Challenging Myself with MASTER BOOT RECORD

I’m not a fan of New Years Resolutions per se, but I typically greet January with some sense of optimism, even if deep down in my cynical core I know that it’s bullshit. This year, although I didn’t make a specific resolution, I made a small promise to challenge myself a little more. This isn’t the “New Year, NEW ME,” nonsense. I don’t want to change myself; I want to challenge myself. Maybe I can focus a little harder, act with more purpose,and generally just have a little more walk and less talk, as they say. It’s not a big, life-changing promise. I want to spend 2017 reading more challenging books, watching more engaging films,digging deeper into weirder and newer music, and maybe calling my local congressman to tell him to stop being such a wimp. New year, same me, but maybe trying a little harder.

With that, I went on a short tag diving journey on the good ol’ Bandcamp, trying to find some more goodies from a genre that this here Toilet has made me more fond of over the past year: synthwave. As a guitar player, I’ve always stuck to guitar-centric bands, be they metal, hard rock, blues, or anything really. However, the past year on the Toilet has made me a fan of bands like GUNSHIPWaveshaperand PERTURBATORWith that, I told myself that I should do a little more digging and find some more bands of this style that I enjoy and share them with you all. That said, I present to you an artist worthy of greater recognition and that should hopefully entertain many Toileteers: MASTER BOOT RECORD.

MASTER BOOT RECORD (referred to as MBR going forward because 2017 Rusty still lazy af) is what appears to be an instrumental solo project from an Italian electronic musician. It’s done entirely with a synthesizer, but don’t stop reading here because you assume you’re not going to like that. I tagged this post metal for a reason. MBR is synthy, but it makes that synth heavy. While other synthwave acts, such as the aforementioned GUNSHIP, focus on funkier rhythms and are largely influenced by John Carpenter soundtracks and bands like Tangerine Dream, MBR is a dirtier, more metallic experience. Many songs make use of distorted basslines and some even have programmed double-bass rhythms, making some tracks thrashier and others more industrial. As a result, I found myself headbanging to quite a few tracks.

Another distinct feature that makes MBR feel metal is the fact that it contains some shreddy keyboard lines. All four albums that appear on Bandcamp, which were all released during September of 2016, feature some killer keyboard riffs. Sometimes it is on faster, thrashier tracks, other times on ones with slower chord changes that, were it not for the dark sounding bassy-distortion, could almost pass for power metal due to the neoclassical shred influences. There really are a lot of genres in play here. “BAYAREA.BMP” is a great example. Don’t worry, the title doesn’t disappoint; it is thrashy.

The other aspect that I really enjoy is the overall aesthetic, including the album art and song titles. MBR, whose Bandcamp email identifies as “Victor,” put a lot of work into the retro style, modeling the whole project as computer coding that I, an Apple pleb and stupid millennial, wouldn’t have understood had I not asked the Google. Thus, the whole thing gives me a cyberpunk vibe, being darker and grittier than many of the other bands I’ve seen use the synthwave genre tag. Interestingly, I found MBR not by browsing the cyberpunk or synthwave subreddits but actually the one for “outrun,” something that isn’t so much a music genre as it is, like cyberpunk, an overall aesthetic (albeit one that I think I understand slightly less).

Regardless, I hope you’ll give MBR a shot if you’re not strictly anti-synth. It’s definitely a change of pace from the usual retrowave that we’ve heard recently. It’s a trend that I’m not entirely sick of yet, be it in music, film and television, or even video games. Some might write it off as just nostalgia boner bullshit, but I really do think it’s more than that. I think it’s interesting and, perhaps even fun and enjoyable if we allow it, that we’re seeing a lot of artists and entertainers seek inspiration from the time period that gave rise to home computers, video games, and otherwise rapid development in various forms of telecommunication. It’s an interesting exploration, and I’m pretty glad it’s given me a chance to check out some music that I don’t typically enjoy. If you want some more MBR jams, here’s a final one for ya:

If you like MASTER BOOT RECORD, be sure to throw ’em a like on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and most importantly Bandcamp, where you can grab all four albums for just over $4 (or precisely €4 if you’re a Euro-Commie bastard). Even if you just wishlist one of the albums, as I initially did, you get an email offering you a free download of a bunch of covers of old video game themes, titled WAREZ. It features DOOM, so it’s fucking cool. YEP!!

