Sparkling chiptune melodies mingle with retro synth tones in a detailed, high-energy EDM structure in Dunderpatrullen’s brand new single, “Arcadia.” In classic Dunderpatrullen fashion, the song is cheerful, enthusiastic, and most of all, fun. According to the group’s founder, “Arcadia” is the first track in the group’s anticipated new direction, which is great news for all synthwave fans.
Revel in the retro-inspired splendor of “Arcadia” below.
Long-time Dunderpatrullen fans will quickly observe that the new synthwave flavor in the mix on “Arcadia” compromises precisely nothing of the group’s energetic and highly detailed compositional style. It is synthwave as only Dunderpatrullen could make it, carefully crafting an array of effects and synth tones and threading them together in a richly woven tapestry that reflects numerous genres without imitating a single one of them.
Leaning on a hard-hitting dance beat and layering a variety of melodic and atmospheric accents over the top, “Arcadia” contains a darker and more serious-minded demeanor than much of the group’s music to date, though it remains alive with the spirited optimism that marks everything they do.
“Arcadia” wastes no time getting listeners into the groove, leaping almost immediately into a floor-filler rhythm that persists through most of the track. When it does let up near the midpoint, the beat gives way to an extended and elaborate break that twists and turns, keeping listeners guessing at every second.
The break initially pulls the rhythm back just enough to introduce a crunchy, metal-style guitar effect chugging alongside a dense bass beat that feels like it could leave a lasting dent in listeners’ eardrums. The music quickly escalates back into the full rhythm, apparently done with its brief intermission. Instead, just as “Arcadia” gains new momentum, Dunderpatrullen abruptly strips away all other instrumentation and leaves a single, twinkling chiptune melody in its place, echoing across the suddenly vast opening in the composition.
Still not content to cater to listeners’s expectations, Dunderpatrullen then drops in a single thunderous beat before fully launching back into the main section, bringing along the new friends it introduced during the break.
Clocking in at a hair over three minutes, “Arcadia” delivers a huge amount of content in a small package. Each new listen reveals hidden details and songwriting touches that bring the music to life, and it’s nearly impossible not to put the track on repeat and leave it there.
Dunderpatrullen is a Swedish group formed in 2007 and known for highly melodic chiptune and bitpop music, which is often fused with EDM rhythms and sprinkled with a wide variety of other influences.
The group released their first album, For Great Justice, the same year they formed, following it up over time with increasingly adept and compelling creations. Arguably, the group’s high point to date came in 2015 on the exceptional full-length album, Keygeneration. Considered one of the greatest chiptune-flavored albums ever recorded (and one of this writer’s personal favorites in any genre), Keygeneration is loaded with 17 highly detailed and memorable tracks with some of the sweetest and most inventive melodies a person is likely to discover in this galaxy.
A notable aspect of the group is their sense of humor, which shines through on album art and song titles — like their recent “Dansbandstechno” single created with Coola Kids — and infuses every track they make with an persistent cheerfulness that is hard to resist.
Here’s hoping that “Arcadia” is just a small piece of a glorious new neon era for Dunderpatrullen.