A Million Reasons / Ready Player One / B E T A N A U T Synthwave Betamax Dub Machine Betamax Dub Machine are experienced DJ Ben Metcalf and experimental rock vocalist Roberto Montoya. While both of their own solo projects underway, the two have come together to form a synthwave project. April of 2021 saw the duo release their first single 'A Million Reasons', while May saw them release two more titled 'Ready Player One' and 'BETANAUT'. A Dub Machine Mix of 'BETANAUT' has been released in May of 2021 with their latest single 'Cybernetic Storm' released in 2021. Though not officially released in EP format, Betamax Dub Machine sent me their first three singles for review. So, 'A Million Reasons', 'Ready Player One', and 'BETANAUT' will be the subjects of today's discussion. B E T A N A U T by Betamax Dub Machine'A Million Reasons' begins with a trickle of retro-sounding synths that slowly build into a main beat. Laser like sounds, retro-futurism, and oddities from space decorate the song. I felt as if Montoya's vocals were buried behind the music on this track while they should be forward. As passionate as the vocals are on this track, I thought that the beat should have been equal in tenacity to match. 'Ready Player One' looks to techno as an inspiration while still maintaining a sci-fi vibe. I still feel as if Montoya's chords are buried a bit too much behind the music on this track; he sounds quiet. Both the danceable beat of the song and Montoya's voice match forces in equal parts, so I give my praise there. The last song that I received for review, 'BETANAUT', fixes the major issue I had with the two other songs. Montoya's vocals no longer sound faded or as if they're in the background; they're upfront in the mix and sound pleasantly audible. The song has a lighter synthwave vibe with more laser-like synths and soft percussion carrying it through to the end. Betamax Dub Machine comes off to me as a project that is still feeling itself out and is currently working out a few kinks in the machine. As state above, 'A Million Reasons' and 'Ready Player One' have good beats, but the vocals sounds way too far off. That makes them slightly less enjoyable. The vocals and beat on 'A Million Reasons' don't match each other's forces, either. 'BETANAUT', however, seems to fix all of these issues while giving a good, if not a bit standard, synthwave ride. If I had to judge these songs alone, I would give 'A Million Reasons' a six, 'Ready Player One' a six-and-a-half, and 'BETANAUT' a seven out of ten. Paired together in this EP format, however, I average out the score for a six-and-a-half. If Betamax Dub Machine irons out the few kinks they have, I think we'll be looking at another great synthwave band to add to the ever-growing roster of artists within the community. This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Betamax Dub Machine - A Million Reasons / Ready Player One / B E T A N A U T

6.5
"Alright"
Released off label 2021
Betamax Dub Machine are experienced DJ Ben Metcalf and experimental rock vocalist Roberto Montoya. While both of their own solo projects underway, the two have come together to form a synthwave project. April of 2021 saw the duo release their first single 'A Million Reasons', while May saw them release two more titled 'Ready Player One' and 'BETANAUT'. A Dub Machine Mix of 'BETANAUT' has been released in May of 2021 with their latest single 'Cybernetic Storm' released in 2021. Though not officially released in EP format, Betamax Dub Machine sent me their first three singles for review. So, 'A Million Reasons', 'Ready Player One', and 'BETANAUT' will be the subjects of today's discussion. 



'A Million Reasons' begins with a trickle of retro-sounding synths that slowly build into a main beat. Laser like sounds, retro-futurism, and oddities from space decorate the song. I felt as if Montoya's vocals were buried behind the music on this track while they should be forward. As passionate as the vocals are on this track, I thought that the beat should have been equal in tenacity to match. 'Ready Player One' looks to techno as an inspiration while still maintaining a sci-fi vibe. I still feel as if Montoya's chords are buried a bit too much behind the music on this track; he sounds quiet. Both the danceable beat of the song and Montoya's voice match forces in equal parts, so I give my praise there. The last song that I received for review, 'BETANAUT', fixes the major issue I had with the two other songs. Montoya's vocals no longer sound faded or as if they're in the background; they're upfront in the mix and sound pleasantly audible. The song has a lighter synthwave vibe with more laser-like synths and soft percussion carrying it through to the end. 

Betamax Dub Machine comes off to me as a project that is still feeling itself out and is currently working out a few kinks in the machine. As state above, 'A Million Reasons' and 'Ready Player One' have good beats, but the vocals sounds way too far off. That makes them slightly less enjoyable. The vocals and beat on 'A Million Reasons' don't match each other's forces, either. 'BETANAUT', however, seems to fix all of these issues while giving a good, if not a bit standard, synthwave ride. If I had to judge these songs alone, I would give 'A Million Reasons' a six, 'Ready Player One' a six-and-a-half, and 'BETANAUT' a seven out of ten. Paired together in this EP format, however, I average out the score for a six-and-a-half. If Betamax Dub Machine irons out the few kinks they have, I think we'll be looking at another great synthwave band to add to the ever-growing roster of artists within the community. 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Jun 01 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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