Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Synthetix Halloween Special with Protector 101 & Perturbator

It's the most 80s holiday of the year: Halloween! A time of celebrating the darker side of life when ghosts, vampires and candy all go hand in hand. The memories of Halloween's past come to mind, the fears of old and excitement of trick or treating under the cover of darkness. Theres so many classic 80s memories I always associate with Halloween, especially the movies and TV of this classic decade.

One of the most enduring relics of the 80s is the video nasty classic: the slasher movie. The early 80s was a fertile ground of masked killers, skulking in the shadows, seeking revenge from beyond the grave by slaughtering nubile young teenagers, and always with a thirst for semi nude cheerleaders. It's a timeless style that was perfected during this time.

The lates 70s original Halloween paved the way for a cavalcade of grisly, gore drenched horror movies pushing the boundaries and scaring audiences throughout the 80s. The age of VHS brought the video nasty into the living room and the chance to scare yourself silly by renting the movie that promised the most graphic dismemberments became a staple of home entertainment. From the early Friday The 13th movies, to the Nightmare On Elm Streets' through to The Funhouse, Chopping Mall, Silent Night Deadly Night, Basket Case and onto international fare from the giallo masters with Tenebre and into the terror from space with Xtro.

New thrills and chills seemed to appear every week, upping the ante and wearing their "Banned In ....." stickers on their shiny new VHS covers like badges of honour. The age of advanced prosthetic special effects brought terrifying new experiences to glowing family cathode ray tube. Becoming a fan of these films lead to new past times, perusing Fangoria Magazine and other genre specific magazines and poring over glossy advertisements for even more brutal movies and merchandise.

The 80s will always be remembered by myself as the pinnacle for horror movies in general, much of this can be attributed to my age at the time, being a teenager and growing up in this time was the perfect age to be wowed time and time again by the latest video nasty on the shelf of the local video library... the only trick was then convincing my parents to let me watch it!

This brings us to today, Halloween 2012  and to celebrate this holiday we have a magnificent new EP from the twisted minds of Perturbator and Protector 101. Their combined efforts has resulted in the ultimate soundtrack to slash cheerleaders by in the 80s Slasher EP. The darkness is set to fatal and terror becomes your only salvation as both producers keeping the fear rapping at your window and creaking through the attic all night long.

All seven tracks make up a soundtrack from the depths of the most disturbed dens of depravity. It's a frightening and chilling experience from opening titles to closing credits and is flawlessly structured in arrangements and orchestrations. The pieces flow in and out of reality, gripping you with cold talons and threatening your very existence with a flashes of steel in the moonlight. As with all good soundtrack work there must be deliberate build up to the terrifying pay off and this is where the EP excels. The tension builds in an excruciating manner, maximising every ounce of horror and delivering visceral stabs of shock that resonate to the very core of the listeners being.

By the EP's conclusion one is left exhilerated, exhausted and ready to hide under the covers permanently. Listen with caution! And be sure you have an escape plan just in case you fall asleep and the killer comes after YOU next!

The 80s Slasher EP is present by Aphasia Records on their Bandcamp page here. This EP is a phenomonal accompaniment to this year's Halloween festivities and will promise to deliver chills from the darkside for many moons to come.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chromatic Dream Opens The Box

Although I do dearly love 80s inspired synth that is largely authentic to the original sounds and moods theres occassion where I find the sound of the 80s in more modern arrangements. The nu-disco scene still delivers a lot of quality 80s influenced synths and the more avant garde styles, like Com Truise, I find particularly engaging.

Which brings us to Chromatic Dream's new Colour Box EP. This is definitely in the same galaxy as Com Truise's sounds, but also have their own beautifully twisted personality too. There is a much 80s love through out this five track EP but every familiar convention is matched by a one less traditional which keeps the experiences fresh and most definitely funky.

It's this driving funk bizarre, felt especially in the basslines, that bring things to an off centre point of gravity, making their kinetic action the one thing holding the experience together. The eclecticism of styles is most definitely to be applauded as more spatially conceived orchestrations prove to be very satisying but the soul of the 80s is ever present.

From the opening track the sounds of Com Truise are an obvious cue in Chromatic Dream's constructions but there are, I believe, a lot more stringent 80s elements in the tracks. Theres bits and pieces of other influences to be heard, including resonations from Synthetix favourite Klockhaus, but the overall atmosphere still feels fresh and hugely entertaining. The Chromatic Dream is much more entrenched in the 80s sounds than moving towards the hypnogogic side, making each track a delectable delicacy of aural magic.

The five tracks are islands unto themselves in this electric ocean with each taking a new direction upon the theme. From the opening drama of Twelve Feet we're carried into the electro funked Space Woman and on into the frozen realms of Siberia, which has some of the most beautifully bent synth stabs I'm yet to hear. As the trek continues the Chromatic Dreams has dalliances in atmospheric soundtrack style arrangements as well as a deviated excursion into Synth Romance territory on Duk Boki, which proves completely disturbing in the most wonderful way.

Chromatic Dream will always draw comparisons to the likes of Com Truise, but I believe this debut EP could lead to fresher pastures as this producer's ability to bring the 80s love into his modern sound is done very succinctly. The apparent love of vintage sounds seems to be the driving force of his creations, more so than adding 80s elements at a later stage. I'll be keeping a close eye on Chromatic Dream as the Colour Box EP is something I've definitely enjoyed and I hope you have too. Keep in touch with the Chromatic Dream on his soundcloud here, and be sure to download your FREE copy of the Colour Box EP on there too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

20/80s With Lazerhawk

If the 80s inspired synth scene was old enough to have elder statesmen, then Lazerhawk would be one of these. As a founding father of the 80s revival Lazerhawk's music has always remained some of the most visionary and highly respected. His most recent record, Visitors, will be guaranteed to be on many's Top Tens of 2012 come the end of the year. But for now let us let the man himself count down twenty of his favourites from the 80s in this week's 20/80s on Synthetix.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

The hot tunes just keep on rockin, making for even more thrilling synth fuelled action in this week's Weekend Update. Let's crank the volume and bring some 80s love into your weekend.

