Andrew Hetherington – “Area 51” – classic retro, and unexpected digital environments!

The album “Area 51” progresses Australian indie musician, songwriter and producer Andrew Hetherington’s sublime, exploratory gravity from synthesizer workstations. Various international releases in, Hetherington continues exploring both classic retro, and unexpected digital environments, this time centering his narrative on the U.S. secret base known as Area 51, which is rumored to house captured aliens and UFO’s. Hetherington explained that this is a topic he has been log interested in.

With no lyrics, the recording has enough drifting duality for original thought patterns, depending on the listener. The song titles provoke research, while the producer explores these definitions through sound design.

If you think of the songs in the context of what the titles define, “Area 51” is an optimal collection with no borders. In a complicated digital age, the best synthesizer music is almost always looking back to the analog age. Andrew Hetherington finds himself somewhere in the middle ground, pivoting between the past and the future.

He remains on the lighter side of too heavy, and is always crystalline. Here he has honed his talent for delivering well-crafted songs all the while having an experimental edge. Opening with “Test Pilot”, Hetherington proves from the get go that he has the capacity to provide a lush set of sounds more than suited to sci-fi source material.

This is a hypnotic jam with infectious drum tracks, and enticing synth sounds. These are the kind of songs you need to listen to over and over before you can get them out of your system. Hinting at both intergalactic catastrophe and inter-species interaction, the album proceeds to weave its perspective.

“Stealth” crawls and bangs at the same time, with resonant synth riffs and splashing percussion patterns pushing it forward. Ascending chords conjure up conflicting images, while thick stabs of prepared keys and strings might stand for the conspiracy theories put forward by “Bob Lazar”.

“Alien Autopsy, Pt. 1” starts off eerily before flourishing into a glitchy, psychedelic head spinner. “Majic Eyes Only” rides on a foot-tapping beat and a resoundingly plucked bassline. The narrative strung throughout these songs is a complex, enriching trip.

From “Back Engineered”, to “TR-3B (The Black Triangle UFO)” and “From Zeta Reticuli (With Love)”, the album definitely picks up in pace and intensity. The drum beats are more insistent, the basslines throb with a deeper tone, and the synths expand into waves of colorful textures. Each piece ties together his ideas of synth-wave and sci-fi theories amidst a glowing backdrop of rich, nostalgic pathos.

Somehow, Andrew Hetherington’s music sounds both familiar and uncanny, and always beautifully handmade. This trend continues on the ominous “Alien Autopsy, Pt. 2”, and then the expansive album closer “The Raid (Show Us Them Aliens)”.

Gathering a bunch of old school sounding synths and dialing in an extraterrestrial style unlike any other, Hetherington, yet again reveals a fresh character on the indie electronic scene that keeps heads bobbing, and minds thinking for hours after the record has ended.

The album “Area 51”, is ultimately a story of intrigue and deceit, told by the singular, emotionally resonant sound of Andrew Hetherington and his machines.

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