It’s finally here! The 4th Runaway Droid album LIGHTYEARS! Available on all platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, Amazon, Google Play, Bandcamp and many more.

A lot has changed since the last blog post. We all now about the global pandemic, COVID-19 and how it has affected everyone in every aspect of life. Also the following protests and riots in the US and globally. So I won’t get too much into that in this blog post. It’s probably not the best time to release a record, but here we go.

LIGHTYEARS

This one is the most versatile and biggest album I’ve done so far. Also the most time consuming. I started to make tracks for the album right after the previous one in August 2019 and released some of them as singles during the past 8-10 months or so. I wouldn’t call this a Synthwave album, actually I have no idea how to categorize it. You tell me! Basically I just set out to do music and tracks I wanted to do and felt like worth doing and most importantly, having fun! There’s some “general Synthwave”, Outrun, Cyberpunk, Rock, Rap, Future Funk, Metal… All kinds of fun!

Really it’s like a collection of tracks I wanted to do. In terms of a concept release, I have an EP coming up later this year that actually has a theme.

It’s also different from the previous albums which were all instrumentals. This time I’ve got a lot of friends from around the world doing vocal collaborations so that’s a whole different process and workflow. The album name was coined by Mark Cooper, who’s doing some awesome rap on two tracks: On the Line & Trek Wars. I had difficulties coming up with a name that would sum up this hot mess of an album, and there it was, so obvious! Spanning over decades and genres.

Moonwalker

The album starts with an instrumental called “F.U.N.K.” that leads to an 80’s pop/rock vocal track “Moonwalker” performed by C Z A R I N A. I had the honor of meeting her in last November in New York. Feels really surreal right now, when there’s no way to travel anywhere. When I wrote this track she was the first person in my mind to do the vocals. Fortunately she agreed to do it! As an instrumental guy, I always struggle when writing lyrics to a melody. Luckily she has a super power to transform and render my halting lines into a real song!

Hellbound

The next vocal collab track is “Hellbound” featuring R0kyu. My bandmate from the rock band KARMIA we did almost a decade and laid to rest last year. Hellbound is a track we did in 2015 and felt like it needed to be reborn.

On the Line & Trek Wars

Next in line is “On the line” featuring aforementioned Mark Cooper, also known as Player One, from Detroit. I haven’t met this super cool Nerdcore rapper in person yet, but I hope we can meet and perform together after all the pandemic and mayhem settles down. Mark is on this album two times! “Trek Wars” is a new track where I wanted to do some metal guitar riffs over “gaming music” sound with a Synthwave/Cyberpunk core. I sent it to Mark and all he needed was 2 hours, a few ideas for the theme and so this epic Nerdcore rap of Star Wars and Star Trek was born. He’s a master of his craft and can write rap and vocal hooks instantly without breaking a sweat.

Rocket Machine

“Rocket Machine” was originally an instrumental track released as a single (also as a bonus track on this album), which got a complete make over by my Helsinki Synth City brother Levinsky. If I know a man so true to his art and integrity, it’s this guy. I don’t think you can hear him sing anywhere that you could easily find, so check out this powerful 80’s/70’s heavy metal vocal rendition. Authentic, that’s the word.

Thunder in Your Eyes

Yet another collab from the US is “Thunder in You Eyes” by Colin Cayvz. We met by change last August in Las Vegas in a karaoke bar. I had this Outrun/80’s rock track I felt needed vocals. I wrote some lyrics and melody and sent his way. I was thinking “I probably wrote this too high…”, but I got back exactly what I wrote! Man this guy can reach some pretty high notes!

It’s My Life

The last vocal track on the album is a Bon Jovi cover we did with Millennium Falck for a Helsinki Synth City live event “Winter Warmer” held February 1st, 2020. Little did we know about the impending pandemic at the time and that would be the last live concert in a while. I had the idea of a cover to end the night about two weeks before the show, as my set was going to be the last one and started putting it together. We both had to learn pretty quickly to play it live and actually first time practiced it together at the soundcheck. I did some vocoder singing while playing guitar, though I don’t think the audience heard my vocals at all. Falck did stellar job just jumping in my crazy idea and delivering the live vocals perfectly! Below is a video from the event. The version on the album is remixed and has some new tricks up to its sleeve.

Future

As the world is a mess right now I don’t know when I can play live the next time. Or even if the venues are still there. I guess I could as well reveal that I was going to play a gig in Los Angeles this summer with some friends over there while on my vacation. So that went down the drain before even announcing anything! A lot of plans and gigs and whatnot has been cancelled or postponed and then cancelled. Personally I’m not really into live streaming gigs and playing into emptiness, so probably won’t be doing that sort of thing. Call me a boomer, I don’t care! I need the energy from a live audience to make it worthwhile for both you and me. I hope to meet you all again on stage at some point!

TRACKLIST

  1. F.U.N.K.
  2. Moonwalker (feat. C Z A R I N A)
  3. Binary Stars
  4. Hellbound (feat. R0kyu)
  5. Factory Reset
  6. Trek Wars (feat. Mark Cooper)
  7. Way to the Stars
  8. South Beach Chase Sequence
  9. On the Line (feat. Mark Cooper)
  10. Robots Just Wanna Have Fun
  11. Memory Core
  12. Rocket Machine (feat. Levinsky)
  13. Infiltrate
  14. Thunder in Your Eyes (feat. Colin Cayvz)
  15. Last Defence
  16. Reconfiguration (Cyberpunk Mix)
  17. It’s My Life (feat. Millennium Falck)
  18. Rocket Machine (Instrumental) (Bonus Track)
  19. Thunder in Your Eyes (Instrumental) (Bonus Track)