No better place to start than with the new track from Arc Neon. The Doom The Came To Sarnath is a is epic in not only name but in scope and vision. This takes the drama and escalates it into a frenzy of blazing guitars and undulating synths. Even at this Demo stage it's performing beautifully.

Maestro Mitch Murder granted us a killer new track this week and is giving it away for free! "Operator" is a smooth and sparkling synthscapade channelling a little bit of Mann Parrish and blending it with the always gorgeous Mitch Murder magic.

On a decidely Harold Faltermeyer bent we find the new Matt Creamer improvised piece: Fraser Valley Cop III. The funk is flowing like quicksilver in this early preview and the solos just keep rockin more and more as the track evolves.

Taking to the streets and putting the pedal to the metal is the powerhouse new track from Betamaxx called GT California. Right from the opening you know you're in for a lots of fun as the speedy pace gets layered with fierce guitars and menacing bassline. The Ferris Bueller samples are the icing on the cake. Quality track.

A couple of excellent short teasers surfaced this week, the first of which is a killer new track from Lost Years, which is the first chapter of a new EP to be released soon through Rosso Corsa Records. The Lost Years sounds are strong and potent throughout, that's for sure.

Another snippet from an upcoming Photosynthesi track grabbed my attention this week. "Once Again" may only be thirty seven seconds long, but promises unfathomable amounts of 80s beauty. Here's looking forward to the development of this one.

A great remix of Kristine's Modern Love by the masterful Power Glove was shared by TUFFEM UP! Records this week. It takes Kristine's sounds into very dark and frightening dimensions, giving the ambience a much more volatile air. Spine tingling brilliance, right in time for Halloween.

Synthaesthete has been quiet for the last month or so, but his return track ironically titled Leaving certainly goes to show he's still got the 80s love and is rocking it hard. Sweet melodies are hypnotizing while the production makes excellent use of slow fades. Currently available for free download too.

Synh Romance genius LA Dreams is back to releasing multiple tracks per week again. Along with the excellent Falling Close Behind and Beach Rio tracks released this week there was also the truly magical Ally's Fire. This is a sumptuous experience of smooth synths and even smooth 80s sax. The combination of sounds is, once again, a truly authentic 80s experience.

Evanton really grabbed my attention with his perfectly titled track Funky Times the other week and his new track Butterfly continues to keep me tuned in. A smooth, almost jazzy funk piece that lets the synths do all the sweet talking. Antoher gem from this producer indeed.

To finish off this Weekend Update I wanted to share an exceptional piece from Jowie Schulner, aptly titled Time To Say Goodbye. This track is completely astounding in tone and delivery, channeling unfathomably deep emotion. An exceptional experience, and the perfect way to end a big week in the 80s inspired synth scene.

Keep your internet set tuned into Synthetix for more rad times and tubular sounds next week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aminova Develops Clarity

Aminova's synthesised symphonies have been developing with each new release. His last Ep, Variants, was absolutely stunning in scope, sound and space. With his latest EP, Clarity, Aminova takes his sound in even more directions and into previously unknown and untapped territory. This five track release contains four originals and a remix of the title track by Lolski, making for a very complete and satisfying experience.

Clarity is an especially apt title for this EP. The clearness of sounds and emotion make for a spatial transparency, each track takes different cues for these, but all our bound by an overall invisible window of aural glass; reflective, brilliant and a planar existence unto itself.

Hollow City opens the affair with a spatially expansive synthscape of sparseness but full of presence. Each sound feels liks like another element that combines into one vista. The layering of the rhythms and melodies coerce the listener through many details that remain beautifully separated and uncomplicated. This delivery combines into an electro synth experience of colourful and bright sounds with the crispness of a new day, but with emotion that feels timeless. The sounds resonate through the Hollow City, reverberating and echoing throughout it's husk of cavernous buildings, while still remaining somehow intimate. Beauty lies in the crumbling facades of even the most dillapidated construction.

The second track of Clarity is the positively luminous Lux Maxis. This brings to mind the staccato basslines of previous Aminova affairs, something that is totally engaging to listen to.  It's a positively more funk oriented piece than the opener and allows an almost freeform format for the track to build and evolve through. A jazzy and bright piece, that careens in multiple directions at once but always remaining in a deep groove of beautiful synth radiance.

Things take a turn to synth rock with Challengers Champions, the third movement of Clarity. The American sports comentator sample at the start sets the tone for rocktastic rhythms and powerful driving beats. The synthesized guitars are used very nicely in this piece, not taking on a pretence of convincing the listener they're listening to an actual guitar, but more making a familiar sound take on a new electronic personality that dives, ducks and weaves with the greatest of ease. Through this track I'm reminded of The Young God's early 90s work, which is always to be encouraged in this type of affair. This piece rocks hard however, and the beauty of the synths combined with the brawn of the synth guitars is truly delectable combination.

The title track of the EP completes the four compass points of the EP. We're treated with a slight return to the textures and moments of the Hollow City, as the spatially vast sounds build and form before us. Theres a new light in this experience though as the solemnity of the opening salvo gives way to a much more uplifiting and joyous adventure. Once again the magic of the Aminova bassline construction is the driving force behind the shooting stars and wistful synth melodies. There is an almost tactile new age feel to this piece, be it from the sound selection or the spiritually charged arrangements. It's a beautiful experience, and ends the quadrilogy of soundscapes perfectly.

The Lolski Andromeda Extended Remix of Clarity takes the original through a a dimension of shiny nu-disco, making the energy change colour as a new aura is bestowed up the piece. This works well and gives the sounds a chance to make their way into a energised cavalcade of pumping rhythms while still keeping its sould bright and true.

