The Sydney trio are quickly building an audience with their ’80s-inspired instrumentals.
Experimental electronic trio MCP have returned with their new single ‘Nightcrawler’, which promises to deliver more of the ’80s cereal-box sci-fi that we heard from them last year.
Following previous tracks ‘Vantablack’ and ‘Dwam’, this new tune fits in nicely, offering up interesting instrumentation, wavering synths and enough retro charm to make you dig that old Jazz Wave shirt out of the closet.
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.
‘Nightcrawler’ opens with a chilling synth passage that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Tron soundtrack, before being met with a haunting cackle, a sample from what sounds like a haunted house ride.
The track features a handful of these samples, presumably ripped straight from ’40s radio shows, like the famous The War of the Worlds radio adaptation. These add a layer of cheesiness to the song but also hint at strong appreciation and consideration for the way these sounds are presented.
At times, the track is reminiscent of modern renditions of the Doctor Who theme in the way that it blends vintage synthesizer instrumentation with slick, modern production techniques that result in a very professional-sounding product.
Live drums and a host of woodwind instruments bring the track back down to earth; a healthy dose of saxophone also adds to the list of firsts for the band.
Not one to shy away from experimentation, MCP has chosen unconventional instruments to play the lead melodies with. This gives the song an ethereal quality, as passages flow from one to the next, eventually circling back around into the main melody as the track fizzles out.
Certain sections toy with drum patterns that teeter on trap music, catching the listener off-guard, reminding you that this is a song from 2021 and that music has changed slightly since the ’80s.
‘Nightcrawler’ is rounded out with a hearty helping of sax, joined by the main melody buried underneath. As all good sax sections do, this one seems to wander from bar to bar, joining up with the rest of the song not when it makes sense, but rather when it feels like it. This only adds to the floating, transcendent feeling the track gives off.
Obviously, the three singles MCP have released so far are building to some sort of ’80s sci-fi space opera, however, it will be interesting to see how the band can tie all the songs together to form a coherent story, rather than a selection of spacey instrumentals.
So far, the only thing tying the tracks together is an abundance of synth keys and a fascination with sampling old radio shows.
Regardless, ‘Nightcrawler’, as well as the previous two tracks, serve as an interesting ’80s detour in electronic music, with sounds that have seen somewhat of a resurgence recently. A sound that could easily be expanded upon and adapted to the modern era.
Give ‘Nightcrawler’ a listen below.
‘Nightcrawler’ is out now. Check out MCP’s Instagram here.