Review of self-titled debut album by Klayton’s Scandroid

A synthwave project from Detroit-based artist Klayton, Scandroid self-titled debut album brings listeners on an adventure through a dystopian future.

On Nov. 11, Scandroid will release their self-titled debut album. The artist and producer behind this project is Detroit-based Klayton. Known for projects such as Celldweller and Circle of Dust, in this new endeavor Klayton turns toward ‘80s-inspired synthwave. With self-referential and complex subject matter, Scandroid exists inside a highly detailed world. Listeners feel as though they are touring a reality rather than just hearing music. The strong cinematographic bent could easily translate this album into a synth-rock opera.

 

 

Scandroid begins with “2517” – a smooth and sweeping introduction to one possible future. With skilled production, it feels like the opening to an epic sci-fi film. When the beat drops, it injects a touch of humanity into the futuristic and tech-infused track. Higher synth tones evoke an ‘80s feel, while minimal vocals contribute to the landscape. Listeners can easily visualize a world arising within this music. As “2517” trails off, it is without finite end – more a sense that audiences will continue the story in chapter two.

As though stepping into a club on the world listeners have just been introduced to, “Salvation Code” picks up the tempo. Driving rhythms permeate the track, with electronic vocal punctuations. Cybergoths will be the first to flood dance floors when this cut hits clubs. Next, “Aphelion” enters with intelligence in both lyrics and arrangement. Otherworldly tones weave through the song, transporting audiences into outer space. Highly tech-infused musicality and human vocal counterpoints mark “Aphelion” – a definitive highlight on Scandroid.

Past, present and future collide with Scandroid

Fourth on the album is “Shout” – a cover of the 1985 Tears for Fears song. A heavy baseline and dynamic mixing ground this track in the present. However, it pays homage in a way that maintains the intentionality and sensibility of the original. Following on Scandroid are 10 more tracks, each of which furthers a depth and understanding of the world being described.

 

 

Amidst the remaining tracks are tonally varied highlights such as “Datastream” – featuring an epic opening and weighted sense. With clever double meanings, the chorus will stay in listener’s minds long after the song is over. “Empty Streets” picks up the pace with an engaging use of percussion propelling listeners onward. “Neo-Tokyo” is infused with sensuality, while “Pro-bots & Robophobes” bears industrial undertones.

After thoroughly touring this reality and gathering stories, Scandroid leaves listeners with “Singularity.” Audiences feel as though a camera is zooming out for a bird’s eye view of the landscape through this cut. In a fully orchestral sounding closing, audiences are left to wonder what happens next. It will be interesting to see if future Scandroid albums contain more stories from this land, or another place entirely.

In this masterfully crafted album, Scandroid demonstrates maturity in production and depth of imagination. Delivering engaging music and an adventure for listeners, this is a high-impact debut.

 

Scandroid is currently available for pre-order at FIXT online. 

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