Future City Records presents Aminova's Clarity EP on their Bandcampe page here for the low price of $3.50. This is a wonderful new excursion into the expanding Aminova galaxy that guides the listener through new yet familiar dimensions, the Clarity of which is always beautiful to behold. A Synthetix Approved Experience is most certainly assured.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sailing The Synth Waves With Plaisance

It was only on the 24th of September that I reviewed Plaisance's first album on Synthetix, the superb Regatta (read the review here). Only a month later we're taken seaward on another cruise with Plaisance with his second full lenght album Boat People. It boggles my mind how some producers manage to turn out so much quality music, and the muse that drives Plaisance must be working over time.

There are many words I will use in this review, but there will be one that I'll be using consistently. That word is 'authentic'. Plaisance's new album feels and sounds completely authentic to the 80s synth music he's been inspired by. The arrangements and production are almost entirely devoid of modern trappings which makes the experience of this record something I absolutely adore. This is a stellar example of capturing the sounds of the 80s and delivering them fresh and clean but always true to their origins.

The space this album occupies is a pure time capsule of mid 80s instrumental synth. I think this is why I'm so enamoured with this album, as a whole, as it feels like something I genuinely could have fallen in love with in 1985 and played over and over until the cassette wore out. The newness of these sounds in this time is something lost on those who've only heard the new music of this style in recent times; spoiled by high end digital production and arranged to perfection. When these sounds were new there was a naievete to this new form music that had yet to fully developt. It's albums like Boat People that whisk me back to this time in an instant and keep me there for the duration.

Plaisance's apparent fascination with the sea is the perfect basis for 80s synth, the sounds are airy and bright, lit beautifully by the sun in a sky of pure azure. The rhythm's of the waves, rising and falling with the melodies of that bounce across the top of them. And it's these melodies that are allowed to truly shine in their 80s glow that makes the experience so authentic. Across the expanse of Boat People there are so many inventively entertaining melodies, conceived and executed to vintage perfection.  The disco synths chart a course to luxurious extravagance on a million dollar yacht, cruising for romance, excitement and total 80s opulence.

Tracks seem to be entirely separate vignettes as the chapters of the story unfold in their own time with their own personalities. It's ironic that the opening sample for the album comes from The Love Boat as that's exactly the kind of episodic nature the tracks take on. Vignettes that are all individual yet all tied together by the seafaring adventure. Theres much time for high action on the high seas through the floating discotech painting a picture of the rich and famous at play in the mosy idyllic of climes. During these singular experiences the melodies are delivered in an upfront manner without the need for subterfuge, opting for a more direct and literal approach, which is again totally authentic to the original 80s sounds.

The inclusion of many tropically attuned sounds makes the album sound even more varied. A kaleidoscope of shimmering sounds that dance like the sun across a harbour, drawing the listener into the warmth of the sun and the adventure of the sea, feeling the splash of the water and the intoxicating music that runs as deep as the ocean itself. This is summer in musical form, it's the Mediterranean/West Indian/South Pacific cruise of your dreams and by it's end you'll feel like you've been on the vacation of a lifetime.

Plaisance's Boat People album is available on his Bandcamp here for FREE. This is a capsule of wonderful 80s inspired synth packaged in a form for taking abroad, upon the ship of your dreams. The authenticity of sounds and arrangements on this album make it extra special, in this man's eyes, ears and heart, making it a truly Synthetix Approved Experience.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Futura From Aphasia

Aphasia Records have released their first compilation album: Futura. This compendium of some of the greatest producers and tracks in the 80s inspired synth scene is an absolute must-have release in every respect. It's not just the familiar names of synth superstars that fans love and adore, but it's the way the tracks have been presented as a cohesive experience that unites the sounds as one.

The Futura Compilation isn't some randomly arranged pieces to represent the diversity of what Aphasia represents. No, this is an album that gathers ideas, nurtures seeds that are sewn and creates a conglomeration of music that moves through the space it creates and evolves throughout it. This is more than a compilation, indeed it feels more like a soundtrack created by different artists inspired by the same material and working as a whole on entirely the same wavelength.

The opening suite of melodic and vast soundtrack synth is headed by Lueur Verte, expanded upon by Starforce and completed by Dynatron. Through these three pieces a mood is created and developed. In a void of space where time has no relevance and sound is the only reality the Beauté Glaciale drifts like a cosmic monolith. The epic nature of the music is something breathtaking, flourishing details shine in the looming shadow cast by the enormity of this floating giant. Closer and closer, the music intimates to a subtlety underlying it's astronomical size.

These details are in contrast delicate and almost fragile. Gradient Hues of starlit colours dance like a cosmic waterfall across the surface as our almost fearful beginning takes on a joyous tone. It's a hynotizing and enthralling display that leads further past the surface and into the Stars Of The Night. Like an awakening of a sleeping giant the stars become our guide and power the journey even deeper. The driving percussion opening up the void as path to greater kingdoms. Sweeping synths punctuated with energetic handclaps bring us the horizon and take us beyond into the second of three acts.

The second part of the journey hides the sun from view as constellations dim each star one by one to the point that sound is our only guide, for it's the fear of what might be behind the darkness that inspires a terror untold. The unholy dark synth trio of Protector 101, Perturbator and Judge Bitch turn the light down to zero and the fear up to maximum as their individual vignettes pulse, charge, chase and capture the listener, toying with them in a synthesized game of cat and mouse.

As individual tracks they work brilliantly, but coupled together into a three part story of electronic shadows and interplanetary demons they take on an awesome power of united fear. The story seems like it's going to end in an overwhelming display of darkness covering the atmosphere permanently as no moon rises and no star shines. Then when all hope appears lost, a spark is ignited.

The tiniest of sparks, a light so small it strains our vision to see it. But it's there. And it's growing. It takes the coin-op magic of Arcade High to the darkness of the middle chapter and zoom out to show the digital display in front of us that we were faced with was merely a game. The torturers from the void become sprites we can destroy and dexterity becomes the only tool we need to send the evils of the universe back from whence they came. The melodies are bright and sparkling and our chance to bring order back to the galaxy is only another quarter away.

