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Album Review

Awakenings by Thermal Noise

Author: Atomic Robo Kid

Thermal Noise has just dropped their Cyber gem of an album ‘Awakenings’, under the label PurZynth Rekords. Be prepared for an intoxicating journey through futuristic cityscapes and high energy cyber attacks. Moments of atmospheric beauty set against a dystopian backdrop. This is definitive cyberpunk music steeped in EDM fundamentals, a unique listening experience that will keep you gripped. 

The opening track ‘Electricity’ begins with an apt meandering series of synth pulses. Then, with the echoed words of ‘intoxicate me’, spoken seductively by a female replicant, we are plunged into the futuresscape. Rippling bass stabs, a Mid-Tempo kick and clever layers of synth melodies are indeed intoxicating and serve as a perfect opening track, providing an insight into Thermal Noise’s vision of their cyber world. 
A feeling of being pursued is induced in ‘Surrender to Me’, a sense of paranoia, as the female replicant in a breathey voice demands you do just that. Could this be the voice of the samurai sword welding female form featured on the album cover? Sounds of the future are scattered across the composition of this track, which are held together by a perfect combination of bass and quickly sequenced Synth patterns with nice risers leading transitions within the track, assisting progression to add extra depth. 
‘We Exist in Cyberspace’ launches with an immersive cinematic atmosphere, then quickly pummels us with a glitchy, dub-step-esque bass line, and takes us through a beautiful yet deeply troubled future. Well composed spacious, ambient elements build a soundtrack that is firmly aligned with a Sci-Fi aural aesthetic, which are intertwined with heart smashing kick drums, syncopated percussion and growling bass. I love that juxtaposition, a yin-yang of sound that works so harmoniously,  building up a lush cyber-scape and uncovering a dark underworld that rises to strike! 

“We’ve accessed the tyrannical mainframe, it’s time to choose alliances…”

The swells of sweet synth melodies rise and fall whilst an exquisite series of bass stabs, wobbles and mechanised glitched samples are the staple in ‘Breathless’. There’s a good amount of dreamy moments here, providing a nice contrast to this stompy dance floor filler! 
We are shown ‘Freedom’ with bleeps, glitches and possibly sounds of a great artificial intelligence loading. We’ve accessed the tyrannical mainframe, it’s time to choose alliances. We learn that the female replicant is in fact seeking her own freedom from the oppressors, perhaps she needs our help. I love the depth and control of those cyber bass moments here, a truly compelling track is the result. 
‘You Are Not Alone’ and ‘A Different Vision’ begin to showcase the depth of talent and versatility of Thermal Noise. These tracks provide an almost liquid drum and bass ambiance, combined with elements of uplifting trance. Clever composition also allows room for those futuristic samples we are being reprogrammed to accept as the norm. ‘A Different Vision’ flows harmoniously with soft vocals. A crescendo of trance like euphoria and quickening high frequency sounds take us by the hand and immerse us further into that chilled, almost Spacewave at times, emotion of the track.
‘Escape to Nowhere’ and ‘Awakening of a Blue Brain’ take us on a different journey, a journey of mystery. ‘Escape to Nowhere’ utilises soft echoed synths amongst the familiar Mid-Tempo beats, with a continually evolving bass led melody. ‘Escape to Nowhere’ is a nod to more classic Synthwave with the arpeggiated synth and retro-infused drum sections. If you’re new to Thermal Noise, then you should know he’s a well established artist with 9 albums already under his belt. The styles of which are varied and it’s great to hear some of that in this track. In fact, you’ll catch some more of that in the final track of the album. 
‘Exile’, like all the songs in ‘Awakenings’, has such an enticing intro built to hook you in and they succeed every single time! This track has a darker feel than much of the album, with some nicely placed almost synth rock percussion and a bassline stylised on Darksynth principles. 
Overall ‘Awakenings’ provides us with a Braindance to the future, a spinner ride touring neon-lit cities. We bare witness to the rise of artificial intelligence, where sentient replicants roam Dystopic streets. We should be grateful that we escape moments before the demise of mankind. These tracks would really come alive in a Cyberpunk club environment, played loud over a decent PA system. The Mid-Tempo rhythmic pattern that threads together many of these tracks would make easy work for a DJ’s seamlessly woven set.   
‘Awakenings’ is a well crafted, well produced album. Thermal Noise lays out a redefined version of Cyberpunk music,. The fusing of multi electronic music genres found in this album is spot on and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m certain you will too! So, prepare for a futuristic shock wave and get listening to Thermal Noise’s ‘Awakenings’. Highly recommended listening for anyone that enjoys immersive Cyberpunk music, cinematic sound experiences and Mid-Tempo dance floor fillers.

“Awakenings” Released on Dec 9th, 2022 under PurZynth Records and can be purchased, HERE

Thermal Noise can be followed at the links below:

About The Author:
Atomic Robo Kid was manufactured in 1981 & promptly put into service at Terra 12. His primary objective was to engage and destroy the mutated alien life forms, wreaking havoc on the colonists on Terra-12. His determination and superior fire power eventually ensured the survival of the colonists. The victory was commemorated by the release of an arcade game in 1988. 
Deemed unstable, his Atomic capabilities have more recently been decommissioned. Although, still a fierce adversary with fully functional lasers he is now a sworn protector of Synthwave. Releasing mixes or single track uploads most Fridays on his YouTube channel. 

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