It is seldom that we hear of cyberpunk albums which can be fully independent of their visual counterparts whether it be a soundtrack to a video game or a movie. Authors and listeners whom face this disjoint try to make the experience more unified by overtly relying adjectives such as atmospheric, evocative, ethereal, or an x mood. However, this sweet album by Tomas Dvorak is exempted from such a case. The sheer range of moods and instruments used in it makes the listen authentic by itself and not just some other background accompaniment.
The story of the game ( primarily a point and click puzzle game in terms of genre) itself revolves around a small robot who is trying to rescue his girlfriend and stop the evil plans of the black cap brotherhood. It should also be noted that in terms of scenery, the game isn’t typically cyberpunk as it is quite whimsical despite the rusty, dieselpunk and analogue colour palette. This interplay of artificial and organic moods of sound is one of its central driving factors; sustained sax and clarinet notes coupled with the mechanical sounds of the background make for a dreamy scenery, Moods can range from from melancholic and haunting to festive, and genres such as Jazz and Ambient are mixed with classical cores to reach clear emotional heights. Tracks such as “The Prison” or “By the Wall” can be sombre and melancholic whereas tracks like: “The Sea”( Probably my favourite track , the mix of twinkling ambient beats with the low roar of the Roland Sh01 synth is simply delightful), “The Glasshouse with a Butterfly” or “The Mezzanine” feel like euphoric and blissful visions that can diffuse any troubled soul be it organic or artificial.
It should also be noted that there are also fun moments in the gamut of moods that are presented here, “Pipewrench Dubstep”, “the band” or “Gameboy tune” are filled with fun details poppy and nostalgic references to 8bit games such as Pong and Flipper or an early Apple speech synthesiser sample used in “Clockwork Operetta”.
In conclusion, this album is like a colourful box of unique moods that are easy to delve into, without any visual supplementation. but I highly recommend you to check the rest of Dvorak’s discography.
About the Artist: Tomas Dvorak a.k.a. Floex is a musician hailing form the Czech republic(Prague) and has been releasing his esoteric brand of Nu-Jazz since 1996. However, its was not until 2006 when he gained proper recognition for his work on Samrost 2’s soundtrack. He also has 3 releases under the psuedonym Floex (including a new collaboration with Tom Hodge but not the 2008 group known as Liba with Jiri Libiansky) which is more inline with the left field electronics of WRAP Records or Ninja Tune. However, Dvorak’s melange of Jazz, electronic and ambient is very much present under both pseudonyms. He has also been involved in numerous visual projects with Federico Diaz (RGB, Crossroad, Live Score) , he has also composed numerous film soundtracks such as up in the air and to the sun.
You can find out more about the game here :