Anachronist – Anachronist

Rating: 3/5
Released: 2018
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Band line-up:

Ryan Shaw


1. Running Low
2. Ditched
3. The Rabbit
4. Gala Of Ghosts (Spookwave)
5. I Know How Good My Coffee Is
6. Tillandsia
7. Alone In A Dark Cave
8. Don’t Worry About It
9. Sink Or Swim
10. Same Old
11. Fall


Anachronist, led by Ryan Shaw, is an electro act that has a desire to return to the past. Compressor driven synths are utilised by the man, as are the beats of 80s drum machines. Furthermore, there are no tricks on offer here, just hands on electronics. If all this sounds interesting to you, you can find Shaw’s self titled debut album, released through Ruton Music/Ektro on Bandcamp, now.

Whilst the material here is nice and musical in terms of the stylishly flowing harmony, it is sometimes too chord/riff heavy. When there are more complicated lead themes to be heard, they at times don’t stick out as much as they should do, and kind of merge in with the backing as one. This results in music that is often just a little confused, maybe. To be fair, there are many decent, shining melodic exceptions in this album, that are kind of scattered it would seem on first listen. That is no bad thing, it’s generally good to wait for highlights, to not have everything immediately forced down your throat and to be surprised. However, the bits in-between lead lines need to be more exciting to really draw the listener in.

Obviously Anachronist is going for a retro vibe when it comes to the production, but it still would be nice if the sounds were more interesting to listen to. Some newer artists can get the most out of even the most basic loops and effects, and it would seem Mr. Shaw doesn’t, with his mid range instruments. The classical ideas that merge with electronica on the piece ‘Running Low’ are among the artist’s more interesting ones, and it would be nice if he expanded on them. Indeed, it would be nice if he pushed many boundaries a little more. For better or worse, what he has come up with is music that would be very appropriate in an old Playstation 1 racing game menu. ‘Alone In A Dark Cave’, could almost work in a retro RPG game.

In conclusion, there isn’t too much wrong with this album and despite my criticisms it’s actually pretty well written. However, the themes are pretty average for the most part and don’t always cut through the mix the way one may expect. The synth bass parts are also lacking creativity and often stay on the same note for a little long. Rhythmically, things are equally unimpressive, though adequate and sometimes songs lack development and kind of just stop. On the plus side, there is nothing on the record that is seriously off putting and there is not a single dodgy note that I noticed. Finally, if you’re into keyboard based game soundtracks, you will probably love this.

Review by Simon Wiedemann