Synth Album Review: Baldocaster, "Mirage"

Updated on February 13, 2020
KPM2017 profile image

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

 Cover art for Baldocaster's new album, "Mirage"
Cover art for Baldocaster's new album, "Mirage"

Mirage is an album that does indeed have a certain quality of unreality that flickers on the edges of perception. Baldocaster creates vignettes of otherworldly places on this album that mesh to form a cohesive whole. This is an album that is in the stream of synthwave, but it establishes a unique sound that transcends the clichéd and derivative.

Mirage is tinged by a dream-like perception of the world. Each track seems to explore a different world and state of being. There’s an overall feeling of moving across unique sonic landscapes that, as a whole, feel like something viewed through the mirage for which the album is named.

The common sonic elements that tie Mirage together come from a feeling of all of the different musical elements moving through expansive spaces. There are long sweeping notes and chords that drift through each track to establish that sensation along with the way in which all of the tracks generate a sense of smoothness from flowing deep bass and drums that aren’t excessively heavy. I do appreciate that while each track has a different feeling, the overall production is consistent from track to track.

In spite of the sense of unreality that Mirage generates for me, the melodies that Baldocaster wrote are quite real and solid in their quality. They explore a wide range of emotions but each of them is well crafted and engaging. Some have a very warm and gentle quality, others brim over with energy and many are also tinged by an undercurrent of melancholy. Whatever the case, Baldocaster has a talent for melodic writing that he’s not shy in exploring on this album.

Now I want to talk about those tracks on Mirage which I felt were most compelling and discuss the elements in each of them that contributed to that feeling for me.

The main melody in “Curse This Castle” is resonant and slightly reverberant. The track is full of chiming synths, an active bassline and energetic percussion. It has warm synth chords and flowing pulsations that move over that variegated bassline and supporting rhythm. The high, bell-like synth tone that comes into the track contrasts nicely to all the washes of synth sound. It briefly drifts before the energetic main melody pushes through and propels the track forward. As the track ends, we get floating arps and the melody with deep wells of bass underneath it.

“Before Dawn” establishes a powerful rhythm along with its deep bass. The melody in this track sings out, full of life. It’s a track that compels the head to nod, but it is given a certain gentleness by sweeping synth sounds and the overall smoothness of the track. I also enjoy the rather transcendent feeling of the synths towards the close of the track before it returns to its established trajectory.

There’s a light sparkle of synths to start “Featherweight” before the solid bass and funky-feeling percussion come into the track. The engaging melody is played on a synth that has a choral quality which seems to emphasize the hopeful feeling that is created within that melody. This track has a groove to it that I could really appreciate and the whole track dances and whirls, feeling featherweight indeed.


The melody in “Traversal” does generate a sensation of crossing, of leaping foward and dancing through the track. I felt that Baldocaster’s melody had a victorious and inspirational quality about it which did indeed give off positive vibes. This is a track that interlocks all of its sonic elements as it resolves into an open and expansive sound. It is a song that makes me think of an adventure in some foreign land, crossing new vistas.

As a whole, Mirage is an album that transported me. Baldocaster’s melodic writing and the collective soundscape of all of the tracks painted strong images and kept my brain focused on those images throughout. I just shut my eyes and allowed myself to travel for a while, relaxing into the sonic world of the 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://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      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)