Hotshot producer Whethan looks forwards/backwards on "Stay Forever" featuring STRFKR.

For electronic music to truly take hold and grab the public fascination, it needs to strike an equilibrium between the past and the future, being recognizable enough to be enjoyable while innovative enough to be interesting. It's a struggle that all pop music has to contend with, but is especially true of dance music, which is so focused on innovation and futurism.

This is the balance that Ethan Snoreck, the mastermind behind Whethan, finds on "Stay Forever," the newest single from his debut album, Fantasy, which is due out later this year. Ironically, Snoreck isn't even old enough to remember many of the sounds he's referencing, not even the shiny synthetic '80s electro-pop let alone the hedonism of '70s disco. He doesn't have to, though. He totally nails the excitement - the headlong, forward-rushing thrill of these genres when they were both new.


The Tron-referencing music video is an apt metaphor. Tron's neon-soaked aesthetic was the height of futurism when it came out in the '80s. Now, it's dated, yet it still feels futuristic.

Even more so than a lot of today's futuristic depictions. Don't get us wrong, there's just as much emphasis on the 'futurism' of "Stay Forever"'s retrofuturism. The feel-good, disco boom-bap gives way to a truly, wonderfully sickening bassdrop on the chorus, a little bit Bassnectar monsterstep and a lotta bit futuristic synthwave.

It's the perfect soundtrack for racing into tomorrow. Whether you're strapping into a light cycle or a VW Bug, We Are: The Guard encourages you to buckle up and enjoy the ride!