"The 2016 AAF of the Midlands Member of the Year Award was presented to Tyler Matthews for his pro-bono work in creating the ADDY Palooza video. The Member of the Year Award recognizes an AAF of the Midlands’ member that exhibits the greatest commitment to the industry and the organization through committee involvement, time and resources invested, and their positive impact on the organization. Tyler’s video can be seen HERE.


"There's a bit of kismet involved with the fact that Exit 8, a long-gestating visual album arrived concurrently with the extreme hype surrounding the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. There's a distinctly 80s cinematic feel to both, and a fresh sense of revitalization and wonder to this certain palette of synths that both soundtracks use that feels warm and enveloping."


 "We have been floored by Tyler Digital‘s work as of late. We’ve discussed specific tracks, gushed over the visual album, and now that we are almost at the finish line – Exit 8 officially drops August 26th. “Exit 8 is an album that channels the emotional range of a human fighting an inner battle between shreds of humanity and the darkest thoughts a person can have,” expands Tyler Digital. “In real life this would be a disturbing situation – so I like to describe the album as ‘Not Chill’.”


 Interview:  His influences range from Hans Zimmer to Led Zeppelin, and he hopes to one day be a soundtrack producer as influential as the likes of Zimmer. I asked Matthews more about his music and the local electronic scene in the following interview.


"Where others may eventually choose a path that aligns better with one or the other, Tyler Digital seems to thrive in this juxtaposition. And it was this that led us to want to talk to the producer. Matthews explained some about how he handles the different worlds he balances. He also spoke with us about the freedom with each he operates, the potential for a full-length feature, and the tracks he can’t wait for you to hear on the upcoming release."


"With its bouncy synth bass and dark pathos, the track could play under the opening credits of 80s action movie. Someone needs to get the music director of Beverly Hills Cop IV on the phone and tell them we have their new opening track."


"Exit 8 would be nothing without the soundtrack. That’s not to say that the 23-minute film/visual album, streaming since late last week on the YouTube channel of Columbia-based multimedia production hub and record label Post-Echo, isn’t well done. But it’s the lush, provocative and unsettling soundscapes from local electronic musician Tyler Digital (Tyler Matthews, who previously recorded as Academia_) that propel this ethereal brain teaser."



"As things escalate, Exit 8 takes you through many dangerous twists and turns, a sense of dread hanging over the main character, Mary her pursuer, Travis and young daughter, Sophie."


Helping the post-Hitchcockian mystery come alive is the suspenseful and intense soundtrack from electronic composer Tyler Digital, which is set to release later in August. Tyler Digital had the following to say about his work on the film: "If you listen to the music on its own, I think you can hear the entire narrative taking place. Hopefully that can pique the curiosity of anyone who hears it so they want to know exactly what this story is about".


The video itself seems to draw from a bevy of horror heavy weights, but more than anything it feels like something a young David Lynch would make. It’s hazy and surreal, feeling more like a nightmare than anything else. Not a bad way to kick of a Thursday.


His EXIT 8 “visual album” is the culmination of his diverse skillset, but it was also made possible thanks to the directorial talents of Franklin Jones. Together, Tyler and Franklin have created an audio/visual experience strongly reminiscent of the showmanship one finds displayed in the works of Dario Argento and Nicolas Winding Refn.


The song, “Straight to the Head,” finds Tyler Digital combining the sound of John Carpenter films with that of Goblin, scorers for Italian horror master, Dario Argento — along with a hint of influence from the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive — to create a cinematic chapter in song.


“Straight to the Head (feat. Stefanie Santana)” is a creepy, should-be-in-a-quality-horror-movie 5 minute track that should never be played on headphones at 3 a.m. while walking down a dark alley. There is a lot going on in this track. It’s massive, both in terms of feel and actual notes created.


This South Carolina-based producer splits the difference between dusky Drive-time pulses and the drift of chillwave with playful and hallucinatory verses that melt into an ominous rush of digital drones and bleats. The whole song is an exercise in ebb and flow, with Stefanie Santana serving as the emotional anchor


The sound of “Straight to the Head” is reminiscent of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score forThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s got the same eerie tone to it, and if the rest of Exit 8 is like this single, then that can only mean good things.




"He is effectively showing us the future by mangling the present. He is showing us postmodern nihilism."


"What might take Dabo Swinney by surprise is a new track by Academia_, aka Tyler Matthews. Called “BYOG,” it kicks off with a locker room speech in which Swinney says, “We’re going to dance our butts off tonight” 


"His melodic tunes point to a faith that anything can and will happen. Free Times caught up with Matthews at Columbia’s POSSCON tech conference to hear his thoughts on the sounds of his city and the joy of collaboration."


"While the album ultimately suggests the possibility that Matthews could one-way jettison his approach and craft an indelible chillwave record worthy of a national record deal, it's hard to imagine that Matthews wanted to make anything more than what this record is --"


Through seven songs, he synthesizes the easygoing structures fleetingly dubbed “chillwave” with milky dream-pop synths and sleek rhythmic propulsion more common in EDM.