Recommended Listening: The Midnight, Mr. Eff & More

Depending on your position on Halloween, Vehlinggo has something for you today. I’ve mixed in the sweet dreams with the nightmares — key to a healthy, balanced diet.

The Midnight – Nocturnal

Although I’m more of a crepuscular person, I can identify with the pull of night living. On Nocturnal, Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle, and friends such as Nikki Flores and Timecop1983, tap into a sense of hope and promise at the dead of night. Whatever bullshit colors your day, you can rest assured that the crispy, noirish glitz of the night holds something truly special in store. Overall, it’s safe to say The Midnight deserve this release’s Top 20 status on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic charts and lengthy stretch at No. 1 on Bandcamp.

To be a little different, I’m going to highlight their EP’s most Tangerine Dream-inspired track (although all of their popular synthpop offerings are lovely, too).

Mr. Eff – The Parallel

Mr. Eff makes his debut on the unstoppably delectable Giallo Disco Records with quite a stunner. The Parallel could easily be the score for some groundbreaking A24 slasher/thriller that’s set in an era that could vaguely be the 1980s, 1990s, or even today.

There are the unmitigated freak-outs like “Midnight Predator” that one would expect from a release like this — only Mr. Eff does it better. Contemplative cuts like “Dust” and “Safe Passage” offer up moments in the film when there seems to be the possibility of escape from ceaseless tragedy. “H E A R T T H R O B” rolls like a Suicide track that I could see creating a powerful experience when paired with the right images on screen. Overall, the enigmatic Mr. Eff pairs his talent and deft compositional skills with a deep sense of humanity — all to great effect. Filmmakers take heed, because Mr. Eff needs to score your next film.

Nightcrawler – Beware of the Humans

Catalonia, Spain-based producer Nightcrawler deftly taps into the horror of dystopia and societal decay. As he did on 2014’s Metropolis, Nightcrawler has created a blend of dark, atmospheric environments and pulsating synth bangers that give us the opportunity to both deeply contemplate and dance as our institutions melt around us. This is a must-listen, because Nightcrawler is both a talented musician and a skilled composer.

The G – Cosmopolis

For those who like their synthwave with a sense of optimism, you should check out Cosmopolis, an album by The G. The producer’s work tends to fly in the same ethereal realm as “The Cops,” Timecop1983 and Futurecop! — big, celestial synths that inject a steady dose of introspection and often the feeling that everything will probably be all right. Tracks like “City Lights” have the added bonus of being great cuts for encouraging productivity.