rgt #09: M. Akers – ‘Tough To Kill’ LP  $17(US)/$20(CAN)/$24(World)
Born and raised in the shadow of Detroit, Matthew Akers is a native of urban decay and withering cityscapes, political corruption and crime beyond the scope of “normal,” and the general unsettling vibe in the air that somewhere, not far away, some ugly shit is going down.  Around 2009, he picked up a synth & drum machine & taught himself how to channel the settling dust of a crumbling city into the sound of gritty electronic soundtrack scores, influenced by old gods of the genre such as Froese, Carpenter, and Frizzi.  2010 was the year of his first recording, the self-released, The Future Barbarians, followed by The Elders Of New Detroit on Retrograde in 2011.  A handful of releases and a year or so later, Akers has transformed himself from bedroom electronic composer to full-on cinematic-sound mercenary, armed to the teeth with analog gear and the collective years of ingesting OSTs & the work of pioneering electronic musicians.  Culminating into Tough To Kill, this evolution serves as a milestone in the timeline of Akers’s rapidly growing body of work and a benchmark for the burgeoning retro-soundtrack scene.  From dark, brooding ambient to the throb of dance-floor-ready Italo disco, the ominous air and driving rhythms of TTK are presented in classic Carpenter-esque ultra-polish, MIDI-free, sample-free, and on virgin vinyl for maximum clarity.  Retrograde is proud to offer Akers’s latest & greatest for those familiar with his work as well as a shining introduction for listeners hearing the new sounds of past soundtracks for the first time. From the man himself: “For fans of 80’s film scores, krautrock, early techno, italo disco, war-torn jungles, futuristic dystopias, cynical mercenaries, and cops who smoke too much. If you ever find yourself laying low in a motel in some shithole town with only a bottle of whiskey and a loaded .45, light up your last cigarette and turn on your ipod. This is for you.” Tough To Kill comes housed in a handsome 4 color, split-fountain style screen-printed jacket, each one done painstakingly by hand with an edge-worn look – no two copies are exactly the same.  Also included is a 12×11 poster/insert with liner notes.   Additionally, the first 50 orders include a bonus c50, Deleted Scenes, culled from material created during the writing of Tough To Kill that serves as a more nebulous companion to TTK for early bird orders. Edition of 398 copies.


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