Image (via)

Written by:

Published on: January 25, 2017

Filled Under: Metal, Nerd Shit

Views: 1360

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Sounds like music from some insanely difficult and stressful NES game. Nice!

    • RustyShackleford

      This rings so true cause, as much as I love NES (and my new MINI NES) + music graphics and whatnot from that era, I’m pretty trash at most games and songs like these would stress me the fuck out lol

      • CyberneticOrganism

        These could easily be songs from a retro-themed Castlevania game, but with neon synthwavey skulls & castles & whatnot.

  • Waynecro

    Nice work, Rusty. These synths sound a lot like guitar, and the songs jam. I can dig it!

    • RustyShackleford

      Thanks! It’s pretty heavy, which is one of the things that surprised me. Very different from the smoother/funkier sound that you typically hear from things with the “synthwave” tag.

      • Waynecro

        Indeed! I have trouble getting into most synthwave because it’s a little boring for me. Master Boot Record is heavy and interesting enough to capture my attention. Thanks again!

  • Howard Dean

    I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for Janitor Jim/KNJ to make a statement about the death of Butch Trucks, cofounder and drummer of the Allman Brothers Band.

    • Óðinn

      “Butch Trucks”. LOL.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Dammit 🙁

    • Black Smallbeard

      also Mary Tyler Moore ded

      • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

        May she rest in peace. I used to watch her show with my mom.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Even I am really saddened with this news. I like the Allman Brothers 🙁

      • Howard Dean

        Me too. Probably my favorite classic/southern rock band. I saw them play in an amphitheater in Saratoga, NY, once a little over a decade ago. Amazing show. Can’t imagine what it was like to see the Brothers play back when they were young in the ’70’s and would just play and jam all night.

        • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

          My dad saw them a few times when they came to Poughkeepsie.

    • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

      I will not speak of it. It’s too sad.

      • Óðinn

        Sorry that he’s dead, but his band sucked.

  • Joaquin Stick

    I’m not really anti-synth, but it usually just doesn’t make me feel anything at all. This, however does make me feel something. CRIPPLING ANXIETY.

    That being said, it’s actually kinda fun. More engaging than most I’ve heard. Good find Rusty.

  • KyleJMcBride

    Gonna start a Cisco admin inspired Doom band. Songs include “Router eigrp 666” and “ip route 0.0.0.0 death”.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      First album: IDKFA

      • KyleJMcBride

        second album: IDDQD

  • KyleJMcBride

    industrial DOS Metal

  • sweetooth0

    checking it out now. Big synth fan.

    • sweetooth0

      hilariously these synths sound more like guitar than most of the “cyber porngrind” stuff I’ve heard with fake guitars in it.

      • atchdav

        Never know, it could be a midi guitar.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Make me a Lazerhawk vest… please

      • sweetooth0

        I could probably do that. You’d need to get yourself the backpatch though. Unless you’re looking for a painted logo. I’m working on a shirt design for this here blog right now, but get in touch with me and we could work something out if you’re serious.

  • Member when we had to clear up memory by REMing lines from the autoexec.bat?

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Rusty, good job on the article. I lrefer my synths to be on the more dungeony side of things so it may take some time for me to get around to checking this out. Cheers!

    • You should definitely give this a poke. It will make you go “Hmmm.”

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Hmmm, eh.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Back to the dungeon I go.

        • You might even go “Hmmmm” if you’ve got time for the extra m.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            I listened to the 1st track Rusty linked. Just not nthe exact style that I’m looking out for.

          • I know. But tell me: how many m’s did you go?

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Verbally? Just teh three.

          • Three M’s. For two is one too little, and four is one too many

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Yeppp.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Stab play once, it’s pretty cool.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        I did, just not quite my headspace at the moment.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          I’ll get in your headspace

  • JWG79

    Not really going to be interested until the UNIX-based tribute, parody, or remixes.

