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“Altered States” by Woob

Darkly pulsing synthwave channeled from the shadowy recesses of the ’80s.

Woob’s Xvious_exe is the latest entry in his “Adaption” series, a “psychological thriller/horror musical” about a group of small town friends who discover that the local abandoned arcade is turning people into the undead.

Like Carpenter Brut and Perturbator, Woob (real name Paul Frankland) excels in creating darkly pulsing synthwave that seems channeled from the shadowy recesses of the ’80s (as imagined by vintage sci-fi and horror movie VHS artwork).

“Altered States” is a prime example of this. So while you might feel like you’re being pursued by the video arcade undead while listening to it, you’ll be bobbing your head to Woob’s distorted synths and slamming beats all the same.

Sidenote: I find it fascinating how different “Altered States” and the rest of Xvious_exe is from the trippy ambient music that Woob composed for earlier releases like 1994’s Woob 1194 and 2010’s Repurpose. You might even be hard-pressed to think they’re by the same artist. However, all of Woob’s various musical incarnations possess a very cinematic aspect, be it a consciousness-expanding slice of globally influenced ambient dub or an ice-cold synthwave banger.

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