Studio Bean’s latest rhythm action game Overpass came out last week and although I’ve only spent a few hours enjoying the synthwave/vaporwave smash-up, the soundtrack is without a doubt absolutely superb.
Makeup and Vanity Set (MAVS) is the moniker of Mathew Pusti. Across the Overpass soundtrack, he has constructed 41 glorious synthwave anthems. Nearly every track comes in at just under two and a half minutes so they arrive, blast out a catchy anthemic riff, have a breakdown and refrain before quickly exit stage left. The beauty of it is how MAVS can twist and turn the synthwave genre to create different sounds but make it all cohesive.
Take the track ‘Power Path’. It starts off as a synth-jazz number with cool electric piano before morphing into a Gloria Estafan 80’s pop revival. ‘Rook Ridge’ is heavy on the dubs and bass but has thick glassy marimba like synths running around. ‘Surveying Sands’ is a Royksopp wet dream, ‘Turbine Tunnel’ aligns with a blissed-out Fever Ray and then you have the experimental high-speed area 8 tracks. This quartet follows a certain pattern and melody but each track is a more intense and visceral version of the previous entry. It really shows the breadth of what MAVS can do and this is just in one section. Add in some jungle beats, post-synth grimness and some eerie ambient synth sections ala Oblivion’s soundtrack from M83 and you have a tour de force.
The back end of the soundtrack features 8 shorter tracks that are played through a radio filter. They are crunchy, mono and have that tape hiss you expect from 80s cassettes. They are cute and fun additions and where some of the other tracks have a vaporwave feel because the synths bend in a tape warp eerie way, here its about the production as a whole. It feels vintage and warm.
Makeup and Vanity Set has created a stunning collection of music with Overpass. I could pick up any of the 42 tracks and feel like I could have a riot with them – even the short bursts at the end. I think this could be my favourite collection of instrumental synthwave music to date.
Recommended track: Surveying Sands
If you like what I do, and would like to help me make better and more content then please consider supporting me via Patreon. Thank you.
If you have this release, you can comment with your own score below or purchase the release follow the link below.