make whole songs on there. I can not stress out incredible unaware of how any of this worked before 2019.

What are a few of your music inspirations?

Well Blade Runner 2049 and Mad Max Fury Road were the initial spark of inspiration. From there Andrew Huang and Sam aka Look Mum No Computer and Hainbach among many other YouTubers. I mention those 3 specifically because things like Andrew Huang’s 4 Producers 1 Sample really opened my eyes to viewing all sounds as potential sources of inspiration and got me into musique concrète. Hainbach (and Andrew) for the absolutely massive world of strange equipment that is out there and processes one could incorporate to make music, and Sam for his sheer DIY attitude and combining musical skill with engineering.

When it came to making songs, I’d say I probably draw a lot of inspiration and influence from Ada Rook and Devi McCallion and their many bands/projects because seeing 2 trans women around my own age making incredible music that really reached me. Other artists have had that impact too but I learned about them at a pretty critical time.

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How has your musical style and technique grown over these past years of synth ownership?

These 2 and a half years have been incredible in terms of the amount of stuff I learned. I mean that’s not hard starting at a point of 0 knowledge in synth and music production knowledge. But initially I wasn’t really interested in writing my own music. Even when I joined a band I was kind of hoping they would just tell me what to play. I came from a background of playing sheet music and being completely unable to play anything by ear, or really notice if things were out of tune. So the initial change was with my band being able to try to play things which accompanied what they were doing without them telling me what notes to play when because they were not looking for that. They also decided I’d have to play drum machines when I was REALLY hoping we’d get a drummer, so I went out and bought an Electribe. The Electribe 2 was fundamental to me starting to learning to make beats on my own and eventually develop melodies and other stuff to go with it instead of just relying on me playing something I felt would go along with what my guitarist and bass player had come up with.

Then Covid prevented us from meeting and I continued to dedicate myself to just making my own songs, and I really just kept running with it. In terms of big changes I do more on the computer now than hardware (but still enjoy using hardware equipment) and it often begins with me just trying to make a beat that sounds good to me and growing it from there.

Have you grown your synth collection?

My synth collection has grown from that first Korg Monologue to a Behringer Deepmind 12, a Korg Electribe 2, a Elektron Digitakt, an Arturia Drumbrute, a Dreadbox Erebus v.3, a Ciat-Lonbarde Tocante Phashi (Company, Instrument, Model), a few Pocket Operators including the PO 33 “KO”, the PO 20 “Arcade” and the PO 24 “Office.”

I recently returned a Erica Synths DB-01 “Bassline” due to it having some damage (not sure if I’ll re-buy but liked it well enough and recorded a ton of samples with) and I had briefly a Korg Volca Sample and Bass which I had sold to buy the Electribe.

So, onto questions about your music itself. I’ve noticed you use samples a lot, such as in Magic Lantern’s title track, “Catronica. Is there a certain method you have for selecting them? Or anything on the thought process there, finding them, etc.

So Magic Lantern apart from Chain Chop the theme was cartoons and video games, hence the title being a reference to Magic Lantern Projectors which one of the cartoon charters I had commissioned is operating on the cover. After I had 2 songs using samples from cartoons I decided on doing an EP toward it and drew inspiration from the punk compilation “Saturday Morning: Cartoons Greatest Hits” so those were specifically cartoon/anime driven.

Other songs like The Man Who Murdered Time and Suspense I had taken from an old Radio Drama site and used them specifically because they were copyright free

My most recent song using Samples Bite the Bullet (on Evolutionary Anachronism) I was literally putting stuff together for my students about surreal or absurdist politicians and while listening to Vermin Supreme was inspired to make a track out of it.

That said vocal samples are not the only samples I use. Chain Chop is called Chain Chop because the drums are noises from a bicycle chain run through distortion.

“No Use for Men” also features actual whip cracks which I took from some YouTuber demonstrating how to do different whip techniques for competitions for like… cowboy stuff.

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Next question- what would you say are the key themes driving behind your art?

This is tough. I don’t really set out with goals in mind usually unless I’m trying to learn how to do something (like with my most recent un-named synthpop song). Making music has become my hobby and I often approach a song from a pretty blank space and just start doing and get inspired from there. That said my first EP certainly had themes and meaning behind it but those only came about after making Catronica (which was simply my love of Catra from She-Ra).

The themes there became in “No Use for Men” the very bluntly stated in the samples process of two people coming out as trans with the main “character” coming out as a trans woman. Which isn’t exactly the context for those quotes in a show as it had more to do with possession? if that is the right term for it but the samples lended themselves to coming out as a trans woman.

Robot Body again rather bluntly is about wishing you had another body, in that case the main character wanting to be a robot woman. That song ends on the question about being in a sexual relationship with a robot (or really more cyborg but they use the term robot) and that becomes the theme of the final song.

Its not to say my other work doesn’t have meaning or themes but honestly its more more staring at a blank musical canvas and wanting to convey emotions. I mean less wanting and more that just happening as I develop the song, they’re very atmospheric and can fit or shape peoples moods.

