Zak Vortex – Black Star Review

Best Indie Music Cover zak vortex

Zak Vortex is back with a new album titled Black Star.

If you’re not familiar with his work: Zak is a producer from Bristol, England, and his work relies heavily on nostalgic vibes from the past via the use of different genres like Synthwave, Retrowave, and Dreamwave.

The album is mainly Dreamwave, with more classic Retrowave tracks and one gorgeous Dreampop song featuring the outstanding Bunny X.

Vortex’s unique style is on full display here, and fans of his previous work will definitely not be disappointed.

Black Star - Luca's Take

Zak Vortex is one of those artists having that unique style, flavor, and atmosphere about themselves and their art it’s almost impossible not to recognize them after you’ve heard just a couple of tracks.

That style and atmosphere were, at least for me, immediately there from the first track of Black Star all up to the last one, even if I have to admit that a couple really did take me by surprise.

Having listened to many of Vortex’s tracks these last years, I’ve always been used to thinking about his music as “Dreamwave“, so when tracks like “Leave Them Behind” started, with their groovy and catchy rhythms, definitely geared more towards retrowave than just plain Dreamwave, that was definitely a surprise.

Nevertheless, even with this switch up of style mid-album, the style and atmosphere created by Zak remain remarkably familiar and super enjoyable for anyone having the luck of knowing his artistry beforehand, while definitely adding a welcome spice for new listeners.

Luca's favorite track in Black Star

Picking a favorite track was so hard that I had to hear the whole album at least 10 times before deciding on one, and the choice was “London Nights“.

I found it to be the most atmospheric of the whole: listening to it managed to clear my mind and get me lost in the waves of sound expanding through the room, transporting me to visions of placid city nights, staring at the lights and the life below them, moving as one single entity but full of the most variegated emotions: love, happiness, melancholy.

A thousand different stories condensed into one track, becoming the thick blood making the whole world move.

Black Star - Alex's Take

The first track already portends a long journey, but it’s only by listening to the entirety of the album that you can understand that it’s much more that “just” a journey: something epic and majestic, almost having a will of its own, like a living being!

Is as if the album itself were an ancient living soul, which transmits experience, pride, and trepidation, all while also nostalgically exposing feelings in continuous development: a vortex (pun intended) between growth, demolition, and reconstruction which seems to try to escape from human grasp.

And in between this massive emotional feast you the listener, become the passenger looking out the window, taking in the scenery and the feelings that its conductor shows you.

Alex's favorite track in Black Star


Zak Vortex Black Star Blog Post Image

To conclude our music review, Zak Vortex never disappoints in his productions, and with each and every one he shows why he’s one important figure of the independent synth scene in England and worldwide.

No matter if you’re already familiar with his productions or not, there’ll be something that’ll hook you to the album since Black Star is a magnificent work from start to end and it manages to surprise, all while remaining faithful to the producer’s peculiar signature sound.

No matter if you’re a fan of Synthwave, Dreamwave or Retrowave; or if you’re just someone that loves emotional music, this might be the album for you.

Your turn now to hear this magnificent artwork in the music boxes below!

And when you’ve done, leave a comment and let us know what you thought about it!

Remember: Art Can Be More!

Luca and Alex



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