The Futura allows us to leave the arcade and walk the Streets Of Metropolis triumphant. Orchestral stabs and a driving bassline bring an electronic glow to avenues of the future while speeding melodies arc across the celestial highways at the speed of light, courtesy of Flash Arnold. The sounds of the Futura are a synthesizsed skyline of beautiful neon colours, leading back to our own patch of Tuff Turf. Vector Hold's track is the perfect bookend piece to this compilation, an uplifting and inspiring work that complements all the previous experiences to perfection. As the sounds drift away we're left contemplating our journey, but revitalised and ready for another adventure in the Futura.

Aphasia Records presents the Futura Compilation on their Bandcamp page here for FREE. This compilation works so incredibly well as a single experience I believe this should be one of the first albums anyone listens to who is finding an interest in 80s inspired synth music. It represents so many details and emotions that it demonstrates to the listener just how inspiring these genres of music can be.

The Futura Compilation is undeniably a Synthetix Approved Experience and is one I hope you'll enjoy as much as I have.

Monday, October 22, 2012

20 /80s With Neros77

20/80s is fast becoming one of my favourite things I do on Synthetix, it's just pure fun to find out other's favourite 80s gear. This week we're going 20/80s with the master video magician Neros77.  The official producer of videos for the 80s inspired synth scene and man with peerless taste in 80s celluloid gold. His videos are meticulously created and his source material is massive in scope. The Neros77 Channel is the modern day equivalent of the old MTV from the 80s for the scene, hence the permanent link to it in the Enlightened Ones links section on here.

For Neros77's post I've included a video very special to me. This was the first video I found of his, and it began a snowball effect to what Synthetix has become today. If it wasn't for my contacting Neros77 through YouTube and gaining more contacts in the scene theres a very good chance Synthetix wouldn't exist today. Thanks for all the work Neros77, you're a pillar of the community.

This video to Camille R's rocktacular THRASHER 83 is what I call total synergy in terms of aural and visual presentation. So get rockin' and let's revisit the best decade ever with Neros77!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

Let's get down to business and rockin hard with this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix!

Firat up we have an exciting new italo epic from Dreamwave Dave. The bouncy bass line and smooth synths on this piece work like magic, the vocal track steps the experience up to the next level too. This is a text book piece quality 80s love and by the time the rifftastic guitars start up the Valley Girl has already set the night on fire.

Although his style is unabashedly more modern I still have a bit weakspot for Oxford. His nu-disco synth house music is always massively hooky and full of 80s love. What really sets this track apart is the catchy as hell guitar that kicks in in the final chapter. It's totally rockin and funky to the max.

Keeping the funk pumping is a superb new track from Evanton. This producer's feel for an 80s groove is totally on point. His new album is available on Binalog Productions Bandcamp site here and is definitely a healthy dose of electro injected 80s vibes.

Synthetix favourite Camille R shared a bittersweet piece of lovely music this week, bitter because it's probably not going to be developed any further, but sweet with golden melted sugary synths. Even in this truncated form it's totally rad, here's hoping a resurrection of this movement is possible in the future.

A superfuturistic track from none other than Flash Arnold made for a very strong return to the scene this week. Technologically Advanced is the perfect display piece for how to make a melody work it's magic on the listener. Completely infectious and always up to a very high production standard this absolutely killef.

Maybe it's the ET connection, or the way my mind works in general, but I always think of Halloween as a very 80s holiday. With this festive day fear nearly upon us Vincenzo Salvia has started to up the spookiness with his track Figures In The Rear View Mirror. It's definitely melancholy in tone, but theres a sweetness to this piece of synth candy that makes it even more dangerous. To celebrate Halloween this is also currently available for FREE download!

Upping the ante even further for Halloween themed dark synth horror is a new piece of hi energy mayhem from the twisted minds of Judge Bitch and Perturbator. This epic of evisceration cuts swathes of manic melodrama with a driving percussion track and makes the screams of terror turn into screams of joy with a guitar solo forged in the fires of Hell itself. Magnificent malevolence!

One of my absolute favourite tracks this year is Rain Sword's Summer Breeze. This is thoroughly one of the single most incredible piece of music I've heard, capturing 80s sounds and emotions with comeplte perfection. This has now been combined with the video talents of Neros 77 for his latest video project and the imagery brings the taste and flavours of summer right from the sun kissed 80s directly to you today.

As the sun sets on another Weekend Update on Synthetix I hope you keep tuned for more beautiful music next week and always rememeber to stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Remember The Date With Delenda Est

This has been a huge week for releases.We've had 80s Stallone's Hotline album, the new full length release from Alpha Boy, a new album from Plaisance and the new compilation released from Aphasia Records. Definitely one of the most action packed week's in recent times and I'm looking forward to sharing more on these albums with you over the next week. But this post isn't about an epic new full length release. There's been a track I just haven't been able to get enough of this week. Something from a new producer, something that I found completely entrancing.

The innocuously titled October 15th from Delenda Est has taken me away on a romantic synth filled journey upon every listen and it's something I wanted to ensure you had the pleasure of experiencing for yourself.

The evocative nature of this piece is imminent from the opening stanza. This track doesn't need to take time to build or introduce itself. It immediately takes your attention and imagination, within the first twenty seconds we are whisked away from the mundanity of reality into a colourful fantasy of pastel hues and sparkling light. The melodies are distilled beauty and arranged in such a delightful way that the lure and promise is irresistable.

As this track blossoms into a pink cumulous entity of warmth and uplifting positivity it becomes completely enshrouding, radiating it's energy with limitless power, caressing the listener into a state of happiness which extends far beyond the track length. With repeated listening it goes even further to multiply the magnitude of melodious magic that mesmerizes in a monumentally momentous and memorable manner.

Delenda Est's repertoire maybe small, but his passion for the essence of the 80s is unfathomable. It's uncommon for a track to effect me so much, especially with so much other music released this week, but this is a testament to the quality of October 15th. I hope we see more releases from this producer soon and I hope you give Delenda Est some love and encouragement on his soundcloud here when you're done basking in the heavenly glow of October 15th.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Call On The Hotline With 80s Stallone

The UK's 80s Stallone has been one of the flagship producers of consistently impressive 80s inspired synth music for years now. Through many evolutions of sound he's always stayed relevant and always stayed totally 80s. There are few producer's still in the scene with the experience of 80s Stallone, so when a new album hits from him it's always judged with a more critical eye.

