The 1980s isn’t synonymous with style: as a child my bedroom was decorated in grey wallpaper with stripes of red, black… and a slightly different shade of grey. My bedroom looked like a prison cell designed by Audi. Meanwhile plenty of the decade’s fashions offer easy picking for Channel 4 nostalgia shows featuring inane soundbites by vacuous fuck-wits. But for every Haircut 100 there is The Cure. Maybe the most quintessential of 1980s music, electronic, continues to be just as relevant as it ever was. It may be retooled as technology progresses but there are not many electronic bands around now who are not in some debt to the like of New Order, Depeche Mode, the Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, Gary Numan… Timecop1983 is a Dutch artist who celebrates 80s synthpop in a manner that enjoys the retro but never strays into twee sentimentality. Crucially, the music sounds timeless, not a bland rehash of tired ideas. His EP Waves was released in 2014.
‘Tonight’ starts the EP with tinny beats and uplifting synths. From the start it is clear that while so much electronic music is overtly concerned with sounding physically and sexually powerful, the music on display here is warm and romantic. This opening track is serenely cool and guitar licks offer refreshing splashes.
While saying that the rest of the EP continues in the same manner may suggest a lack of variety but in reality it’s more that Timecop1983 has a formula that works and operates within this framework. He finds enough wriggle room to keep things interesting.
‘Closer’ throbs in a manner that suggest a 90s dance anthem is about to land but settles into a laid back cruise. ‘In Your Arms’ bedazzles with its upbeat synth washes and languid beats.
Title track ‘Waves’ has a propulsive gait and evocative motorik grasp for the future that Kraftwerk employed to inspire a generation to go out and buy soldering kits. ‘Running Away’ breaks down with some a dash of funk that Heaven 17 would have traded their *insert tedious reference* for.
One criticism that occurred is that all the tracks are over 5 minutes, a little tighter editing here may have made for a snappier, more focused listen, but this is a quibble. These are catchy synth-pop songs: slick yet unfussy. Waves is a warm, fun, happy. little EP. Blissful in its shell-like existence, it offers a stylish world lit with electric blue neon to step into. Timecop1983 is simply having fun and left the door ajar, if you feel like it, come on in…