Thursday, November 29, 2012

Escape Velocity With Dynatron

Dynatron's Fireburner EP was released a few months ago and, to this listener at least, it felt like it was  a prelude to something much greater. With the release of Dynatron's debut LP I feel that the ideas and inspirations presented on the Fireburner EP have come to their complete fruition in Escape Velocity. This record is a vastly atmospheric work of space soundtrack synth which, like space itself, is timeless, vast and awe inspiring.

The album opens with a space disco energy through the opening chapters. Dynatron's sounds always seemed like the lighter and more energetic disco sound was more of a divergence than a calling. The opening Space Operators and a reprise of Fireburner provide the high energy rocket fuel needed to escape the gravitational pull of the planet, but once free of earthly shackles the mood changes. These introductory pieces are beautifully done, Space Operators is an optimisticly performed piece with great sample use and a build that does everythint but provide a countdown to launch. The aptly titled Fireburner is exactly that; a compustible and volatile mixture of space synth and disco that provides ample amount of energy to take our hopes and dreams into the star filled heavens above.

Once our journey enters the universe the disco sounds that got us to this point begin burning in a new way with different colours and powers at the helm. Propulsion Overdrive is much more spatial in it's sound, the tight enegy now spreads through nebulae around us and the energy of the beat is contrasted with much more atmospheric melodies. The stars of this track are absolutely the guitars, meteoric riffs of maximum rock'n'roll crunch through the ambience in a stunningly stellar way. This vignette serves as a transitional piece for the record as by it's end the atmosphere of space is reduced a sparking lone synth which becomes a guiding light through the odyssey ahead.

Aurora Nights marks the beginning of comtemplating brand new atmospheres, alien worlds that exist in dimensions most unlike our home planet. The mood of this piece has a slightly reflective but also has jubilant air, traversing a melody full passion and power. These sounds feel like Dynatron's real calling and the music feels completely unfettered, almost liquid in it's presence. Washing over the listener like waves in a cosmic ocean. This epic takes on even more movements of grandeur towards it's end, serving as a perfect segue to the next passage, the foreboding Vox Magnetismi.

As the hollow sounds of desolation echo throughout space it becomes very apparent that we are now light years form whence we came. The somber tones seems to look introspectively at what has passed. Eons, forgotten civilisations, an unknown history that will never be told. But we can feel it's presence, we can hear it's voice, the sounds of the past return with a haunting memory and a story we must heed.

The dark atmospheric synth continues into the next chapter: The Pulsating Nebula. The drum track provides at deliberate pace through space mirages of soulful synth melodies. This complements the much darker Vox Magnetismi with flourishes of hope that spark in the inky black depths of space. It's a controlled optimism, very restrained, but still bright and shining. Melodies lift like a gravitational force, searching ever upward and coalescing with the heartbeat of the universe.

Just as the hope begins to rise it becomes clear that there is more pain to bear. Bleeding Andromeda is a morose synth dirge, a funeral march that is deep with loss and grief on a cosmic scale. It's once again that Dynatrom brings pure and raw emotions in a minimalist synth track, massively charged with a passionate discourse into the machinations of the death of an entire galaxy. The empty space left behind is reflected in the melodies within.

Upon Bleeding Andromeda's completion a presentation of determination appears. The fight within the human condition, the power of one and the force of galaxies build with an unstoppable pace. The focus is intense, the need for this becomes clear as the exposition to the final chapter feels almost unattainable. But as each stanza of Pulse Power completes and as the instruments meld and combine their forces to one, an air of triumph becomes a tangible possibility. A chorus of uplifting space synth beauty spreads like a sunrise on the cosmic horizon, warming in it's glow and invigorating in it's presence.

But a paradigm shift occurs, what was a promise of new hope and new life becomes a Wormhole. A gateway to another universe, a beginning of a new journey fraught with more peril and danger. The excitement for new discovery is echoed through the synth melodies as new challenges await the listener. The music decays into a cosmic timepiece, ticking through light years of time and space with metronomic precision. Echoing through the endless dimensions, reinforcing the theory that the destination is not nearly as important as the journey itself. Taking flight to what lies beyond the Wormhole is now the only option.

