Timecop1983’s ‘Nightdrive’ is reputedly considered by those in the know as one of the better synthwave albums out there.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Time Slave Recordings
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Netherlands
LINEUP: Jordy Leenaerts – all instruments
TRACK LISTING: 01 Static (with The Midnight) * 02 On The Run * 03 Back To You (with The Bad Dreamers) * 04 Cruise * 05 Neon Lights (with Josh Dally) * 06 Afterglow * 07 Too Late (with LeBrock) * 08 Skylines * 09 Tokyo (with Kinnie Lane) * 10 Nightfall * 11 It Was Only A Dream
In recent times, I’ve reviewed the Dutch synthwave project Timecop1983, but here we flip the timeline by a few years and revisit their 2018 album ‘Nightdrive’. The album is reputedly considered by those in the know as one of the better synthwave albums out there, and it’s the fourth full length effort from the man behind the name: Jordy Leenaerts. Not only those four, but up to the end of November 2018 when this was released, Jordy had also issued a boatload of singles and EP’s. A busy bloke, let’s take a listen.
Starting out with ‘Static’, this is the collaboration with the Ame duo known as The Midnight and it’s the perfect hybrid of dark noir and slow burn synthwave. Very cinematic. ‘On The Run’ is the first of the Timecop1983 instrumentals, though listening to it doesn’t you inspire to break out the Nike runners. ‘Back To You’ features David Schuler, the one man does it all under the monicker The Bad Dreamers. David’s voice is tailor made for this genre.
‘Cruise’ is given the Timecop1983 template, which you can imagine would make an ideal audio companion for a stunning retro video. ‘Neon Lights’ features the dreamy vocals of Josh Dally and it’s quite lush. Josh, like his good mate Ollie Wride are two of the premier male vocalists in all of synthwave. ‘Afterglow’ is my pick for best instrumental on the album, the sequencing and synth voice selection is top notch. Again, very cinematic.
‘Too Late’ sees Jordy pair up with British duo LeBrock, this one is fused with a melodic rock sheen, probably more so than the rest of the material on the album. ‘Skylines’ continues the soundtrack orientation of the Timecop1983 style, the next track ‘Tokyo’ features a collaboration with French female vocalist Kinnie Lane. Her vocal treatment is very will-of-the-wisp, adding a new dimension to the album. The pumping oscillators are out in force on ‘Nightfall’, though it could’ve benefitted from a faster tempo as the monotonous slow drum pounding tended to suffocate the track. ‘It Was Only A Dream’ winds things up with ethereal synths all over the soundscape. Very dense and again – cinematic.
‘Nightdrive’ is one of the better synthwave albums in the genre. Jordy has done well to assemble an all-star crew here, a few in particular are well known to regular readers at GDM, so you shouldn’t need an invite to pick this up. A full-blown flac version of this Timecop1983 milestone album should be the compulsory medium for listening to this in all its synthwave glory.
Static (with The Midnight)
Back To You (with The Bad Dreamers)
Neon Lights (with Josh Dally)