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Title: R.E.T.R.O
Genre: Electronic
Release Date: 26th February 2010
Label: Dependent Records

Album Review

I still remember it like it was yesterday when I got my first computer as a birthday present from my uncle. As you can imagine it was a Commodore 64 with the good old 1541 floppy drive. Yeah that one with the wobbling discs. I don't know how much time I spent playing games on it. Even tried writing some little animations! But it never became more than that. Anyway, when I heard MIND.IN.A.BOX would be releasing an album as homage to this famous computer, and particularly to some of the music created with the capabilities of its sound chip SID, all those nostalgic memories re-surfaced.

The journey into the glorious past is kicking off with 'Last Ninja 3'. I only needed to hear a couple notes from the main theme and I was back scouring the lands with my ninja, fighting against enemies. The melodies were perfectly embedded by MIND.IN.A.BOX into a parade of pounding, edgy beat works that reinforce the kind of heroic mood, and how I love all those bubbling sounds. 'Lightforce' takes us now into the cold blackness of space, where we find ourselves flying on a straight trajectory to free two entire worlds that called for help. The sound gradually evolves, connecting more and more melodic elements to the only slightly altering rhythm. One time those are modern, sustained layers of ambience; other times they come in the form of beautiful piano movements. Lots of little details can be discovered - if you're ready to join in on the rescue mission. "V8, return to the base immediately" That's how the next track is introduced to us and it marks the transition from a space race to a chase through a post apocalyptic, radioactive wasteland.

'The Last V8' also is the first track on the album to feature vocals, which excellently replicate the mood of the game. The interlocking, driving beats it is underplayed by add a complex modern twist. 'Supremacy' instantly became a favourite of mine. My thoughts started drifting far away as soon as I've heard the introducing melody. It melds endless plaintiveness with a feeling of eternity in ethereal environments, complemented by a comparatively minimalist throbbing beat. The following '8 Bits' is a genuine retro anthem, perfect for every party and soon will make everybody sing "8 bits are enough for me / this is not where I should be" An unashamedly catchy chorus line! The best thing has been kept for the last track of the record, titled 'Whatever Mattered'. It opens the door to a place where past and future flow together as seamlessly as never before, forming immense ambient seas for you to drown in. But that's not even the best thing about it. It is without a doubt Stefan Poiss' finest performance as vocalist. "Waves are gliding over me" Shivers are still gliding over me when listening to that song.

The idea behind 'R.E.T.R.O' and its realization deserve praise. MIND.IN.A.BOX brought back with their new album a piece of computer history, and a lot of deer memories for many of us. I think I'm going to have to get myself a decent emulator now and start playing a bit. Highly recommended!


01. Last Ninja 3
02. Lightforce
03. The Last V8
04. Supremacy
05. Shades
06. 8 Bits
07. Mindkiller
08. The Last Ninja
09. I Love 64
10. We Cannot Go Back To The Past
11. Whatever Mattered


Stefan Poiss
Markus Hadwiger

Website /

Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10


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