If you’re going to name your band after a tune from Sega’s seminal arcade racer Out Run, you better be certain that you’ve got the tunes to match. Thankfully for French duo Splash Wave, that doesn’t seem to be a problem in the slightest. In fact, it’s something that they seem to have taken as their ethos, with their entire sound seemingly springing from the swathes of great, forgotten 8-bit classics, without slipping into the camp tedium that makes up most of the chiptune scene.
Whilst there have been various tributes to classic video games, there can be none that ave done it with quite such effortless cool. Outrunning is a knowing tribute to the theme they take their name from, a cover of sorts, icy, electronic and brittle, with enough reference to sound similar, whilst standing on it’s own as a song with consummate ease. As with anything great and European these days, they’ve been picked up by Beko DSL, having their songs used twice – on the usual, 2 track download single and as a part of a larger summer mixtape, upon which they utterly steal the show.
The 80’s may be the current era du jour, but with tunes and brightly, joyfully retro as this, it’s no difficult to see why. There’s talent and ingenuity seeping from every song – if the brooding, dark and terse beats of ‘Bicycle Hunter (motorik hunter pt. 1)’ could easily be the soundtrack to one of the better montages of a film from the decade, they actively court these kind of comparisons in ‘theme from two cool guys at the beach’, which appears to have stolen the best beats from era and condensed them into a 4 minute joyride. The eighties did a lot of things, and nostalgia is an absolute bore, but a bit of look back is alright when the result is something as startlingly brilliant as this.
Splash Wave – Outrunning [last.fm download]
Splash Wave – Bicycle Incident (motorik hunter pt. 1) [last.fm download]