We need more. As a Brit, I would like to see more football (not soccer) wave. Tennis synth, bowls dub, heptathlon house…there’s a world of possibilities out there.
For now, these are the leaders. 19th Hole dealt with the dopest, manliest, and most accessible of sports: golf. Agents Of S.W.E.A.T was inspired by aerobics. Specifically, those glorious VHS workout tapes that haunt thrift shops to this very day.
Agents… limbers up with, er, “Limber Up!”. It features input from producer Mandi Mae. They take us through some steps. Enthusiastically encouraging us to get into the rhythm, feel the burn, and stay well hydrated.
“Limber Up!” contains some serious riffage. It’s not the last time we’ll hear some, but the impact on this track is profound. The gated reverb is very satisfying. The vocals aren’t entirely in sync with the beat, but this works in the song’s favour.
Why? Because it emphasises how bizarre this entire concept is. 80s. Aerobics. Wave.
“King & Queen” is sugary 80s pop. Dreamy, happy, summery. Its imagery of meant-to-be romance is smothered with cheese. And it’s all the better for it. “King & Queen” also carries some decent innuendo. “Come along into my castle. I’ll open up the gate no-hassle” is just superb.
It’s worth noting that this track portrays the experience of the “Queen”. Keep this in mind for later.
“Rage of the Tiger” is down and dirty. Plug those riffs straight into my veins. The synths are equally epic. It’s “Fuck yeah, punch the air” 80s rock of the best kind.
Agents… is split into two parts. The first seven tracks are original versions. The remaining four being remixes.
“Pulling At My Dreams” is the last of the original mixes. It’s also the best song on the record.
It lowers the lights a little. It’s also a rare example of retrowave rap, something we don’t get enough of in the scene. Which is a shame, because “Pulling At My Dreams” shows how well ye olde hip hop can be emulated.
This song is so good. Satisfying bass line, excellent flow, great backing vocals, killer hooks and lines. I love “Pulling At My Dreams” so much. I’ve returned to it multiple times since my first listen.
Of the four remixes on Agents…, two really stand out. “King & Queen” (Anders Enger Jensen 80s Power Ballad ft. Epsen Kraft) is really interesting. This is because we’re given the same story, from the perspective of the “King”.
It’s more R&B. Tonally it digs deeper into the concept than the original. Musically there are wonderful crystalline plucks and the keytar solos are really great. It’s great to see someone tap the potential of a highly under-appreciated instrument.
“Work It Out” (Ultraboss Remix) takes things in a different direction. Ironically I found this strangely contemporary. It wouldn’t feel out of place on a modern darkwave playlist. Regardless, it has a tight rhythm and serious energy.
I really enjoyed Agents of S.W.E.A.T. My only real criticism is that its focus drifts from its unique selling point. Especially when compared to 19th Hole. But I like the ambition, and community projects like this should always be encouraged.
Agents Of S.W.E.A.T will be released on 8th May 2020.
Team Sweatwave can found here:
If you enjoy Ryan’s work, please consider giving them a tip on Ko-Fi.