TÖNEN “Long-Term Stasis Music” (Cloud Bank)

Over a year ago, long before Stranger Things became the nostalgia-trip phenomenon it has, Cloud Bank released a spring batch that would have dropped like a ton of bricks on the masses suddenly salivating for synthesizer excursions. But that was 2015, and we’re about to roll into 2016 Q4, leaving the bean-counters scratching their heads as to why no one’s talking about Tönen’s Long-Term Stasis Music, a gorgeous sheen of far-out synth tones and dopamine producers. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen, because I’m going to talk about how awesome this tape is, even though we’re certainly reaching critical mass on such releases. I mean, even the AV Club posted a guide to synthwave! The AV Club! They might as well be Spin. That’s OK, though, if it sheds some light on the little guy (and it barely does, but whatever). Regardless, Tönen’s ability to process interstellar transmissions gains him access to the inner circle, the Stonecutters-esque secret organization of synth maestros that meets in buildings referred to in hushed whispers as “temple.” Within, they build new temples upon solid foundations of tone, sculpting their auditory monuments to occult deities, or maybe just to the monuments themselves. Making music to create monuments to create music to. That’s more like it. The S U R V I V E guys would be proud. Probably anyway – although I think they prefer building sensory-deprivation chambers, in which case they’d still get along with Tönen just fine.

(Oh, and by the way, Tönen, your fancy umlauts don’t fool me – I know you’re from Portland, Oregon.)

--Ryan Masteller