FM Attack: Stellar

Shawn Ward has been better known to the retro world of synthwave as FM Attack, under which he's been active since 2009. He was among the first artists that helped the reviving genre take its form and shape, and reach the popularity it has today.

FM Attack's first album, Dreamatic, came out eight whole years ago, followed by 2010's Astrowave EP and 2013's Deja Vu, a solid retrowave classic which featured collaborations with synthwave vocalist Kristine and Argentinian electronic artist Julian Sanza.

The new chapter to FM Attack's ventures is Stellar, the title of which does not oversell the content. Stellar is an impressive listen, true to the genre's nostalgic aesthetics as well as FM Attack's confidence and reliability as one of the style's elite producers.

On the new album the artist uses analogue synths, guitars, vintage drum machines, and understated vocals to invoke a feeling of nostalgia for the music of the 1980s, like the classic Linndrum drum machine, popularized by artists like Prince and the Pet Shop Boys, and an Oberheim DX, a vintage drum machine from 1981 which can be heard on New Order's iconic Blue Monday.

"I wanted to keep it as original as possible, while keeping a nostalgic feeling using all vintage gear and old-school production techniques," Ward states. "I also worked hard on song structure, lyrics, and vocals to make an album of actual songs and not just DJ tracks."

The digital version of Stellar is out now on Bandcamp and it streams below, but stay alert for the vinyl version which will be out this October.

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