Budapest-based producer Route 8’s long-awaited debut full release almost didn’t happen. The original album was lost when the producer—and the entire Lobster Theremin crew—had all their belongings stolen in Detroit, whilst on their first tour of the United States a few years ago.
Dismayed, but determined not to let an album concept so close to heart go to waste, Route 8 began re-piecing the record back together. “Rewind The Days Of Youth” (releasing on Lobster Theremin) is inspired by Szilveszter Horváth’s artist alias, which borrows its name from the highway in Hungary that the producer regularly cruises on to visit his grandmother.
The aesthetic is just that: music to cruise to. Taking the premise of a sonic journey, from the ambient launch of “Departure” to the down-tempo buoyance of “Arrival”, the entire record emanates “cruising down the highway” energy as we float between glitched-out IDM, bass-heavy minimal house rhythms, and emotionally-resonant synth work, which incites a real sense of nostalgia and images of a distant, deep orange sunset.
The subtle grooves of the title track, “Bound Together” and “Nowhere” emulate a cloudless sunset, brimming with Larry Heard-esque basslines, acid-licked grooves, and dreamy, elegant synths dripping in vibrant colour.
The interlude marks the half-way point of the record. With it, a muscular drum workout, blending with otherworldly atmospherics, takes the album down a darker route as day turns to night. The meditative state evolves throughout “4th Journey”—a cut of dreamy, ageless IDM with odes to influences both past and present—while ‘Tomorrow Comes Today” introduces Australian vocalist Quals into the frame on what is arguably the album’s stand-out track; a memorable Erika De Casier-like groover. Available with digital purchase is “This Far,” a bonus track which samples Leslie Howard in the 1936 film, “The Petrified Forest.” “I suppose I was looking for something to believe in. Worth living for, worth dying for…and I’ve come this far on my journey,” says the pitched-down sample of Howard as an acid-tinged, club-ready daydream plays out. A fitting end to the trip.