As the last seconds of Dynatron's Escape Velocity fragment into nothingness it becomes a time of reflection. I don't think I've ever had such an unpredictable experience with this kind of album. It's contrasting tones and complete absence of coming to a definite conclusion make it thoroughly engaging but even more so you're left wanting more. I want to know what spatial dimensions Dynatron wants to enlighten us to, but I know that I'm not ready for this and the contemplation of Escape Velocity is really the satisfying reward. I'd actually liken the experience of this album as something akin to the classic Kubrick masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. The feeling that I'm only taking in a fraction of what is actually occurring and understanding that not understanding and just experiencing is where the magnificence really lies.

There isn't any other album that comes to mind that is like Escape Velocity as a whole package and this fact alone makes this records a bona fide Synthetix Reference Experience. An experience that gets deeper with each repeated listen and rewrds the listener with beautiful vistas of the stellar frontiers beyond the safety of Earth. Stunning.

Escape Velocity is presented by Aphasia Records on iTunes here and on their Bandcamp here, I encourage all lovers of fine space synth music to experience this album as soon, and as often, as humanly possibly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

FlashBoy Tells Us Love Stories

Hot on the six inch patent leather red heels of his track Eclipse comes FlashBoy's excellent new two track EP called Love Stories.  This producer has always had an uncanny knack of perfectly balancing classic and modern sounds in a similar manner to Tommy or MiamiNights1984. The soul of the vintage sounds is a fickle mistress to work properly with modern attenuations, it's a tightrope act to keep the balance. Too far one way and the 80s magic gets lost, and too far the other way and vintage sounds become twee and out of place.

Few producers get this right consistently and FlashBoy is definitely one of them. This two track release is a love stricken testament to this with a good heaping helping of synth romance in for good measure. Both tracks have their own personality, but they have a consistent thematic that rings true throughout.

Side A contains Princess of the Night. FlashBoy's talent for working this hooky main melody is instantly engaging and the passion builds with each new layer of synth wonder. The simplicity of this piece is a great part of it's magic, everything counts and everything totally works. The main reprise is positively joyful and the bright orchestractions enhance the mood even further. By the midpoint the track takes it's last evolutionary step, breaking free of it's disco chrysalis in a winged explosion of colourful sounds and deep emotions, majestically rising into the sky with the sunlight glinting of every facet of aural loveliness.

The aptly titled Romance takes up on Side B. This set piece is more dramatic in delivery, keeping a labouring pace that weaves a vortex of swelling emotion. The music lures the listener hypnotically into a swaying colourwave of swirling colours and lights. FlashBoy allows this piece to roll along unfettered by complications, and allows the music to take it's own course across the sea of love. The rudderless vessel meanders beautifully over the cresting waves of emotion, taking us on a voyage that is haunting and totally engrossing until it gently fades out into the magenta horizon.

Both these tracks are currently available for free download on FlashBoy's soundcloud in the player above. I highly encourage all readers of Synthetix to add these gems to their music collections and give FlashBoy some love of your own on his soundcloud and his Facebook page here while you're at it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

20/80s With LA Dreams

Of all the new artists in the 80s inspired synth scene I've had the pleasure of listening to this year, LA Dreams is my definite favourite. This producer came out of nowhere and has released tens of absolutely stunning synth tracks. LA Dreams is text book synth romance in style. His melodies and arrangements are so emotionally intimate they are the embodiment of 80s teen romance, unrequited love, the passionate affair and the first summer kiss. Every track just exudes an awareness of true 80s authenticity and with each new track I experience I hear even more refining of this man's marvellous craft.

The celebrate the releases of Coast Vol.1 and Coast Nightfall Vol.2 I've asked the maker of the dreams himself for his 20/80s. As I look back at 2012, for me personally, LA Dreams has made this year musically special. Much like the time I first heard Mitch Murder, or MPM/Mulitpac it's been a time of total musical enlightenment as all of sudden I feel like I'm experiencing new music for the very first time. Something I find that happens more and more infrequently the older I become, something I'm eternally grateful for.

