James Peden takes us on an ’80s-inspired synth odyssey with new album, ‘Instrumental Sessions’

James Peden takes us on an ’80s-inspired synth odyssey with new album, ‘Instrumental Sessions’

Words by Tom Parker

We give you the rundown on James Peden’s new album.

James Peden, aka JP, has been part of the Melbourne music fabric for years having relocated from his original home of Auckland, New Zealand. His music is steeped in mid-era synthesisers, taking inspiration from the ’80s – a time where the likes of Kraftwerk, New Order, Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys were blazing a trail for electronic incorporation in mainstream music.

JP has just released his new album, Instrumental Sessions, a record that stands tall as a transcendent exploration through the outer spheres of the music spectrum. ‘Existence’ is the LP’s most notable track – one that embodies the overarching ’80s-synth theme on Instrumental Sessions. From start to finish, the track befits a helter-skelter video game soundtrack that reaffirms the validity of our very existence. In a time where society has never been more turbulent, reassurance has never been more important.

‘Be’ is another standout track on the album. Like a blossoming flower, the song gradually opens up into a full-throttle EDM explosion as JP pleads to a significant other to stand by him. By the four-minute mark, the song reaches a climax – taking listeners on a groove odyssey that lights up the dancefloor.

JP finds a more settled rhythm on album closer, ‘Midnight Drive’, as he drives us towards the journey’s closure. It’s a track that starts slowly before finding a futuristic slipstream that catapults us off into the abyss.

For fans of synth wizard Luke Million, James Peden could be your next discovery.

Check out the record below.

JP’s new album, Instrumental Sessions, is out now. Find out more about the producer via his website.

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.