So, you also do streams. Tell me a little bit about that.

Well the most frequent one is certainly my DJ sets Electronic Waste. Despite the name its not entirely electronic music but a lot of music on it is. I was watching my friend Heather Hz stream a lot of DnB and she told me about the controller she used and her process and was really encouraging so I figured I’d give it a shot. It happened to be around the time of my first EP came out and I figured if nothing else I could use that time to promote my album pretty shamelessly. It is a pretty genre fluid show and breaks down largely into 3 segments, the first being just one song into the next, often times friends of the show (especially Headless Blood Idol the art/music collective I’m in) but also just music that has spoken to me including new stuff I picked up that week. Then there’s a local segment that is normally Florida only artists though I did split between FL and Georgia recently and the third segment is me actually mixing music together, like 2 or more songs overlapping trying to create new rhythms and get new sensations out of those tracks.

Apart from that I often stream things on music production or me playing around with synths I have, and sometimes I stream video games though I’ve been doing that less as currently I’m really into Cyberpunk which does not stream well and most sites I see suggest using 2 computers in the stream process, 1 to play the game and another to run the stream so that the processor of the better computer can just focus on the game.

Got a Twitch link?

For anything that is solely me or Me and Metusynth

For the video editing and music shows they are on the Headless Blood Idol community page

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Any plans for future releases?

Yeah there will probably be a much more Piano centric album coming out later this year. It still has synth and drums but there are more piano solos (not unlike Soviet Radio)

A review of VR SEX’s new album: Cyber Crimes

VR SEX is Andrew Clinco’s California-based synthwave/post-punk project. You might know Clinco better as “Deb Demure,” his androgynous and alien alter-ego he puts on for his band Drab Majesty (alongside Alex Nicolaou aka Mona D). I’ll preface this review by saying that I’ve been a long-time intense fan of Drab Majesty and Deb/Clinco, but for some reason never really got into VR SEX. I wish I could give you an excusable reason why, but nothing comes to mind. I simply never got around to it. And boy, what a mistake that was!

I got word of this new VR SEX album, released April 30th 2021, in the midst of moving, and thus was not able to get to my computer and write this review immediately. But now? Now it’s time!

I listened to Cyber Crimes on loop while driving across Florida, letting it simmer and dwell in my mind. As with anything of Clinco’s that I’ve listened to, this album managed to both encompass and subvert genre. In a desperate attempt to pin it down, I looked at the tabs on bandcamp for the album. It states: “punk, acid-punk, ambient, post punk, synth punk.” Now where does that leave us? Well, there’s synths involved. Jot down “synths,” and we’re halfway there. Post punk works, but, dear S&S reader, at this point I’m sure you’re familiar with exactly how broad the “post punk” label can be. I do like this label of synth punk. Acid punk, post punk, synth punk. Punk is repeated here. And punk is very, surely present in this album. It’s intense. It’s driving. It has hints of rock n roll.

Something else notable and delightful about this album is how it managed to sound both fresh and vintage. I can’t quite pin down what 80s band it reminded me of. Clan of Xymox, perhaps? Some of the less popular Jesus and Mary Chain tracks? Uh…The Damned? Even Sisters of Mercy popped into my head. None of these are apt descriptors. I encourage you to give it a listen and let me know what you think this sounds like. Or, perhaps, it’s inappropriate to try to compare VR SEX to the legends of old. As I said, it’s not just vintage, it’s fresh. Very fresh.

My favorite track on Cyber Crimes has got to be “Rock N Roll Death.” This is a song that I fantasize about dancing to at a club (once the pandemic subsides). It’s hard. It’s fast. It’s danceable. It’s rocks. It rolls.

I also thoroughly enjoyed “Dog Complex.” I know I said comparisons to past bands is perhaps not appropriate, but I can’t help but mention Bauhaus for this one. It’s dark. I’d even dare to say this track is on the gother side of the post punk spectrum. His vocals go a bit harsh here. The song itself is harsh. And I love that.

To finish off my review, let’s talk about this album art for a second! (Note: if you follow me as an S&S writer at all, you’ll know that I’ve got a passion for album art and have a few posts about it to my name up prior). Is vaporwave still a thing? Because I want to call this art “acidic vaporwave.” If that makes any sense. Anyways. The vibe of this art matches the album very well. It’s grainy, divided between a harsh green and a dark black-and-white. There’s meat. Why is there meat? Hell if I know, but it’s visceral, just like the tracks. The pixel-y “VR SEX” around the border comes in clutch with that vintage 80s feel. Honestly, just stare at that album art for 5 minutes before listening to the album and see if you can capture a feeling, a prediction of sorts of how the album will sound. I bet it’ll be pretty accurate!

In conclusion, I’m in love with this album and would absolutely recommend it. Clinco delivers.