Please support LA Dreams and pick up both volumes of Coast on his Bandcamp page here and then sit back and take in the sunset over the ocean while we spend some quality time with LA Dreams' 20/80s on Synthetix.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

We're into the Festive Season now, and 80s synth music is always the best soundtrack to this time year. Whether you're watching the snow fall or beachside in the sunshine let's rock those feelings of the Season with this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.

First up is a beautiful tribute to everyone's favourite Power Ranger, Kimberly's Theme. The synths are smooth and energetic and the mood is pure synth romance. A sterling effort from NeonFlashDrive, and it's greatly appreciated this is currently available for FREE download.

Something darker now, but with no less passsion. Nightcrawler's new song featuring SIMØNE is titled Metropolis, and even though the name inspires thoughts of vastness and space the song presents a much more intimate experience. The melancholic vocal track is wonderfully haunting and the music inspires even more depth of emotion.

Kid Machine's released an excellent cover of Garrasco's Love Sex For Sale. The original is seminal italo disco synth from 86 and Kid Machine's version is a great homage. Theres is a more deliberately paced feel to Kid Machines revision, losing some of the lightness and bringing in some more drama.

Another killler track from Betamaxx surfaced this week in Only In Movies. The Betamaxx style is one of my favourites as he manages to always get the energies of the melody and percussion perfectly matched. This track is testament to that as the excitement level is set to fever pitch throughout.

Someone new on the scene is one N C Holdsworth. His sounds lean towards the atmospheric/soundtrack synth styles but incorporating some beautiful progressive touches too. This piece entitled Orsus is full of promise as it swells with musical emotion. The vocals and guitars in the last act are truly beautiful to behold.

Staying with this mood lets move on to Jaypeau's new piece They're Here. This is apparently to be used as an album intro, which I hope means theres a full length release in the offing from this producer. If this intro is anything to go buy we're certainly in for a majestic experience indeed.

Another cover to enjoy now, this time from the always enigmatic Lost Years. His newest venture this week is an excellent cover of Sferro's New Output. This track has been one of my 'All Time' favourites from the new generation of synth producers and Lost Year's has taken this track and made it his own. I must say I still prefer the original, but this is a stellar piece of work that breathes new life into New Output.

New talent from Russia now with Ezavskih's new experience The Navigator. This is a very spactial excursion in cosmic sountrack synth that has a wonderful ethereal quality to it. The lead synths are exceptionally crafted and full of presence. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from Ezavskih in the future.

Our last adventure into the dimensions of 80s inspired synth is a special new experience from the inimitable Mitch Murder. Entitled Medley For Science this track is Mitch's homage to the leaders of the scientific community. The sample work is wholly authentic to the 80s and the heavily accented Mitch Murder style blends magically with the chrome dipped synth melodies. This track works as the perfect companion piece to In The News from the Current Events album.

As the final refrains of Medley For Science fade out I'll bid you all adieu until the next time we get together for some good times and great rock'n'roll on Synthetix next week.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Interface With Garth Knight

Garth Knight is one hell of an exciting producer of quality retro synth sounds. His gift for this has been noted on previous episodes of Synthetix and I do hope I'll be writing even more about him in the future. His new work, Interface, takes his skills and sounds to the a sumptuous new level with some of the funkiest electro synth I've heard since the 80s themselves.

In the beginning I'm taken right back to early Newcleus or Jonzun Crew in an instant, the funk is laid so thick that it positively thwacks with sensual energy. The languid bass line and swelling synths make for an erotic duo of gyrating rhythmic acoustics. All the sounds feel delectably authentic and the overall production is some of Garth Knight's finest thus far with a pinpoint balance to every instrument and a glossy polish of dripping neon chrome.

Funk synth sounds are so evocative, the blend of animal, natural instincts with the electronic flair that technology affords really creates a very specialised genre. The infectious nature of the hooks and visceral pounding of the rhythm section make this particular funktacular adventure an explosively carnal one. If instrumental music could ever be defined as 'rude' the text book would put Garth Knight's Interface right up front. It's a pouty, raunchy rudeness that brings vivid visions of such earthly delights to my mind that I best keep my imagination on a tight leash to remain under control.