With his new album Hotline still being filled into racks in record bars around the world I managed to get a call through to 80s Stallone himself and over the crackly long distance line I spent somee quality time learning a bit more about his inspirations, his future, his past and his dreams.

Greetings, how's life going in the world of 80s Stallone?

I'll take strange over normal any day of the week. I've loved your music for a long time, but never learned a lot about you. Is this intentionally a part of the 80s Stallone mystique?
I never felt the need to show myself. Stallone is far more interesting than me and its a cliché but I  let the music and 80s image do the work,.. maybe one day.  

How many years is it now you've been creating 80s synth music?
Myspace says Member Since 03/08/2008 I guess that’s when 80s Stallone really started. I had tracks before that were 80s sounding and I always lent towards it i just didn’t want to make the “in sound” I wanted to make my own sound. \  

Were you producing other sounds before this?
I have done many projects and bands, made music for TV and am always messing with something or another. But it all started in my final school years with a borrowed fourtrack, a bass, a DR110 drum machine then on to Atari & Amiga and on and on constantly changing and learning all I could. I'm self taught and never took any lessons, so im always learning as i go.  

You manage to incorporate modern sounds in a perfect balance and harmony with the 80s moods on your tracks, is this something that happens naturally or are you constantly being pulled in different directions by your creativity?
I guess it's natural. I just have a sound and now know the elements of an 80s Stallone track, plus I use new analogue synths rather than vintage, as well as vsts. Maybe that’s a part of my sound, I like to try new things when making music I like to try and be open.

It's been noted that you're one of the most gifted artists in the scene in regards to the melodies you create. Does this come naturally or is every track a labour of love?
Well that’s an honour and very kind if people think that. My trick is simple: if a track becomes hard work or doesn’t go in the right direction I just leave it and start again. My recent project's folder has 160 ideas and I have larger folders on 3 other hard drives, sometimes I find something I like rework on it or sometimes it’s terrible and I know why I never finished it, but a lot of the time I just try something new.

The new album sounds like a new chapter in the 80s Stallone sound. Lots of rockin vocals and the sounds feel more spatially oriented. Was doing more vocals a natural evolution for you or was it a hard ask?
The vocal tracks are older, but people always seemed to like those tracks. Some days I write as Action Stallone other days it's Romantic Stallone, just depends on how I feel or what direction the tracks take.

Is Hotline a concept album or evolutionary step for 80s Stallone? It's got a beautifully consistent space disco motiff through out it laced with a futuristic melancholy, it's markedly different to a lot of your previous singles. Is this just a stop off along the 80s Stallone journey or have we reached the destination?
 I like to keep moving and searching for new ideas. I have two new tracks that are really futuristic and might upset people but appeal to new listerns, but another that’s completely analogue hardware and back to the disco. I plan to do a few in this way so they will probably be two different EPs to come soon so I would say the journey won’t reach its destination any time soon.  

Marvellous, the scene will always need artists like you to push the 80s inspired synth genres in exciting new directions. Was Hotline written all together as one album or was there a combination of new and old ideas?
New and old. I have tried to give people the tracks I thought they seemed to want. I have terrific support and great listeners that means the world to me, so I try to pay them back the best I can. Cheesy but true.

You say 'cheesy', I hear 'classy'. As far as influences go, apart from the obvious Stallone muse, who do you draw inspiration from the most from?
Kraftwerk, Patrick Cowley, Denis and Denyse LePage, Giorgio Moroder, Harold Faltermeyer, Jan Hammer, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, New Order, Depeche Mode, Guy-Manuel & Thomas Bangalter, Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, early Pet Shop Boys & The Human League, Cyber People, Koto, Hipnosis, Laserdance. We could be here all day but you get the picture.

And it's a wonderful picture indeed. The UK has always been at the forefront of synth music and the current UK scene seems pretty rockin, from this side of the planet. Have you worked much with any of the other lads creating 80s music over there?
No one in the UK yet, I'm open to anything and never say never. I worked with my good friend Sakura on Cusax, he was there from the first few Stallone tracks always supporting me from the start so I enjoyed collaborating on Cusax with him, hopefully we can find the time do more in the future. Embryonik and I have plans to do something together, there is a track we did but neither of us have finished it, I'm sure we will get round to it at some point but we both want something special and not just a track for the sake of it… I value their opinions and support. 

I'm champing at the bit to hear that 80s Stallone/Embryonik collaboration! The UK scene also seems one of the most likely to get regular live 80s inspired synth live gigs happening, would performing the 80s Stallone experience live be something you'd love to do on a regular basis?
I’ve had something planned for a show for years, so I would want it done right, but I think I’m happier making music than performing it. Some people enjoy the stage some people enjoy the studio think Im the studio person.

I noticed you stay very independent in the scene, with no affiliations to the older or newer established labels around the 80s scene, do you prefer to work independently as an artist or have you just not found the right one?
I think it helps me to just do my own thing, I support everyone out there doing their thing, but I find it easier to keep my nut down and keep working, but I’m open to work with any label. I offered this album to a good few labels two wanted it, but I was then offered to do it on tape with a label and hopefully that will still happen at some point with new tracks.  

An 80s Stallone cassette release would be perfection! I hope this happens too. Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Jackie Stallone or Bridgett Nielsen, maybe? I would have loved to see Patrick Cowley at work in a studio though.

I've used Brigitte Neilsen for much 'inspiration' in the past myself. If you were to create the ultimate Stallone Movie Night, what 5 movies would you have to show?
"Stop or my will Mom Shoot" five times in a row. Or all or the Rocky's, but I always fall asleep during Five.

What are your other interests outside of creating music?

