The Chicago-based cyberpunk styled band Thamatic – who blend EDM and synthwave with alternative rock structures, consist of the core trio, made up of Mike, John and Matt. They have also built a massive collaborative collective of creative minds and skillful hands, to construct epic sound designs, and intensely profound narratives. The thing about Thamatic is the promise they hold. The sense not only of their influences, but of the influence they may have on others moving forward. They have an innate sense of both the future and the past. An air of immediacy and familiarity permeates through their music, as their songs carry themselves nobly. It truly feels as though we’ve known Thamatic’s atmospheric, melodic and harmonious tracks for much longer than we have. Timeless and mercurial, each and every one.
Steeped in classic retro-wave synths, warm and inviting, Thamatic’s new EP “The Cyberpunk Trilogy” lifts us into another atmosphere, it is a recording that begs further listens, revealing something new of itself with each turn, each deeper listen.
And there is real depth, in this immersive 3-track concept EP. This is a masterful work of cyberpunk electronica unafraid to explore both existing, and new territories. Expect crisp basslines, layers of lush synth pads, insistent and mesmerizing beats, and gorgeously wistful vocals. Expect to also savor the balanced blended beauty of both the organic and the electronic.
“The Cyberpunk Trilogy” feels like a truly cohesive EP rather than simply a collection of unrelated pieces of music. Such is the quality of this recording that I cannot in all honesty place any tracks above others as standout tracks, the entire three-track record is simply an exquisite work of electronica that is not to be missed.
The panoply of sounds teased from their instruments, results in an oblique triad between the past, the present and the future. The electronic and the organic present a conversation so nimble and complex it can respond to every possible nuance needed in the Thamatic compositions.
The EP opens with the track “Spacesuit” – a song that deals with the conflicting elements of man, technology and gods. It’s here that Thamatic instantly manages to accomplish the difficult task of sounding both retro and cutting edge, on a recording that triumphs because of its songwriting quality and production.
This kind of music transcends the limiting labels that some of Thamatic’s peers fit into. Emotional, epic and sweeping, yet at the same time, somber and understated, “Spacesuit” illustrates the meandering yet propulsive basis of Thamatic’s songs, displaying the group’s knack of finding extremely catchy melodies in the most unlikely spaces. This song is instantly hypnotic.
The synths in “After School” are brilliantly layered, and picking out the individual instruments with a good pair of headphones is a real treat. The vocals are very distinct here, singing a brooding melody, with a haunting and ethereal vibe. The atmospheric synths also share its space with an absolute gem of a bassline. Together they form the anchor of “After School”, allowing for everything else to buzz around its structure.
Thamatic gorgeously slide into a backdrop of acoustic guitars and synths on “Black Sails”. By now the group have already convinced us of their habit of having ideas, sounds and ambitions on an epic scale. And there is a definite sense of continuation of that trend here.
The music is rich, textured and layered. Vocals and instrumentation mesh together to create a blended sound that has no desire to be categorized, but simply savored. This is a world of richly detailed music that will unfurl over repeated listens, and is ready for any mainstream radio chart.
With the release of “The Cyberpunk Trilogy”, Thamatic have demonstrated to be a bunch of visionary artists. In this sense, the particular musical direction that they have given to this recording sounds authentic and it goes well beyond a mere exercise in style.
The operation of transposing to modern canons the atmospheres of synthwave, blended with EDM and rock elements, necessitates of more than just a bunch of very good songs. In this respect, the operation carried out by Thamatic on this EP, can be considered as extremely impressive. This recording in its entirety is just brilliant. Great production. Great choice of instrumentation. Masterful arrangements. Sublime performances.
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