With tracks titled “Cocaine Pizza,” “Upside Down Great White Shark,” and “Murder on Roller Skates,” it comes as no great surprise that Network Nick brings a certain levity to the table with his songwriting. Nick, aka emcee Deeflux, is pleased to be releasing his brand new album Johnny Synths on February 18th, via US-based label Deadly Sinth Records, and available right now to check out for the first time.
Written and recorded at Nick’s home studio, the record is the second formal Network Nick release, the follow-up to his 2020 debut Nick Work. Musically and thematically, Johnny Synths picks up where Nick Work left off, with ten new mostly instrumental tracks that are primarily electronic, with dashes of synthwave, dub reggae, dance, and rock. There aren’t a lot of artists who sound like Nick anymore, with his sound similar to synth-heavy acts of the 1980s, but comparable in mood to today’s alternative artists.
Discussing the oddness of the writing and recording process, Nick tells us:
“Making this project was a really strange experience. The writing quite literally filled the gaps between dealing with some pretty heavy life stuff and all the madness of this pandemic, right at the really crazy ‘don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing one day to the next’ time. Really pleased it got to see the light of day considering the obstacles. I feel like I’m starting to find my niche now and I think this album starts to pull together all my different musical personalities into something cohesive you can make sense of.”
In composing Johnny Synths, Nick drew on the influences of retro arcade games and comical experiences from his past to drive his songwriting. Typically a fairly sociable, outgoing type, the pandemic-related lockdown of 2020 forced Nick to refocus his time and his attention. It ended up opening up a portal to a more creative environment for him, which helped him cope with his anxiety and guilt over not being able to go out and support his family. A very active musician, Nick has released several solo projects, as well as releases with the groups Natural Selection and C O R N E R S.
As a high schooler, he loved playing guitar, inspired by his affection for metal, progressive, and ska bands. By college, he was enamoured with electronic music, and it’s all been successful in leading him to this moment, as he prepares to make more people aware of the name Network Nick.