CD, Dependent, 2010
Subtle, melodic, and hard-hitting. From the opening moments of “The Last Ninja 3”, the first track of Mind.In.A.Box’s latest album, it was clear that “R.E.T.R.O.” would set itself apart from previous work as a predominately instrumental masterpiece capable of crossing genre boundaries. The combination of synthetic music, forged on contemporary circuits, with tunes first put into action two decades ago through the Commodore 64 platform, reveals an impressively unique production that will whet the appetite of many listeners new to Mind.In.A.Box’s signature sound.
Future-forward art of the past comes to life as notes that were once reflective of the progress of technology are resurrected to create an ethereal realm, conjuring thoughts of fantastic science fiction visions. Eloquent, avant-garde momentum remains consistent and unabridged throughout the album. Seldom are musical styles from such distinctly different eras brought together with such harmony.
Despite the album’s name, and its retrospective gaze, never does the music force the listener back in time. Instead, a constant rhythm of gentle, melodic pulses and heavy bass punches propel and present the impression of constant forward motion. Tracks like “Shades” and “Lightforce” convey the direction of the album, which exudes a mood of subtle, often pensive uncertainty, progress, and above all, intrigue. Like previous works, “R.E.T.R.O.” compels eyes to close their lids and minds to leave their boxes, forsaking the material world in search of broadening inner imagination and understanding.
Following a recurring theme of the passage of time, “I Love 64” is a prime example of the lyrical genius that fans have come to know and love. With subtle and profound use of metaphor, and excited melody, the verses of this track, like those of many Mind.In.A.Box songs, demand a repeated inspection.
The final two tracks of “R.E.T.R.O.”, “We Cannot Go Back To The Past”, and “Whatever Mattered”, change the album’s tone, echoing to the musical style familiar to those with previous exposure to Mind.In.A.Box. Seasoned fans will find themselves longing for the next release as these two fluidly somber, even sorrowful pieces, poignantly resonate the vastness and transiency of time.
Whether interests reside in retro gaming, industrial dance, or synthetic instrumental music, this high-energy, low-friction album delivers mind-engaging melodies that keep the listener’s focus and provoke innovative thought.
Through every note, “R.E.T.R.O.” delivers its message with clear, crisp, and flowing richness. Like an airship sailing through gentle mists to an unknown future land, Mind.In.A.Box, once again transports their listeners like passengers, and delivers them unto a world of curious excitement, of uncertainty, and of exceptional mental clarity, without once forsaking or losing continuity.
— Joshua Kreger