NRW Records has had music featured in Netflix films/TV shows and major movies, such as Death Note, Family Guy, and the latest Godzilla franchise. Their work has gained praise and recognition from 80s new wave artist Thomas Dolby and Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie. NRW’s mission is to share and spread the Retrowave sound and culture with the world. One of their latest releases is the album “Akuma 2”, which features Alex, Tokyo Rose, Power Glove and F.O.O.L. This is a collective that kind of bends genres and finds itself a mix of electronica, dark-wave, and alternative. To me this is a mix that makes them and their sound unique and refreshing in an otherwise mostly bland sonic landscape.
“Akuma 2” is truly a masterpiece, a sonic diamond to be revered in all its brilliance, depth, and multi-faceted splendor. While reminiscent of the 2017’s critically acclaimed “Akuma”, the NRW Records engine room crew have surpassed it, vivaciously evolving their trademark sound with cutting edge sequencing, complex layered melodies, and thundering, enigmatic basslines expertly morphed into epic synthesizers. Tracks like “Awakening” and “Unleashed” delivers an aural canvas of complex multi-layered synth arrangements permeated by heavy bass riffs.
This functions as a portal into the hypnotic darkwave soundscapes that have been sculpted with masterful precision by the likes of Alex and Tokyo Rose. Moving forward, the listener is propelled into otherworldly dark symphonies that transition from eccentricity to ethereal beauty with stellar melodies and delicious breaks.
“Danger City” and “Rivals” serve as a testament that NRW Records have successfully attained their aspiration of creating an old school retro-electro within the technology of today. “Antagonists” is just one of the monumental high intensity bass-powered anthems that shape this album.
Alongside “Beasts” it is undeniably one of the most captivating and innovative tracks on the album. Clearly Alex and Tokyo Rose, see a higher purpose when putting together an album. It’s about the voyage, the usual strange and dark one that propels an imagination one can only hear. This is also largely due to NRW Records, which is rapidly becoming the place to release edgy and underground electronic music in the world today.
“Affliction” which showcases slices of female vocals, and the album closer, “STRNGR” makes the artists reach higher, play harder and come up with some really out of the box ideas for their sound. In general, the complexity of the songs by Alex and Tokyo Rose is obvious, but on these last two tracks the incredible sound design and the exquisite attention to detail is unparalleled.
It should remind people how important these guys are to the underground electronic scene out there right now. Deep moody bass, dark ominous atmospheres, and just all around immersive music that is full of emotion and intention. Highly recommended to anyone who appreciates good electronic music with some menacing, twisted soul in it.