‘Mindfighter’ is the latest release from italo duo Retro/Grade – ever since we heard their last single ‘Reset’ we’ve been blowing our trumpet for this duo – the duo consists of Serge Santiago and Tom Neville – both acclaimed producers in their own right – but their new collaboration is taking them to new loftier chrome-plated heights.
Following on from the excellent pop leanings of ‘Reset,’ ‘Mindfighter’ is a darker, more complex tapestry of their influences – ‘Mindfighter’ opens with one of the duo saying “drive” and then track subsequently moves up a gear, as the pulsating synths kick-in the track takes you down a psychedelic journey into 80’s italo and house.
The next track is the tropical italo bomb ‘Escape Sequence’ which marries tropical beats and elasticated basslines to make a track that has a lovely subtlety to the intro – but when the track drops it’s clear to see why the duo has been a firm fixture on this summers festival season. It’s dragging italo and disco into the 21st century with a ruthless efficiency and cutting edge production – no-one is making music quite like this duo at the moment.
Finally completing the EP Tom and Serge go deep with ‘Vector,’ a disorientating combination of Moroder-esque disco, eastern drones and cinematic atmospherics. If Blade Runner’s sprawling 21st century megalopolis had been based on Cairo rather than Los Angeles, this would have been the kind of soundtrack Vangelis would have dreamed of creating.
Everything about Retro/Grade so far is pointing to an amazing debut album from the duo, which should be with us by the end of the year. They’re cementing themselves into the elite of dance music with their chrome-plated vision of the future. Come aboard the spaceship Retro/Grade for a trip back in time – its less trip down memory lane and more a computer re-interpretation of the best of 80’s electronic dance music.
HBF Rating 8/10
Out now on Deconstruction Records.
Grab the Maxxi Soundsystem Warehouse remix for free in full WAV Quality.