Then again, why not lose control and give into the insatiable funk synth urges and let the Interface unleash the animal within and howl into the night must excuse me while I 'Interface' a while.

Interface is available to buy now on Garth Knight's Bandcamp here, just make sure you get your safewords sorted out before you crank it up in the presence of others.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Like Rockin? LikeVipers!

I was introduced to LikeVipers this week and I instantly fell in love with this EP. It was unfortunate that from this EP I only enjoyed the first half and found tracks three and four less interesting from the Synthetix viewpoint. This has me torn as the first two tracks of the Dangerous EP are so goddamned rockin that I it's taken me a couple of days to decide whether to cover this release or not.

As you can probably guess though, I've decided to review it, but I'm only going to cover the first two tracks. It's up to you, the listener, to give the second half of the EP your time. From my point of view this is an awesome two track EP from a stunning new talent, and boy howdy does this rock hard!

Acceletator is the first track, and this grabbed me from the outset. The arrangements are most certainly coloured with much modernity, but the sounds are totally 80s. It's the sum of it's parts that makes Accelerator something spectacular, theres megatons of energy coursing through every second of the piece and every instrument is brought to an explosive climax on every level. The intrumentation is a galaxy of 80s sounds in itself.

The synths and guitars rock in total harmony and the drum track has so much firepower it bursts into magnesium trails of sheer delight throughout the piece. For all it's modern arrangements, theres a delightfully 2009 personality to this track to complement all the 80s parts. Accelerator is a fastbreak, crash course into electro oblivion with neon lightning striking like a supernova of cataclysmic brilliance.

Our second Dangerous experience is the title track which has a mellower and more atmospheric personality than the first piece but still keeps the energy flowing in all the right directions. The drum programming dances and gallops through glistening neon pastures and the melodies caress like clouds in an azure sky. Once again guitars are incorporated perfectly, rousing spirits screaming with defiance and exuberance.

Even the modern elements are dappled with an 80s lustre and the production is an awe inspiring soundscape that rises and plunges with esoteric fervour through a melange of musical dimensions. Dangerous is a bit of a misnomor, I find, as it brings a comfort and familiar atmosphere that is warm and sparkling with wonder. By the track's end you'll be basking in a glow of pastel 80s colour, invigorated by this excellent piece of rocksynth electro.

LikeVipers' Dangerou EP is presented on Beatport by Bonerizing Records here, I'd encourage you to definitely pick up the first half of this EP, and you can make your own mind up about the last two tracks. Please give LikeVipers some love on his Facebook page here and we can but hope he keeps rockin' the 80s sounds as he really does do it exceptionally well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Modern Love With Kristine

Greece's favourite daughter of 80s inspired music is without a doubt the inimitable Kristine. The latest work from this artist is a  six track EP with three originals and three remixes. The Modern Love EP is a sublime mix of magical 80s sounds that are charged with poweful emotions and delivered like a number one with a bullet: straight to the heart.

If there's one word I could use to describe Kristine's sound it would be presence. There is a presence this producer radiates in all her music and this is brought to bear even more in Modern Love. The prescence is an intimacy, an emotion and an understanding. It's the presence of Kristine that eminates and resounds throughout every piece of music her glowing touch brushes against.

The EP opens up with the title track. Saturated in desperation and desire, the music symbiotically rises with the vocal performance; from a whisper to a roar, and the build is pure majesty. The instrumentation is the absolute perfect blend of classic sounds, with rhythm guitars accenting the emotive synths and the drums pounding like an intense heart beat. Kristine's singing is easily, in this fan's opinion, the absolute epitomy of the 80s sound and this opener gives her the chance to really bring the listener into an intimate setting that hints at that passion within, before soaring into a chorus of blazing triumph. This song grabs you tight and never lets go as you soar into the summer of Kristine's imagination.