Eric Qualen or Drago?
Eric Qualen! But John Lithgow as Roberta Muldoon, thats Lithgow GOLD.  

Haha! Amen to that. Thanks very much for your time to grant Synthetix this little window into the world of 80s Stallone. Is there any final message you'd like to say to the readers and fans out there? Thanks for support and keep listening. As in true Stallone style there will be a sequel.

I wish you all the best with Hotline, it's a maginificent album and should go a long way to making the 80s Stallone fanbase grow in leaps and bounds.

Hotline is available through 80s Stallone's Bandcamp site here. This album is an incredible display of songwriting talent combined with unbridled love of 80s sounds, it's a testament to the 80s Stallone experience in these genres that he can make this release sound totally fresh and full of exciting new ideas.

Everyone with a love of 80s synth sounds should invest in this album as soon as possible and let the 80s Stallone experience wash over them in a neon shower of beautiful aural majesty.

80s Stallone's Hotline is most definitely a bonafide Synthetix approved experience.

Monday, October 15, 2012

20/80s With Kristine

This week's 20/80s is by none other than the amazing 80s chanteuse and artsiste Kristine. This artist's peerless work in recreating 80s perfection in her music is something I'm constantly enamoured with. Kristine's soul is coloured in bright 80s neon and this shines through in all her music, let's have listen and find out some of her favourite 80s inspirations in this week's 20/80s!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

As we moonwalk through October the new releases are coming thick and fast. Over the next couple of weeks there are some massive new release coming from many of the scenes more established producers so make sure you keep on rockin by Synthetix to keep up with all the hot 80s inspired synth action!

So let's start off with a preview from one of these upcoming blockbusters. Alpha Boy's got a hot new sound and a hot new album with Streets Are Hot. The compilation preview track has lots of signature Alpha Boy sounds, but theres a new personality hinted at through much of the previews. Due out next week I'll be sure to give it the full Synthetix treatment.

Brand new music from NeonFlashDrive up next! This producer's sound is gaining more personality with each release and his new soundtrack styled piece called Akira is full of 80s magic. The darker sounds of this piece are black as pitch, while the small eastern flourishes and spatial details engage the listener even more. Akira is also up for FREE download, so get on it asap!

Our next track was, unfortunately, from an unfinished project, but Grooveworthy has shared this awesome track out on soundcloud regardless. This homage to the high action theme track is a work of brilliance as it thunders through in a magically 80s way. Lets hope more music of this style comes out from this producer as this piece is definitely rockworthy.

Synth mastercraftsman Mitch Murder unleashed a scintillating new experience this week called Rush. This is the perfect title for this track as it is a fiery ball of energy that is being propelled at the speed of sound. The mood breakdown in the middle just goes further to prove this artists skill at arranging elements to perfection. Magnificent work once again.

A brand new act on the scene is Only You and their first song Secrets grabbed my attention this week and has never let go. This is a beautiful piece of emotive synth pop with a vibe that reminds me of many early 80s bands, but also combines a more mid 80s style vocal track. This combination is supremely rocking and is hopefuly a precursor to more music from Only You in the future.

Arc Neon's new track is settling into it's final diabolical transformation and is leaving only brutality in it's wake! At The Highways Of Madness is turbocharged darkness with a super hooky lead synth melody that will drive you over the edge. I think this will sound absolutely monstrous once mixed.

It just wouldn't feel like a Weekend Update without a new LA Dreams track. This producer's still releasing new tracks with ravenous fervour and it's getting hard to keep up! Victims was definitely my favourite piece of his released this week. It's got a lovely spatial quality that is uncomplex but supremely emotive. The flow is totally entrancing. LA Dreams has a new EP out soon, so I'll make sure Synthetix covers it upon it's release.

To finish of this week's Weekend Update we have a totally rockin video production from none other than Neros77 for Quasar's Shocking Facts. This is massively entertaining and proves to be the perfect video for The Robocop inspired track.

I hope this Weekend Update on Synthetix has kept your weekend rockin the 80s love and I look forward to sharing more with you over the coming week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plaisance Sails The Costa Concordia With A Synthetix Exclusive!

I'm proud to announce a new twelve track album from Plaisance entitled Boat People which is due to hit Bandcamp this Sunday, the 14th of October.

Plaisance has gratiously given Synthetix an exclusive preview track from this upcoming album as an appetiser for the main course later this weekend.

Plaisance's first album, Regatta, has been one of my most listened to albums of late and I'm expecting lots of hot rockin seafaring 80s synth action with this new adventure. Costa Concordia begins where Regatta left off with beautiful synth arrangements combined with the hallmarks of the Plaisance soundscapes.

Boat People sets sail on October 14 and is available from Plaisance's Bandcamp page here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Betamaxx Finds The Right Format

Synthetix has beared witness to the wonderful music from Betamaxx over the past few months and he's now released a full length album compiled from his repertoire. The release is peppered with favourites from his soundcloud and a healthy dose of all new material making for a very compelling experience in quality 80s inspired synth work.

Lost Formats is a rather apt name for this full length record. Apart from the obvious link to Sony's Betamax format, the album carries itself through the spectrum of 80s synth music, from the synth romance beauty of Restless, to the action drama of Pittsburgh Nights and onward through more soundtrack inspired works and then hurtling into the platinum sounds of italo.

The Lost Format itself may be even more an underlying message in the structure of the album, the way that Betamaxx switches gears so beautifully between these styles all on one album is uncommon. The music always sounds true and each piece is loaded with character and individuality. Betamaxx may be a true renaissance man of 80s synth music, putting him in the upper echelons of the scene, for this reason. A distinct love of the sounds and arrangements of our favourite decade is heard radiating through each piece making this album almost akin to a Greatest Hits release you'd be more accustomed to hearing from a seasoned veteran of music production.