    • Black Smallbeard

      looks like you and KJ should collab

      • JWG79

        Titling one track ‘finger username‘ would probably guarantee we couldn’t be sold in Walmart.

      • Waynecro

        Dude, Coheed and Cambria is doing a tour during which the band will play Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in its entirety: NeverenderGAIBSIV. I’m going in April.

        • Black Smallbeard

          probably no where near me

          • Waynecro

            Tour dates on the band’s website. Also, Claudio is finally going to publish The Amory Wars: Good Apollo comics this year.

          • Black Smallbeard

            thats dope

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Nice write-up Rusty. Sadly enough this turns out not to be my cup of tea.

    http://jw-personal-trainer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cup-of-tea-960×600.png

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Off-topic, but after all the black metal that’s been going the rounds these days, I’m probably going to commit some heresy against Satan when I say that I’ve been jamming some of the earlier Zao albums and those are actually damn fucking good.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVGUmvIzmsw

      • SavageMessiah

        Man, haven’t heard that one in forever. Hearing liberate te ex inferis and where blood and fire bring rest back in high scool are what set me off this musical journey which has led me to this beloved toilet.

        • CyberneticOrganism
        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          The thing I like about those two albums is that despite Zao being a Christian metalcore band (two “dirty words” in metal), they have an exceptionally dark, unnerving aura and a viciousness on par with stuff you’ll find in death and black metal.

  • KyleJMcBride

    “Rime Of The Norton Commander”

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Necroscape Navigator

    • Black Smallbeard

      The Code Less Traveled

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Cool find Rusty, even if this isn’t something people will jam regularly to, the creativity of it is seriously impressive. It’s like an original band version of all those 16-bit metal covers on youtube.

  • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

    Did someone say shreddy keyboard lines? These people truly must be masters of booting.

  • Óðinn

    Off topic, but I just saw this on MetalSucks. In one comment, its sums up MetalSucks.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/385b412d2ca61686f1accf539f3b9f385d4563dfceb1d5d9d063671d008ed72c.png

    • Rob M

      Oh thats a complete guarantee..they totally know what theyre doing.

      Slow news day?…post some stupid “think piece” about politics and they get 200+ comments pointing out how stupid they are or how stupid the commenter is for pointing out how stupid they are.

      Theyve built a career out of being hated

      • Count_Breznak

        ..and it’s always slow news day.
        On one hand, it disgusts me. On the other hand getting payed to be a lazy chucklefuck on the internets sounds like a really fun, effortless job.

  • The Cowlorado Kid

    This music is approved by the Code of The West.

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      Welcome to the Toilet.

    • RJA

      Now this is a great disqus handle and reference – I feel so generic now.

  • KyleJMcBride

    “No! You’re not nodding! You’re not agreeing with nobody! You are banging your head cos yer gonna wake the dead!!!”
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2050e246115eb487397ce3544d97f70a62e7b106cebf4f3d98376da004b39321.jpg

  • KyleJMcBride
  • KyleJMcBride

    Get off my case and get off my cloud!! Cos there’s smokin’ in this boys room!!

  • KyleJMcBride
  • Major Zim

    MBR has been a favorite of mine for a while. I’m glad to see it getting some love from the toilet. To me, MBR isn’t so much synthwave as it is metal that has been created with synths. All the hallmarks are there: loud, distorted electric instruments with a heavy focus on aggression and technicality, emphasis on loud, often fast percussion, and noticeable classical influences. MBR4EVR

  • atchdav

    This is a great find Rusty

  • Dumpster Lung

    Oh hell yeah, love some MBR! A buddy told me his newest one is getting a vinyl release, too, and it’ll look like a big floppy disc haha.

    I still haven’t heard the new stuff though. Thanks for posting this @disqus_ziNOXXkiO1:disqus! I’m pulling that shit up immediately.

    I like that this guy’s stuff really stands out among the rest of the synthwave stuff you come across (not that I don’t love that Perturbator/Carpenter Brut/Gost sound).