Pressing play on Sonic Gap’s discography is the digital equivalent of reaching 88 MPH in a DeLorean, and his latest album Courage is no different. While many modern music producers rely exclusively on DAWs and virtual synthesizers, Sonic Gap is a huge fan of real instruments. Using both vintage and modern analog synthesizers, as well as a modular Eurorack system, his music is uniquely identifiable. Sonic Gap is truly a one-man band – all guitar parts, synth riffs, vocals, mixing, and mastering are done individually.

First impressions

The album opens with A New Life, a brilliantly written song about discovering a new world, in the metaphor of a mission through space. Bilingual lyrics (English and French) bring universality to the track, making it a perfect fit for our blog. The crisp arpeggiated synths and big room drum patterns powerfully begin the album, a nod to the song’s inspiration – 70’s and 80’s sci-fi movies.

As the album progresses, Sonic Gap’s versatility as a musician becomes clear. From the soulful feel of Funky Artifacts to the creepy Korg M1 sounds on Shadow Man, Sonic Gap captivates you and doesn’t let go.

The final song, No Guts No Glory, sounds like it is being played off a cassette fresh out of a time capsule buried in 1986. Paying homage to the record’s title, this track is purely about courage. As the artist said himself, “if you take risks and try, you can win.”

Inspirations

Sonic Gap cites Daft Punk and Depeche Mode as the inspiration behind multiple tracks on the album. Other inspirations include the Eurythmics, Madonna, Phil Collins, Alphaville, Beethoven (Ludwig himself!), Van Halen, Toto, and The Police. Sonic Gap also finds inspiration in other mediums, like the old-school arcade game Outrun. 80s movies like Scarface also hold a special place in the artist’s heart.

The aforementioned Eurorack modular synthesizer – a truly beautiful instrument

The GEAR!

Sonic Gap cites the DSI OB-6, a modern take on the classic Oberheim, as his favorite instrument. Other gear includes a vintage Roland D-50, Korg M1, Arturia Microbrute and the Minibrute 2. I am of the belief that no studio is complete without a Moog, and Sonic Gap fulfills this with his Moog Mother 32 – as seen in the Eurorack photo above.

The VST synths heard most frequently on the album include the Korg Polysix and TAL-U-No-LX, a virtual recreation of the Juno 60.

The stunningly retro OB-6

My take on it

Wow! Simply, wow! After listening to the album through, I am thoroughly impressed with Sonic Gap’s ability to capture the sounds of a decade in his album. The vocoded vocals are a nice touch, and yet, not overused.

The album’s thoughtfully planned progression and sincere lyrics truly transport the listener through time. The metaphorical messages portrayed through each song are unique and powerful, and listening through the album in order is a wonderful experience.