After the first chapter completes and composure is regained the crisply clean delivery of Summer Long Gone begins. It's like the passage of time between tracks has been eons, not seconds, making for passionate memories of a time of innocence and first love discoveries. This song speaks of danger and love in the same breath, cast with a a shadow of yearning wishfulness of a time now irretrievable. The music feels as tortured as Kristine vocal delivery, giving hope little chance and causing the memories to scar even deeper. As the music abruptly ends it becomes clear that the pain of the past will be something that will haunt us, but we must take pleasure from positives of the experience, even if the hurt is almost too much to recount.

Soulful reminising gives way to energised electricity in The Danger as it is now time to rock, harder than ever before. Kristine's always been one to make the guitars work perfectly in her music, and this is definitely the high water mark thus far. The riffs crash with rocktacular resplendence while the drums drive the rhythms hard and the synths cascade in dimensions of keyboard emotions. This artist's gift for arranging songs like feature events is once again made very obvious. A smooth build unleashes an uncompromisingly explosion of musical energies that thunder down from the heavens like a vengegful deity. The Danger is another passionately written adventure with the excitement and precariousness of young love taken on a high speed chase through the night and into a new morning with the sun breaking over the horizon. Looking back into our lover's eyes makes any risk worth it.

The presence of Kristine is felt through every second of these three songs. The whispers of the past constrast with the promise of a future, but it's the intimacy that Kristine maintains through the orchestrations and vocalisations that reallly elevate these pieces into the stratosphere. I can't think of another artist on the planet capable of delivering such a true and passionate modern take on classical 80s sounds in such a complete package and for this reason alone this EP is a Synthetix Reference Experience and a must-have release for any afficionado of authentic 80s music.

The EP is completed with three remixes, Barretso and Power Glove remix Modern Love while the always engaging Mitch Murder takes his hand to The Danger. Each of these remixes works in their own way and stand on their own as brand new experiences in the Kristine universe. Barretso's work has moved away from the traditional 80s sounds and into a more modern personality, his remix takes Modern Love kicking and screaming in 2012 electro house, which actually works on a different level than the original entirely. The music takes on new tones and dimensions while still retaining the Kristine mystique.

Mitch Murder's sounds always seem to combine so wonderfully with Kristine's and this is another case where both artists shine and bask in eachother glows as the rock is reduced but the synths are cranked to the heavens. Perhaps the most interesting remix is the Power Glove remix, a return to the scene for this seminal 80s synth warrior. His take on Modern Love is a dark and furious piece of raw emotion that is really something exceptional to behold. It's like an alternate ending to your favourite movie, adding something familar but twisted into a new meaning; and that meaning in this case is frightening as hell.

Kristine's Modern Love EP is very special release, the three originals are stupendous examples of how to do 80s poprock synth absoloutely perfectly. You will hear many 80s artists in Modern Love's chapters but the overall presence of Kristine is thoroughly overpowering. And it's this presence that is something I can't wait to revisit and feel time and time again.

The Modern Love EP is presented by Tuffem Up! Records on iTunes here and I encourage everyone to indulge in Kristine's wondrous presence as quickly as time allows.

Monday, November 19, 2012

20/80s With Perturbator

When it comes to the black arts of dark 80s synth music there a few producers in the scene of the calibre of Perturbator. His Terror 404 album and Nocturne City EP  were two of my favourite releases in the dark synth genre this past year and his collaborative work with other artists has also been exemplary. With so much killer music in his repertoire already the future is most certainly very promising for the future.

Perturbator's newest track is a magnificent re-envisioning of the Clockwork Theme from the seminal Castlevania III videogame. Castlevania is renowned for consistently having some of the most engaging music to ever grace a videogame, in fact my own favourite piece of music of all time is from the Super Castlevania 4 soundtrack on SNES/Super Famicom. The soundtracks to this game series are definitely worth looking into if you've not already had the pleasure.

But I digresss, this new release from Perturbator is sterling work and it's something I'd personally like to see more of; modern synth artists covering videogame soundtracks is a very attractive combination.

Let's get rockin' as only Perturbator knows how and get down to some symphonic synth sounds with this week's 20/80s on Synthetix.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

It's time for another monster Weekend Update on Synthetix, so lets get rockin' with zero delay!

