For those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember the 1980s, there is plenty from the decade that we’ve chosen to forget.
Styles are often the first things to get a stare of confusion, followed quickly by the sometimes stark squarish car designs that graced the entire decade. And the music – oh gawd the music that invaded one’s sense of melody or composition. New Wave, as ground breaking as it was, also offended an entire segment of music fans for its willingness to discard the past expectations and use ideas based on technology with a healthy dose of “what-the-hell-let’s-try-it.”
Many of us finished up the Eighties with “Thank God that’s over.”
But as it is with any decade, the era took a backseat in popular culture and went into hibernation. Then a new generation was born – one that had no physical memory of the decade. They discovered a life and culture that existed outside of their own, and with their newfound world they began to blend and bend what was amazing then into what can be amazing again.
Dual Analog has done that in so many ways!
Chip Roberts and Kurtis Skinner came up with the idea of fusing metal and 80s technology together, in a way that paid honest attention to both. When listening to what they brand as “TurboWave,” many of the elements sound familiar and welcome; then after while the listener realizes those elements are being used in a way they’ve never heard before! It’s a perfect example of pulling the best features of two genres and making something new.
Chip handles the guitar work and lead vocals, while Kurtis manages the keyboard bass, keyboard, and the technology within. Over time they gathered other likeminded souls who could help them with their TurboWave vision: Al Madis on lead guitar, Sarah Campbell on drums, the Libby Franklin and Lindsey Ferrari on backup vocals.
For this group, TurboWave is more than just music; I hung out with them for one of their practices at Uberbeatz in Lynnwood, and got to hear how meaningful the whole project is to them. Dual Analog has given them all license to embrace many forms of artistic expression – including audio and aesthetics. Asian influences throughout the experience provides a way to fuse elements together in gold highlights and haunting chords. But then, this is Dual Analog; so all the expression and flavor is run through Chip’s single-minded dedication to promotion, wardrobe, production quality, and subject matter.
The result is Eighties Revivalist, with better technology and fabric!
The band’s imagery combines glam, gold, and styles that beg for experimentation and thought. Bling With Purpose. Chip believes in The Wall Of Sound – giving listeners a large event in each song to savor and pick apart. Kurtis’ keyboard work is vital to the mix, and equally as important as Chip and Al’s fuzz and dissonant chords. He breathes fresh air into Chip’s 80s ideas.
Chip’s vocals pay homage to Erasure, Wang Chung, Duran Duran, Flock Of Seagulls, and Agent Orange. The echos and haunting progressions give the music of sense of seriousness that pulls the listener into a world outside of their own – almost like a soundtrack for a movie you create in your own mind. I was immediately reminded of the movie “The Golden Child” while listening to some of the tracks. Switching time signatures in the songs give their music an elegant composition that reminds the listener that the world isn’t always an easy 4/4 life.
Sarah’s heavy hit on the drums gives the 80s sound a contemporary update. She comes to the band with a long line of performing credentials from both U.S. coasts.
Al believes that guitar work “should be a texture,” he told me. He’s more interested in blending elements instead of being the one to stand out.
Lindsey and Libby blend, move and harmonize to give the songs an extra layer of glam!
The two both agreed that Dual Analog as a project has given them a lot of flexibility to be creative. “We work all work together so it’s more than just music,” Lindsey said. “Dual Analog is a creative outlet for all of us.”
Chip laid out his recent writing goals to me “I took the story of Buddha and tied it to the modern male coming of age.
The songs deal with love in all its facets, frustration and strengths. The desire, the hunger for companionship, the realization that it may not be as suspected – all subjects that are common within our lives, and put to music that, for some of us, is all to familiar from our past lives. Dual Analog gives us this association through mind and ear.
Like clothing styles from the 1980s, the sound is crisp and well-tailored. It’s cool hear what someone younger than the decade they hold dear can do with the good things to come from that time. Anyone who appreciates the highly processed and methodically detailed production quality of 1985 will surely love this music.
And in 2021 you’ll have a chance to experience this for yourself!
Dual Analog is playing with Hairstorm at The High Dive in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood on Saturday October 2nd. Here’s your chance to check out TurboWave for yourself, and see how all the good stuff from the 80s can be shared in the 21st century!