Trash80, aka Timothy Lamb, is a name that all of us recognize vaguely or with familiarity. Whether you’ve been a long-time fan since his first few tracks, or just now discovering him through the latest Chiptunes = WIN compilation, his melodic, groovy music has entertained generations of chipmusic fans. Shortly after the release of Volume 6, Trash80 put out a brand-new synthwave inspired EP in ‘Theia’, which has quickly ascended the ranks of Bandcamp’s top 25 best-selling albums this week. So, what’s so stellar about this futuristic, three-track release? Tune in to find out!
Trash80 starts off this EP with the cosmic smash hit ‘Starlight Eyes’. A quiet introduction of the song’s melodic theme crescendoes slightly into explosive snares which segue flawlessly into the song’s groove. The track sounds greatly similar to the 80’s inspired music of Perturbator, another amazing musician by their own right. Timbres of melodic and harmonic instruments combined with punchy, reverberating percussion exude a cyberpunk vibe; numerous fans of chipmusic are also fans of synthwave and other associated subgenres of electronic music, and this kind of aesthetic is sure to be adored by many listeners. Sudden, subtle swelling and decay in dynamics are utilized to great effect throughout this song and all of these elements combine to create an otherworldly and awe-inspiring inaugural track.
Next up, we’ll check out the EP’s title track, ‘Theia’. This song starts out with a slightly more somber tone, but ultimately proves to be just as energetic as the previous track. A slower sounding melody at the beginning of the song may deceive a first-time listener with regards to the true nature of the song, but the second the iconic kick-hihat-snare pattern is identified, the track takes a sudden turn. ‘Theia’ is littered with familiar elements of 80’s aesthetic, and the song sounds like it could have been made for movies like Turbo Kid, Blade Runner, or the like. Trash80’s main melody here is catchy and recognizable, while the countermelody that plays after is significantly more nuanced. A highlight of the track is the fading of percussion into a choppy bassline around 2:35 where Trash80 builds tension via a brief pause in the music before a re-introduction of the song’s main melody. The listener’s attention is drawn to the faint, rising kicks in the background, and with the entrance of the lead voice and snares, we’re thrown back into the fray in a delightful, exciting manner.
The final track of ‘Theia’ has quite the fitting title: ‘Last Dance (With You)’. The track is supported again by a memorable, extremely catchy melody, but the depth of this track’s instrumentation goes beyond what’s been previously established throughout this EP. Quick hi-hat rolls and a slap bass give this track a groove like no other; the energy in this song is off the charts. The main melodic voice hints at a slight sadness which makes for an interesting contrast with the overall vigor of the song; when one considers the song’s title, however, it makes more sense overall. There’s a sense of longing within ‘Last Dance (With You)’, an intangible desire to hold on to some kind of fleeting love. As the song fades out, it’s as if the final moments of this intergalactic dance have slipped through Trash80’s fingers. This is one hell of a way to close out such a beautifully composed EP.
Available on Bandcamp for just $3 USD, it’s no wonder the short and sweet ‘Theia’ has been so wildly successful. These tracks don’t get old; there’s something truly wonderful going on here, and there’s something for every listener within ‘Theia’. Clocking in shy of 12 minutes, it won’t take long for you to blaze through Trash80’s newest record and listen to it over and over again.