One thing that is both refreshing and energising about Betamaxx's music is the track length. This producer is always very succinct with his tracks, seldom going anywhere near four minutes and on average are closer to the two and a half to three minute range. This is very interesting to listen to in an album format. I'm a massive fan of the long form of 80s synth music; sprawling synthscapes that have introductory sections longer than some of the full tracks on this album. But when I listen to Lost Formats each track is a compact microcosm of aural energy. It's like a thirty minute thrill ride that packs so much in in such a short time that you are left exhilerated by it's end and want to get back on it for another ride instantly.

Each track feels complete, it's not as though I wish each track were six minutes long, each composition gets right to down to business and keeps it's message superbly succinct. It's a testament to the song writing that Betamaxx can run a gamut of emotions in barely thirty minutes that many producers would need hours to get through. This format is something that I hope remains found by Betamaxx and isn't lost in the future as it works perfectly and makes for a powerful 80s experience.

With this album under his belt I'm very interested to see what Betamaxx does next. His obvious love of quality 80s music and his ability to create such beautiful homages to the classic sounds mean the sky really is the limit for this producer. Synthetix will be sure to follow this rising star in his glittering journey across the stratosphere in the future.

The Lost Formats album is available on Betamaxx's Bandcamp page here in both digital download formats and CD and LP. I highly encourage every Synthetix reader to pick this up and enjoy a power packed and emotionally charged array of electric 80s synth music.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vincenzo Salvia Chases Away The Darkness

It was only a month ago that Vincenzo Salvia exploded onto the 80s synth scene with his Voyage EP. Barely a month later this producer has released a new EP called The Chase. Picking up where Voyage left off The Chase displays even more of Vincenzo's talent for making wonderful 80s inspired music.

As with his last EP theres a whimsical and light nature to this artist's music. There is a fantasy element that runs through each track on The Chase that makes the experiences even more engaging. The choices of sounds for the instrumentations add a warm and colourful tone to each of the three tracks, bringing to mind the sounds of Mike Oldfield and Giorgio Moroder with a nice wave of Jean Michel Jarre thrown in for an extra level of grandeur.

Downtown Lights opens up the first chapter of The Chase. I must say, going by the titles, I was expecting hi-energy italo styled 80s synth mayhem. But we are lead into a much more atmospheric experience instead. There is the pounding pulse of downtown at the core of the music's percussion but the sweetness of the lead synth melodies and the brightness of the sounds escape the dark shadows of the concrete jungle. They dance across the cityscape's atmosphere like neon fireflies; no longer earthbound and ever reaching for the starfilled sky above. To say this piece is beautiful and inspiring is a massive understatement. The mood and emotive drive of Downtown Lights is sure to make anyone's spirit rise above.

The second chapter, Out Of Control has a differently coloured aura, with much more drama than the previous experience. The opening melodies build in an almost religious manner. Powerful and grandiose but glowing with soul. The sound's pallette continues on from the opening piece with bright shades of synthesized beauty, flowing with the drama of the percussion, extolling a calmness over the experience. The complementary percussion of agressively pointed hi-hats and drum fanfare meld with the soaring melodies creating something wonderful. Out Of Control is a phenomonal example of this producer's talent for arranging and executing an experience that is aurally stunning to behold.

Our last chapter of The Chase's trilogoy of tracks is Runaway. The timbre and cadence of the opening synth lead shines with golden hue of completely emotive brilliance. The production on this sound is spirtually astounding. It's not heard, it's felt. Throughout the final chapter the heavenly sounds caress the listener with intimacy and understanding. They feel like a guiding hand through times of chaos. The warm feel of another being's hand in yours. The comfort that the Runaway now truly appreciates.

Future City Records presents Vincenzo Salvia's The Chase, add this incredibly uplifting experience to your music collection now on their Bandcamp page here. Vincenzo's style has developed even further since Voyage, creating an intimately beautiful trio of tracks that is most definitely a Synthetix approved experience on every conceivable level.

Monday, October 8, 2012

20/80s with Fanateek One

Welcome to the first post of a new weekly feature I'll be doing on Synthetix. It's called 20/80s which is a set of twenty 80s related questions that I'll be getting the stars of the 80s synth scene to answer. I hope this will prove to be a nice little insight into the inspirational things from the 80s that drive their creativity. Look for another 20/80s every week on Synthetix!

For our first, lets get down to all manner of 80s business with electrofunk raconteur Fanateek One.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

This Weekend Update is also the 150th post on Synthetix. It's a bit of a milestone, and the success I've had on here is something I'm very grateful for. The entire point of Synthetix was to give a home for modern 80s inpsired synth music, I was at the point where I was getting a bit tired of going through tens of blogs every week in the hope of finding one or two killer 80s sounding tracks and really just wanted to make a place on the internet where this was all that was being covered.

This place became a reality in no small part thanks to Facebook. Through hooking up on there with producers and fans on there we've made a community that is genuinely something I'm elated to be a part of. It's the sharing of music, ideas and other inspirations that makes the scene grow and develop. New producers crop up with wondrous regularity and established artists are constantly refining and developing their own sounds.

So what about the future? Synthetix is all about looking to the past as far music goes, but I'm looking to push Synthetix into more modern contexts in the future. I've got a lot of cool ideas for regular features and promotions coming up before the year's end which I hope all my readers enjoy. Synythetix has been picked up on Hype Machine too, which is great sign that I'm on the right track. It's an exciting time to be a fan of this music and I want to keep that excitement running as high as possible for as long as possible.

I'd like to thank all the people out there reading Synthetix and all the members of the Synthetix Facebook community who are a huge part of what makes this place as relevant as it is.

Here's to rockin hard for the next 150 posts and without further delay, heres this week's Weekend Update.

First up we have a killer new preview for the upcoming 12" EP release from Flemming Dalum and Kid Machine. These guys have made a powerful sounding brand of dark italo that really resonates. The EP is due out soon on Red Laser Records and will be a  release I'll be sure to cover on here when it's out.

A new artist I've just had the pleasure of experiencing for the first time is Synthaesthete. His second track is The City At Night and this proves to be a very exciting track. Moody, but still vibrant theres a delicate soul to this piece. Everything about this works exceptionally well and his understanding of what makes for quality 80s sounds is marvellous. Definitely someone I'll be keeping a close eye on.

