Tommy ’86
Transhumanism
(Blood Music)

It’s been a truly banner couple years for synthwave, with Perturbator, GosT, and Dan Terminus all releasing their best work yet, all through Blood Music. You can now add French electronic musician Tommy ’86 to the list. Previously, the one-man act crafted great retrosynth, though it was more in line with classic cyberpunk films and heavy on mood and ambiance. However, Tommy ’86 has taken a brilliant turn toward the darkness with Tranhumanism, fully embracing darksynth. His sound falls somewhere between Dan Terminus’ cyberpunk nightmares and Perturbator’s meditative raves. The album tells the story of a futuristic world dominated by machines that spiral out of control, and the focus on harder, faster, and darker tones creates the perfect vessel for the AI-induced hellscape. Thankfully, Tommy ’86 hasn’t lessened his firm grasp of mood, giving Transhumanism an added layer of darkness. The album lacks any standout tracks, but it truly is a masterclass in crafting a retro-fitted version of an 80s cyberpunk nightmare. I, too, am terrified of our future robotic overlords, but hopefully we get something this incredible to soundtrack our demise.

Purchase the album here.

4-half-stars

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