A former black metal guitarist who switched to dark synthwave, James Kent aka Perturbator got his genre-free attitude toward music from his parents, one of them being rock critic Nick Kent. He was given a Pantera album at the age of three, and a guitar at the age of 11. After learning Tool and Slayer riffs on the guitar, he began writing his own music, but Mom and Dad’s synth collection was also calling, and the younger Kent took to the keyboards with both metal and cyberpunk attitudes. He debuted his sound with the 2012 EP Night Driving Avenger while two albums, Terror 404 and I Am the Night, arrived that same year. The combination of retro-techno and aggression attracted the developers of the campy and violent video game Hotline Miami, who added Perturbator to contribute to the 2012 game’s soundtrack. The Sexualizer EP followed in 2013, and was reissued by the Finnish extreme metal label Blood Music. The label also issued Perturbator’s concept LP Dangerous Days in 2014. Work on the Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number soundtrack followed in 2015, then Dangerous Days’ story of a religion using technology to persuade followers was continued on the 2016 concept album The Uncanny Valley. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi
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