Rain Dragon Records new sampler shows how diverse and entertaining their label and a love of the 1980’s can be!
When you think of Canada what comes to mind? Maple syrup? The TV show Due South? Neil Young and Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart? Yeah me too, but now you can add 1980’s themed neon soundscapes thanks to Rain Dragon Records.
Since opening their doors in 2014 Vancouver’s Rain Dragon Records has been purveyors in everything synthwave. Through countless releases, actually its thirty eight, they’ve carefully cut a swath through the electronic music landscape and carved out a niche in day-glo soundscapes. This means that on the surface their roster seems slightly one dimensional, but dig below the surface, thanks to their recent release, Rain Dragon Records Presents Various Artist Sampler 2016 and you start to get a slightly different story.
TSTR kicks things off in a Footloose meets A-Ha kind of vibe. Epic keyboards hangout with hard hitting drums while a guitar wails to its hearts content. Boogie Idol combines laidback beats with Japanese vocal samples to create something that wouldn’t be out of place on the Akira soundtrack. Stilz Endless Night opens with a rhythmic bassline and cascading synths. This motif carries on until an eerie/sci-fi sounding melody kicks in and Endless Night is off into unchartered territory.
The stand out track is by Bart Graft. On The Blue Planet, Graft, takes its blueprint for searing guitar solos, catchy keyboard melodies and drums set to DEAF, and merges them seamlessly to create something that hankers at the past, abet a past that might never have existed in the first place, but grounds it in contemporary culture. Yes it’s just big dumb fun, but in a world of daily killing sprees, political corruption and multi-national corporations that have given up pretending that they’re doing us a favour and now just admit they want out money, what’s wrong with a bit if fun?
Rain Dragon Records Presents Various Artist Sampler 2016 is the greatest 1980’s sound never released. Yes its tongue is well planted in its cheek, but its chocked full of high-octane chase sequences, hero themes, scuffles in dirty alleyways and poignant soul searching. If you like your music with massive drum fills, neon synths and dressed in pastel power suits with shoulder pads then this, and the rest of the Rain Dragon back catalogue, is for you!