First up is a sneak peek album teaser from the enigmatic Betamaxx. This two minute snippet of absolutely stunning synth romance bodes very well for his next release. Such beautifully constructed melodies and sounds make this something I'm champing at the bit for.

Photosynthesi got chilled and stirred with his new track Winter Nights. Photosynthesi is yet to release a piece of music I don't love, Winter Nights continues this trend with sheer, uplifiting melodies perched astride perfectly measured percussion.

Continuing down the steamy side of synth soundscapes is the new gem from Prof. Zonic Zynth. His new track Turning Point is highly atmospheric, forgoing his usual funk odysseys in favour of a midnight rendezvous where danger and lust walk hand in hand beneath a starlight sky.

Malbu B's upcoming releases have been teased with a fourway preview. The moods are introspective and coloured with autumnal shades but still enriched by much of the Malibu B magic we know and love. I'm greatly looking forward to experiencing each of this tracks in their fullest capacity.

Keeping that introspective and comtemplative mood rockin on we got a killer new track from FlashBoy this week in Eclipse. This is another rousing work that builds into soaring magnificence. It's been a quite time for FlashBoy, musically,  of late, I'm hoping this is a triumphant return with more FlashBoy experiences in the pipeline.

Brand new music from Arcade High next! City Lights brings a sparkling and energetic experience with a dash of the classic Arcade High 80s video game soundtrack personality for that zesty taste sensation we all love. This is available for FREE download so get on it right now!

I have so many favourite tracks by LA Dreams I've begun to lose count, but his new experience entitled Highschool DreamGirl is instantly in my Top 5. This positively glowing work of exemplary synth romance is masterfully constructed and purely uplifting to experience. Truly amazing.

Adding a dash of disco to the proceedings this week is a new track from Box Of Wolves called Swim. Lots of swelling 80s sounds accompany a dramatic beat while melodies cascade through through a sun drenched seascape. This is also available for FREE download to fully enhance your weekend experience.

The final installment of rockin 80s synth action comes to us in the form a totally killer new preview video for Vincenzo Salvia's Nostalgia EP. Due out on Decemeber 4th this promises more emotive and enlightening experiences in quality synth music from one of Synthetix favourite new producers.

That does us for another week on Synthetix, I hope you've enjoyed all the wonderful music on here this week as much as I have and I look forward to even more rockin new experiences next week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Prisoner of Python Blue's Mind

Something I'm hoping this blog does, in some small way, is to make producers of electronic music aware of the audience and love many people have for these niche genres. It's common to browse someone's back catalogue on Bandcamp or soundcloud and find a couple of 80s style pieces amongst a plethora of other styles, but this was something they 'moved on from' as opposed to it being their true love.

When I come across an artist like Python Blue and I look back through his many releases I become very aware that although his new album is totally rockin the 80s vibe; it would be something he may not continue doing for the long term as the yearning for a wider audience, and expanding one's musical horizons is a lure of much temptation. I look back through some of my favourite singles from 2009-10 and find so many wonderful 80s experiences by artists who've since abandoned the vintage styles in favour of different musical rewards.

I'm a firm believer that alot of this musical meandering is that these people just didn't think they had an audience listening and the thought of toiling entirely in obscurity wasn't a pleasant one. Synthetix is here to encourage, nurture and applaude all producers that feel the 80s love and recreate it with modern day tools (or vintage ones!) in their own vision. This is my main hope and drive to keep writing on here, to expose these artists to an audience who will embrace them with open arms and encourage them to continue to create beautiful music.

Which brings us back to Python Blue's totally rockin Prison of the Mind LP. A super high quality synth soundtrack affair glazed with glossy 80s sounds and moods. This is not Python Blue's first soundtrack style album, not by a long shot, and his previous experience doing this genre shines through in each track making it feel like a destination from his previous soundtrack journeys and a place we hope he decides to stay a while.

True soundtrack synth is a difficult genre to master, much like the electro synth stylings we've previously visited with Bluezz Vylez this week, it's often used as an interlude in many EPs and LPs, sort of like a punctuation mark or a period between set pieces. With Prison Of The Mind we're presented with track after track of soundtrack synth and each is a set piece unto itself. What Python Blue has done is take all the different moods, colours and experiences of what constitutes 80s soundtrack music and condensed each flavour into a different track then weaved a cohesive experience as a complete album.

