Dark-o-Matic formed in 2017 by Greg Dovas who was later joined by the vocalist Piero Delux from the project Elsehow. Enlisting the help of sound engineer and producer George Nerantzis, the duo started recording their music best described as a cross between 80's wave music and synthpop but with also a darker edge to it.

 Their debut album entitled "New Hope", consists of ten tracks, including "Zugzwang", "Make Me Blue" and "Authentic?" that have already won many synthpop fans over. It was released November 2019 on Skyqode, the Russian independent record label established to promote new artists in the synthpop, electronic dance, and industrial genres. On the 21st of February 2020 they managed to present the album live by performing at Death Disco in Athens, participating at the Future Sonic Fest, just before the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The album begins with "New Hope", a wonderful track that sets the vibe of this album, dark and poppy with a soul. Next is "Zugzwang", a catchier track that was released as the first single in March 2019. Things get a little darker and minimalistic on the emotional "Ever After", while on "Rather Be" we are transported even more into the vast 80’s as on the second more poppier single "Make Me Blue". On "Authentic?" the beat is turned up with Piero’s voice sounding really smooth over Greg’ synths. We have more synth-pop grooves with "Past Trip" and "All We Do Is Wait" where Piero showcases his wide vocal range and then the lovely "A Cage With The Door Wide Open, third single to be taken from the album. The last song "So Real" is a slower track, ending the album with a more atmospheric and emotional feel. Overall, a nicely crafted album for fans of synth music worldwide.

 The CD also contains the following four bonus remixes, "Zugzwang (Unity One Remix)", "Make Me Blue (Requiem4FM Remix)", Zugzwang (People Theatre's Drifting Remix)" and "Make Me Blue (Purple Fog Side Remix)".


Review by Nick Drivas