It's always a red letter day when we get new Jordan F music and his latest single, Under The Sun, is no exception. Jordan keeps exploring his craft and refining his sounds in each new track. There's a real warmth, no pun intended, with this artists recent work making it feel light years away from his darker period with the likes of Abandoned Streets. Jordan F's always been one of the leading producers in the scene and this new track reaffirms why this is so.

Another bright star in the sky is, of course, LA Dreams. This rocker just can't stop making amazing music and the highlight from his work this week has been Jamie's Coming Over. More gorgeous synth romance from the genre's master. Spellbinding to the max.

The big guns keep on firing in this Weekend Update with a totally amazing new track from Professor Zonic Zynth. Ashley's Theme finds the Professor leaving his usual electro funk sounds for a bit of strawberry flavoured synth romance. This comes off brilliantly and, once again, his chourus work is absoloutely staggering. With any luck we'll be seeing this producers on soundcloud soon too.

This next song promises to be one of my Top 10 favourites of 2012. The combined talents of Silent Gloves and heart throb extraordinaire Patrick Baker has resulted in pure 80s pop gold with the title So Real. The short preview here is stunning, and after hearing the exclusive full cut on Project Friday (listen LIVE here every Friday night U.S time for more rockin action)  I'm thoroughly convinced this will be massive for both artists. Til the official release though this preview will have to suffice.

Keeping the Jordan F love bubbling over we have a phenomonal remix from Vincenzo Salvia of Jordan's track Aurora. I loved the original version and also love Vincenzo's reenvisioning. The extra sparkling layers of bright synths take Aurora directly into the heavens. I'll be giving Vincenzo Salvia's new EP, The Chase, the full Synthetix treatment next week too.

Our final piece of 80s loving in this 150th post on Synthetix is something special. This collective of artists working under the k-rad monicker of Chrome Brulee have made one of the greatest promo videos I've ever seen. I'm hoping this will result in an album sometime soon, whatever way this project goes  I'll definitely be making sure I closely follow Chrome Brulee in the future.

That's us done for 150 posts on Synthetix, I hope you've had as much fun as I have and I look forward to experiencing more glorious 80s inspired synth music with you soon. Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Protector 101's Prime Directives

The evolution of a producer's sound is something I'm always aware of. Upon debut it's rare for a producer to already have uncovered their own individual style. This takes time, and numerous releases to establish. I see lots of producer's in the 80s inspired still scene with much talent still yet to find their 'voice'; but someone I can no longer put in that catergory is Protector 101. His follow up to LA Cop Duo is the Robocop themed concept release The Prime Directives and this is a huge evolutionary step in the Protector 101 experience and one that sets in concrete the sound and individuality of his work.

When considering what is the hallmark of quality soundtrack themed synth music that is based on the classical 80s style I'm of the firm belief that a spatially uncomplex sound is of massive importance. A sound where nothing is lost and each layer counts and matters. True soundtrack music is there to complement, not overpower, to enhance, not dictate and to speak without screaming. The moods and feelings of the visuals are always at the forefront of the musical delivery and as with other similar releases that are conceptualised from an existing movies or genre of film, the elements that aren't in the orchestrations are just as important as the ones that are.

Which brings me to The Prime Directives. These five chapters aren't just inspired by Robocop, they are intrinsically linked to that cinematic experience. From the outset, even the Intro piece, sets a stage that is coloured by gleaming blue steel, stained by past memories, and a feeling being a puppet; controlled by powers beyond our own cognitive thoughts. Theres a sadness and helplessness that echoes throughout, be it through the instrumentation or arrangments, the feeling of being alone in a world that has created you yet you are unable to relate to.

Protector 101's honed his skills at composition to a razor sharp edge. As Serve The Public Trust ambles into view the ebb and flow of soundshapes glow and dissipate with a rhythmic sway. This piece is supremely uncluttered and allows every detail to be experienced up close and personal. This five minute track feels like it's about two minutes long as it's hypnotizing melodies fully entrance the listener. The airy feeling of being under sedation, unable to focus, but still aware of one's surrounds allows one to float through the beautiful melodies. The repeated sample refrain and lead synth in this track are truly magical to experience.

The second chapter opens in a far more deliberate and mechanical manner. The robotic pulse of the hi-hats and build of the instruments take us into a more familiar Protector 101 sound. The mood is powerful, but hints of darkness that could easily have taken this track into a much darker territory give way to a sweetly jubilant lead melody that becomes what the entire experience hangs on. It's perfectly implemented and is a step in bold new direction.

There are always hints, murmurs, and details of dark synth in The Prime Directives, but it's always juxtaposed with a brighter soundscape. In Uphold The Law the melancholic and uneasy arrangements are contrasted by a soaring and elevating melody, this is again the perfect synthscape to complement the torture of Robocop himself; torn in different directions unable to exist in either. This is felt deeply in the movie and this track especially conveys these emotions.

The revalatory last chapter of The Prime Directives takes the EP into shades EBM fuelled synth work, upping the energy level and clouding the synthscape with staccato loops and machinegun-like percussion. The feelings that were once obscured are now clear as a focus is brought to view. A focus that this crystal clear in what will become the new definition of justice. Again the sample work is inspired as Protector 101 is very selective in what he's used. There are so much well revered dialogue from Robocop it must make it hard to use anything without it sounding trite in delivery. But here, once again, the simple looped sample makes for a supercharged experience that fells authentic and calculated to perfection.

The Prime Directives is a must-have release for those devoted to the 80s synth soundtrack genre and to every Robocop fan as well. This is a glorious homage to the original movie and is a bona fide stand alone experience also. Protector 101 has definitely made his own niche in the 80s inspired synth scene with this EP and I hope it's something we can experience again, with even more surprises, in the future.

Aphasia Records presents The Prime Directives, available on their Bandcamp site here. This is most definitely a Synthetix Approved Experience and I encourage everyone to support Protector 101 in his latest venture.