Dimi Kaye is easily one of the most recognized, active, and highly in demand producers within the Synthwave genre; I say this realizing that, even to this date, I am more familiar with his collaborations and features as an instrumentalist than anything else.
Naturally I have been greatly anticipating this release, Cruising to the Sun, just like many other people have, and upon first listen it was very evident that not only had he spent a good amount of time on this, but that this was a very unique collection of songs and a very cohesive concept album, the likes of which could only come from a great labor of love. Not only does it hold the nostalgia of days past but a drive to go out and reach for the future.
The passion was clear in each track name and their homage to beloved racing video game classics, but even more clear along with the cover art's striking image of an enchanting view of a burning horizon, the stark black of a winding road, and a race car chasing after that road and colorful horizon; I automatically sensed I was going on a journey too. If I had seen this image as the cover for a video game, or on an arcade machine, I'd have easily brought that jewel case home with me or unhesitatingly put my quarters in that machine.
I'll summarize the overall experience of this grand album: This is not just a joy to listen to, but it's got heart and ultimately you will feel it.
The songs are cohesively well connected, and I really felt like I could've been listening to a film soundtrack. I favor the approach with the technical aspect. I very much appreciate the engineering, with clarity and balance all throughout the mix. I also personally like that the level and compression was smooth and not just another slammed square wave competing in the loudness wars, and this greatly emphasized the overall nostalgic feel for me.
I couldn't pick a favorite track. They all have their own sound to match a particular mood. I genuinely love each one, and they all tell their own little story with their varying approach and feel. The music is a lot more than a steady beat with some stylistic guitar shredding on top of it. I feel like it will probably carry on into my library as a favorite. I first tested the record in the only way I see fit, on a night drive in the city; I imagine in later on I'll be doing the same when I'm headed down the highway or looking to feel that rush of freedom you get when you hop in your ride and head off into a Saturday night.
Listen to the new album below or click on the picture above to be redirected to Dimi Kaye's Bandcamp page.