18 Carat Affair absolutely dominates one particular micro-genre of music: that retro lo-fi synthwave that we like to appropriately refer to around here as “VHS-wave”. Artists such as Dreams West, Teams, and Vektroid parlay that unique sound and style as well, but not to the degree that Denys Parker (18 Carat Affair) does. Brief audio collages comprised of funky synth leads, found vintage sounds, and pitch-shifted vocals give off an aura of early 90’s metropolitan chic and opulence. With 18 Carat Affair’s most recent release, Pure Gold, light is finally being shone down upon his massive portfolio of tape machine retro jams. This is elevator music for the long ride to that classy club at the top of the space station.
A thirty-track compilation of choice cuts from his back catalog of EP’s and full-lengths, Pure Gold moves the listener along in no particular order, including moments that run the gamut of releases from 2009’s N. Cruise Blvd EP up to his most recent release, February’s High Emotion. Fully remastered and featuring new artwork, 100 physical copies of this mix are being pressed and are available for only $8 plus shipping via 18 Carat Affair’s Bandcamp page (SunsetCorp). It is the perfect way to introduce a friend or family member to the very heart and soul of this specific micro-genre, and it’s also a stellar selection of premium vintage televised vibes for the already initiated fanboys. The sassy midnight funk of “Desire” kicks in early on in the album, and it just won’t quit. “New Jack City II”, in all of it’s 8-bit lounge glory, makes an appearance about halfway through Pure Gold, and “Fashion” (the above represented tune) gets by with a mangled, almost witch-house version of some forgotten easy listening track from a bygone era. Also, I’m pretty sure the found footage in the video is from Mr. T’s inspirational kids video “Be Somebody…Or Be Somebody’s Fool”, so mad propers for that, Denys. Do tha right thing, and treat yo’self to an immense collection of 18 Carat Affair’s greatest vintage synthwave entries by purchasing Pure Goldhere. If you’re sitting on the fence about it, enjoy a few MP3 downloads below. You’ll be glad you did.