Album Art Feature: Part 2

In case you missed it, here’s the link to Part 1 of this series. This week, we move onward, highlighting another set of ten wonderful pieces of album art.

To start off, here’s the cover of BioMechanical by WURM. There’s nothing subtle about this high-saturation, high-contrast image. Combined with the sci-fi looking font (which I adore), this art creates a firm atmosphere, preparing you for WURM’s experimental electronic sound.

Next up is the album Ragnarok by Even Death May Die. I really love how it looks halfway between art and a photograph here. The two blend together seamlessly. The black-and-white works well, keeping it crisp and clean yet unmistakably dark. I love how “Even Death May Die” is written- beautiful font!

This is the track cover of the Stave Church’s for Langston. The visual artist behind the piece, Ryan Thomas Mitchell, says “I designed the cover with one directive: include imagery of The Stave Church that inspired the project’s name. Their previous covers also featured the church, so I wanted to do something that stood out and “popped” in comparison. I also wanted to represent the inside of the church, and what it might feel like to stand in the center, look up, and feel the grandness of the whole thing.”

I love the overall composition here. I’d definitely buy this as a poster to hang on my wall. There’s a whole lot going on, and yet, it doesn’t feel over-busy or over-burdened.

Let’s do a complete 180 away from black-and-white and look at some color. Lots of color! Here’s the art for The New Flesh by Helvete Inc., done by Hemlock Wargrave. I love this piece in how overwhelming it is- in a good way! Listen to the first track off the album, and you’ll immediately see how this art is a good fit. The music is industrial and aggressive, a coordinated bombardment of instruments and voices. The album art perfectly encapsulates that in visual form. It’s a match made in heaven- or hell, perhaps!

You like color? Good news, because here’s some more color! Blacklight by Blindcopy, with art done by Whitney Flaherty. Does this remind you of a rave? With (literal) blacklight and neon colors all around? The comparison might be fitting- the track, “Blacklight,” is certainly an upbeat, danceable one. And how pretty this image is to look at!

Okay, enough color for now. Here’s the monochromatic cover of of Real Bad Day by amnestic, done by Sam Pfannkuche (aka Sam Pancake). According to Sarah Elizabeth, “Photo is from when we were stuck in London Heathrow airport for (what turned out to be) about 16 hours before our flight was rescheduled for the next day. We picked this photo because of the emptiness and loneliness it conveys – both themes within the album itself.” She’s right about that- the photo is strikingly devoid of human life.

I would also enjoy this art on a poster. The angles inherent to the photography are wonderful, and the addition of the words within the photo is both creative and masterful. This is exceptional.

It’s hard to pick just one Star Noir album cover to review, but I’ve settled on Society. According to Jody Coombes, “This piece was done 3 years ago and was my first album and the first real bit of album art I ever did. It was based on a photo I took in Hong Kong while I was over there. The concept of the cover was based on the idea of the state of society today and my views on some of the current problems we face. The hand coming into the scene (which is a photo of my own hand) was supposed to represent how I would like to change things if I had the power to make things better.”

I love the sort of faded, dream-like pink washed over it all. It matches the somewhat melancholy feel of the music. I’d call this art cyberpunk, maybe. It’s beautiful. You can really just sink into this piece.

Now onto James Chapple’s project, Kiss is Kill, and album Imposter Syndrome. The art for it was done by Pete Crossman (of Victory Pill). Though not exclusive to this album, I love the logo for Kiss is Kill. It looks almost…military? According to Chapple, “it looks like play/pause/rewind icons all lined up,” which I can also see.

“My favorite little detail,” Chapple says, “is that he incorporated the sawmill from Twin Peaks in the buildings across the bottom (its the large smoke stack on the right). When he was here visiting from England, we actually visited Twin Peaks, so this was a nice little personal detail.”

The music is Industrial in genre, which is mirrored in the literally industrial set of buildings lining the bottom third of the piece. I also get the industrial vibe from what looks like cracked concrete as the background texture. Everything looks balanced and well-composed.

To change genres a bit, here’s the cover to the All​-​Nite Starlite Electronic Café by Glass Apple Bonzai, a synthwave band. This piece was made by SIZER Design + Illustration. I really like the attention to detail here- the various sized stars, the textures on each planet, the distinct personalities of each alien cafe-goer…very nice. Aesthetically, I like the blend of retro (the cafe/diner style, the neon, etc.) with futuristic (space). This mirrors the music itself, blending 80s-esque synthpop with a modern touch.

To end this article, here’s the album art for Black Synthetic and Dense by CIRQUE D’ESS. According to Ryo Nubeat, this art “comes out from a frame of the 1st video I made for the song “Hole-Frog”. The woman is Miriam, in that particular moment she was immersed in a massive projection of images all over the body, just like body painting but using a projector.” This is a unique (or, at the least, rare) technique, and I like that. This piece is understated, calm, with lots of negative space. It says what it needs to say, in just as much space as it needs. It is dark and beautiful.