There is an icy thickness to the opening track of Dynatron’s EP Throttle Up. In an effort to make tracks sound spacey and nostalgic, rookie musicians wind up making their mixes sound empty and thin. Dynatron isn’t a rookie. The way that the initial synths eventually get submerged beneath layers of melody while maintaining a minor presence is really excellent.
“Rise to the Stars” is the track that follows. It opens with audio of a spaceship about to take off. From that moment I have mixed feelings about the track. For one, the trend “3-2-1-Blast-off!” and its variants in even remotely spacey or astral sounding electronic tracks is just very overdone. The drums start out basic, though they work within context. Eventually a distracting percussive sound begins repeating and it really takes away from a song that has excellent synth tones and entertaining melodies. You really wind up getting lost in it.
And then you get punched in the face. “37 Million Horsepower” is definitely a surprising outlier. The guitar thumps along and coordinates with the synth in a manner reminiscent to “Separate Ways” by Journey. Don’t let that confuse you. Synth is still the main focus and aural star of this song. The instruments all harmonize and contribute to an overall sense of cohesiveness. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Album closers are tricky things. The closer of Throttle Up, “Intergalactic Highway” ends up getting it right. For lack of a better word, the song grows. When music is mostly instrumental, it is infinitely important that progression and melodies are treated with absolute care. Every element of “Intergalactic Highway” is one which sounds as though it took a great deal of time and effort to figure out melody, tone, and volume in the mix. The drop halfway through the song is what solidifies this. Of all the EP’s tracks, this is the one I found myself listening to the most.
There is a difficulty with sounding confident through electronic music. Throttle Up shows that this is not an issue for Dynatron. The melodies and synth riffs saunter throughout the entire EP with charisma, which is one of the most important and least describable traits for music in general. It is clear from this EP’s title and artwork that Dynatron was trying to evoke an urgent sense of motion. In every track, the beats are what drive (ha!) this point home. The destination is a consistent and unique album with a notably strong closing track.
- Joey Edsall