Synth Album Review: Alpha Chrome Yayo, Twirl

Updated on December 7, 2019
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

If there’s one thing that’s certain about Alpha Chrome Yayo, it’s that he’s constantly extending the range and scope of what retro-influenced, synth-based music can be and the sonic territory that it can explore. His latest album, Twirl, is even more innovative than his last album Komorebi and that’s saying something. This time he says he wanted to explore more ‘90s oriented synth sounds and take cues from some greats like Brian Eno, Jean-Michel Jarre and Ryuichi Sakamoto. There’s also a strong dose of the kind of rich production that could be found on Sega CD video game soundtracks.

This sort of drifting, warm, shimmering and scintillating synth music is something I absolutely adore, so I think I’m quite biased in favour of loving this album. As it turns out, my bias is perfectly justified because does ACY ever deliver with Twirl.

The first thing that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go is the sheer depth and luxuriant warmth of the sounds on Twirl. ACY’s choices of synths, pads, guitar, bass and percussion simply added to the aural sensation of being carried along on an oceanic tide across coral reefs and over deeper blue waters. Even when a slight hint of darkness creeps into the album, there’s still a sense of tranquility that pervades everything.

Anyone who is familiar with ACY’s music knows that he’s a dab hand on guitar and it shows here. There’s a melodic and harmonic complexity here along with well-selected guitar tones that mean when he adds guitar to his tracks, it really enhances the overall experience. I especially liked the tropical-feeling sound of the guitar at the beginning of Port Mado.

Of course, synths are front and centre on Twirl. ACY has many layers of great synth sounds and each of them adds a unique flavour to the album. I was also quite appreciative of his soloing capabilities on the album. He has some really tasty solos that have a jazz or jazz-fusion quality to them. This really harks back to some of the Japanese Sega CD composers, many of whom were heavily influenced by jazz fusion groups in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

It’s time now for me to give you a run down on the tracks that I felt stood out for me. Every track here is superb and I’m merely giving you my subjective impressions of the ones that truly made me sit up and take notice.

The first track, 1994pm, is such a strong piece of music. It’s dominated by the smooth, aquatic sounds that glide through it. The steady and flowing rhythm underpins glistening arps and a deeply engaging, warm and beautiful melody. The introduction of the electric guitar adds a slightly sharper edge to the proceedings and truly reminds me of the guitar work one might hear in a Sega CD game.

Abyssal Playin’ generated a strong image of divers floating over the deep blue of the open ocean as a dolphin intertwines with them. The track kicks of with a dramatic piano line and heavier bass sounds. A light, dancing synth flows into the track and clear chimes play the catchy melody. The whole track has a playful quality and the second synth solo has a strong jazz fusion feeling to it.

I've already mentioned the almost tropical sound of the guitar that opens Port Mado, but I also quite enjoyed the unique sound of the piano that drifts around in a slightly muted fashion in this track. It isn’t just the opening guitar sound that I dug but also the great, energetic guitar solo that ACY plays on this track. Again I feel like the Sega CD influence has to be acknowledged in the nature of the guitar playing and the overall polish of the album.

Hadopelagia is perhaps my favourite track on the album. It creates the strong sensation of hanging suspended in a column of clear, blue water for me. The delicate synths with crystal chimes and a fluting sound softly weave a melody. A sensation of utter calm and ease seizes me when I hear this track. It evokes such deep emotion in me as it carries me along.

As you can see, this is an album that really touched me. The production quality, selection of synths and guitar, atmosphere and emotional timbre all combined to produce an aquatic journey of the imagination that I thoroughly enjoyed. I cannot recommend Twirl highly enough! Dear readers, buy this album!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)