Darkened streets, laced with danger and excitement are countered with triumphant and soul warming upbeat pieces. High action vignettes with explosive conclusions make their stand after the ubiquitous 80s love scene, when tortured hearts lay it on the line every second of the way. The passages these pieces all occupy are instantly engaging and meticulously constructed, conveying vivid images without a need for any on-screen action.

The tracks move in and out of eachother, keeping a theme, and then extending into the next part of the aural storyboard. Energies are coloured with the many facets of human emotions and segue between each stage in a marvellously complimentary manner. The experience of the album from start to finish is a work of majesty in itself as the length and breadth of what is covered musically far exceeds what could possibly be used in a traditional soundtrack.

The care in even the track positions creates perfect narrative for which the imagination can conjour it's own visual spaces, we're never left wondering what is happening in each track as the music speaks clearer than any possible dialogue could and does so in a language we all feel and understand. Keeping this sustained for the albums duration is not to be discounted and is, once again, a testament to Python Blue's talent as not just a producer of music but a creator of worlds.

The final chapters of the Prison Of The Mind contains some bonus content in Python Blue's covers of Gary Numan's Red Sky and The Sisters Of Mercy's Never Land, this is a rather impressive renvisioning of both tracks as they do fit in beautifully to the over aesthetic of Prison Of The Mind in much the same way many other previously released songs work in motion picture soundtracks. The haunting Never Land provides the perfect finisher as the credits roll by.

The Prison Of The Mind LP is a marvellously written and produced work of refined 80s soundtrack synth, taking the listener on a journey deep with dimension and charged with emotion. This is one of the text-book examples of making this style work in it's ideal format and is a bonafide Synthetix Approved Experience. You can take home your own copy to own of Prison Of The Mind on Python Blue's Bandcamp here. I encourage everyone with a love for quality 80s sounds to pick this up and hopefully some day soon Python Blue will take us on another fantastic voyage through his beautiful world of 80s soundtrack synth music.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bluezz Vylez Takes After Nebula

Russia's always been one of the most enlightened regions to the classic 80s synth sounds, every artist I hear from these parts always seems to have an edge to their sound that feels right. Maybe it's a production style or certain local influences but whatever it is it results in some totally rockin 80s inspired synth music.

The latest EP from Bluezz Vylez pushes this point even further. After Nebula contains some of the pureset electro synth rock I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Across the the seven tracks this producer ushers in a new dawn of classicly themed sounds and packages them in one super tight and combustible bundle of explosive synths, machinegun drums and chemically sharpened hooks.

The breakbeat electro synth style is usually only flirted with on occassion by the majority of modern synth producers. It provides a nice departure to the sounds without deviating entirely from a them, it's rare for a modern producer to take the electro synth style deep into a fully fledged release while staying true to it's roots.

From track one this is music is totally poppin' and lockin' with a boombox curbside and a carboard mat down for good measure. The edginess and vitality of the sound is undeniable, basslines thrust and pivot with alarming dexterity and the drums and percussion are peppered throughout with pinpoint precision. The contrasting smooth synth melodies create the final dimension to ensure maximum energy.

Through the opening set pieces, and into the albums midsection, theres an unrelenting fervour to each track. There is no refuge from the infectious melodies and blasting rhythms. Bluezz Vylez doesn't mess about with a lot of stage setting introductions or immersive set pieces to create a mood, each experience dives straight onto the concrete, making every second count and giving each track a fierceness which is delivered like a flurry of bodyshots in lighning fast succession.

On rare moments, such a Ocean Console there is a slowing down in the barrages of beats but the fury is replaced with the synths, just for a change in his weapon of choice. The track Run In A Rainy Dream lures the listener into a feeling of smooth and glassy security, but as tempers build and the percussion ramps up with the melodies it becomes intense in a new way. The raw emotions of the first half of the EP move into a less brutal but equally intense mode and by the end of this movment the rhythm section begins unleashing it's syncopated swings to the listener's now exposed vulnerabilities.

