In terms of labels, Monstercat has quite the interesting approach to releases. Three releases a week, from a rotating roster of nearly 50 artists and collaborators, with almost no albums to speak of. Even the amount of EPs released is not that impressive; but with over 350 individual tracks and over 1 million sales, they have found a small niche that has brought them great success.
However, when their artists release albums or EPs, they do not often appear as Monstercat releases. Insan3Lik3, for example, released his album The End through Section Z. Haywyre was the first to release a full album, Two Fold, through Monstercat, and it received praise from all reaches of the EDM blogosphere and from many producers as well, including Rob Swire. With this newest release, a collaborative effort between Varien and 7 Minutes Dead, Monstercat and the producers involved hope to shed a broader light on what they do to push the creative envelope each and every week.
Mirai Sekai, meaning “Future World” in Japanese, is an attempt at a holistic exploration of a blend of 80s synth-rock and eastern-style experimentation. Of course, Varien and 7 Minutes Dead would have to tell you themselves what it’s really about, but that’s my interpretation. Each of the four individual tracks makes up a broader picture that can only be fully understood when you’ve listened to each track in succession — I believe that’s part of the reason that a continuous mix was also included with the release.
To be quite honest, it’s difficult for me to even really accurately describe the scope of this release. It was purposely made to differentiate itself from the normal, everyday EDM and so it becomes an issue of “what do we call this?” Without a proper reference point, it becomes necessary to look elsewhere for a foothold — in past conversations with Varien, it became clear that his interests lie also in soundtracks, for movies, video games, etc. Many people have already compared Mirai Sekai to a soundtrack from any of Tron, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Akira, or Blade Runner. Varien says, “For me, I don’t see these fitting anywhere, as they were written for a specific story; a film that doesn’t exist. I would want to create an anime series that this fits in just right.”
Take a listen to Mirai Sekai below and let us know what you think. Is this really experimental and revolutionary, or is it just something new that will pass? Hint: you haven’t seen anything, yet.
You can read an interview with Varien and 7 Minutes Dead by THUMP here.