24:7 - Zero Hour

(Timeslave Recordings 2017)

Zero Hour is the debut album of Timeslave Recordings artist 24:7. This producer is a new name for me, but is someone I will be following closely from now on. This is an assured, upbeat and fun debut.  

When I listen to new artists, I am struck by how easy it is to categorize them. There are the followers of Perturbator and Carpenter Brut (which we now call darksynth) and there are the followers of Timecop 1983 and MPM Soundtracks (which we now call dreamwave). I've often wondered why we don't see more producers follow Mitch Murder's lead, since he is one of the biggest names in synthwave. To me, his music is more reminiscent of late '80s/early '90s arcade and console video game music than it is '80s pop or soundtrack music. 24:7 clearly heard my thoughts, because that is exactly what his music reminds me of.

Zero Hour does not sound like Mitch Murder so much as it has a similar complexity of composition and seems to draw from the same Sega, Namco and Bandai influences. "Arrival," "Into Battle" and "Zero Hour" are good examples of this aesthetic--they are high quality compositions with lots of little satisfying flourishes. I also enjoyed "Turning Point," where 24:7 turns down the tempo. It is a pleasantly nostalgic track, which evokes the emotional segments of JRPGs. On top of that, I really appreciate how clean and dynamic the mix is on Zero Hour. There is a good sense of space, even with so many parts. The album is loud enough but not too loud or compressed. Everything is balanced nicely.

My only complaint really is that, like a lot of Mitch Murder albums, some tracks on Zero Hour feel more crafted or designed than they feel like expressions of deeply held emotions. This is a personal thing with me. I am emotionally invested in my favorite releases, and so there is a limit to my enjoyment of something that feels more designed. On the other hand, Zero Hour is objectively very good. If you like Mitch Murder, then you need to check out his spiritual cousin, 24:7. I am excited to hear what he comes up with next.

Score: 9.0


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