ACE MARINO – Digital Memories : Analog Emotions (2020)
Who is this guy with fake mustache who wears a mullet wig, cheap sunglasses and a Scorpions t-shirt (check the pic below) all the time? He’s LA City based ACE MARINO – the alter ego of James Ruehlmann, multi-instrumentalist / producer extraordinaire and a rising Synthwave hero who is releasing his first full album “Digital Memories : Analog Emotions“.
Ace Marino epitomizes everything it means to be part of the synthwave / 80s culture. From the neon purple headband to the signature bright synth tones and smile-inducing guitar chords (he’s a fan of 80s metal), Ace is here to bring the world a heavy dose of fun in the sun, ‘80s-infused synth nostalgia that can be enjoyed and revisited numerous times.
At its heart, Synthwave music is a love letter to convertibles, night drives, sunny beaches, and ‘80s nostalgia. Staying true to the genre, Ace Marino delivers the goods on his debut album with a diverse selection of music to entice and excite fans of retro synthesizer glory.
Stylistically, Cocaine Flamingo lands near the center of synthwave music, and it frequently delivers a sound that recalls early contributors to the genre. The recording is no rehash, however.
Ace Marino keeps his recording modern and relevant by adding plenty of detail in the instrumentation and incorporating touches of outside genres.
There’s radio-ready 80s poppy melodies, heavy metal guitar solos, different vocalists on each track – on some he’s himself with processed vocals – and a lot of fun.
Press release states: “Ace Marino hails from sunny Southern California, though he has only been spotted in daylight at topless pool parties. He prefers to crawl the LA City streets after midnight, cruising Ventura blvd, drifting the curves of Mulholland or racing exotic cars on the 101.
He wears sunglasses full time, sports a mullet and pursues his passion for big hair, big snares and sexy synths.
Ace’s musical roots lie in Heavy Metal, where he’s toured in bands as a guitarist playing venues like famed Viper Room and Whisky A Go-Go.”
Of course that’s not true, but the essence of what it’s reflected into the music: there’s loads od analog and digital synths, heavy electric guitar solos, smooth vocals and lots of atmospheres too akin Miami Vice or The Lost Boys soundtracks.
On a couple of songs, the guitar vibe even bring to mind some ’80s Joe Satriani.
A quick look at songs titles give you the idea what’s this is all about: ‘Muscle Beach’, ‘Delorean Night Drive’, ‘Summer’, ‘The Flamingo Returns’… all summons up images of retrofuturistic sports cars driving through neon-soaked city streets, sunny beach parties, late night FM radio, etc.
There is such a fun mix of driving synth, retrowave, and killer guitar solos on the album that it should appeal to the ’80s masses.
The fun, workout track “Muscle Beach” will get your heart racing. The anthem “Nostalgia” belongs on the Top Gun soundtrack. “Talk Me Down” would have made a run at the Top 40 back in the ’80s, so catchy and filled with solid vibes.
The recording’s biggest strength lies in the diversity of its songs, and the many compelling compositions are strengthened through restraint and a willingness to keep each track to a suitable length.
Ace Marino’s dedication to the heart of synthwave music and his skillful implementation of the style is a welcome contribution to a scene that has increasingly lost touch with its roots, and the result is a piece of ‘80s-infused synth rock & pop plenty of melody.
Ace has demonstrated that his penchant for crafting catchy and euphoric synthwave beats is second to none and that the journey is only just beginning!
Only at 0dayrox
01 – The Flamingo Returns
02 – Holding My Breath (feat Roniit)
03 – Muscle Beach
04 – Talk Me Down
05 – Summer
06 – Spaces
07 – Call 4 U
08 – Always You
09 – Nostalgia (feat Jinxx)
10 – Better Off
11 – Delorean Night Drive
12 – Ghost In The Circuit