It's at this point that the battle kicks into high gear for the last two tracks as limbs gyrate into blurs of electro fuelled breakin' bluster. Foresters Never Die and Aldebaran In Your Coffee-Cup finish the encounter in a blaze of glory as the final backspin and pose bring the cheers of victory to a hard fought and well contested fight for street supremacy.

Bluezz Vylez's After Nebula EP is a high energy, in your face, take no prisoners experience in quality electro synth music. The sounds of classic producers like Afrika Bambaataa, Ollie and Jerry and Paul Hardcastle are unmistakable throughout, but this producer brings his own individual style to the sounds making After Nebula totally rockin extravaganza that is throughout a Synthetix Approved Experience.

You can pick this EP on Bluezz Vylez's Bandcamp page here and be sure to follow him on his soundcloud here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

20/80s With Le Cassette

The UK's Le Cassette have been firing on all cylinders of late and with their incredible Arms Of Mine song still in our hearts and minds (reviewed on Synthetix here) they've lent their considerable vocal talent to Jordan F for a reenvisioning of his Under The Sun track.

The combined magic presents an entirely new experience, making for a wonderful new atmosphere and elevating the original incarnation even further. Once again the authenticity of the Le Cassette vocal sound melds with delight around Jordan F's beautiful synth work. The early 80s synthpop sound is typified by the vocal delivery, rousing and verbose, but morose and introspective too.

The end result is a triumphant Visage/Ultravox flavoured vision that strips away the brightly light sunshine of the original's Australian heritage and layers in the wintry tones of wishful thinking for sunnier times in a dismal London landscape. It's full of longing, unrequited possibilities and wishes for better days ahead. This is a patnership I hope we get to share in again in the future, most definitely.

Although the vocals have been provided on Under The Sun by one third of Le Cassette line up, all three members have shared the duties in creating this week's 20/80s. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while these all important answers were being decided upon. Alas, the inner machinations of what makes Le Cassette work is to be left to another time, and for now we'll have to suffice with sharing their 20/80s this week on Synthetix!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

As we move closer towards the end of the 2012 I'm beginning to try to forumulate my Top 10 of 2012. There has been a lot of truly beautiful music this year to draw from, but with each progressive week the list keeps getting longer. As evidenced in this week's Weekend Update: the music just doesn't stop rockin!

First up is the always inspiring 80s Stallone. His new single Page Me is a killer italo adventure, full of hi energy percussion and bounding synths. Yet another track where the hi-hats absolutely make the experience.

Spacious Sweep is back with a stunning new track Pankala. This is a most certainly spacious piece with much lightness and brightness. The slowly evolving melodies are a beautiful to behold, moving with a freeform airiness that is full of wonder.

The highlight from LA Dreams this week comes in the form of Masters Of Skylight. Taking his sounds in a slightly new direction that feels a tad more soundtrack oriented than his hallmark synth romance style. The guitars are a perfect accompaniment to the sweet synths, a trend I hope he continues with.

Kenji Run! blasted back onto the scene this week with no less than three new tracks, my favourite of which is a demo of I Regret. This giallo disco themed affair is dark and brooding but full of synth energy with a driving drum track that gives the atmosphere an air of panic. A fortuitous return for Kenji Run! indeed.

Sgreyes is becoming a force to be reckoned with, I believe this was originally planned to be a side project from Quasars, but is now becoming very prolific and establishing his own sound. The promo cut of Miami Heat is smoother than silk and hotter than Mercury, a steaming erotisynth slice of forbidden heaven.

A new artist discovered through the Synthetix community this week was Cosmic Sand. His track Wreckage of 2085 of his EP Route 375 is a delectable portion of synthesized 80s love. The EP is definitely worth spending some time with. A producer I'll be definitely keeping tabs on.

A new impending release from the Electronic Rumors stable has been another gem this week. Let Em Riot's The Revenant from this SlashWave EP is full of 80s love with some modern elements included for good measure. There's a lovely air of despondance in this song, which is laced throughout the EP that I find quite endearing.

Garth Knight continues his Transformer's inspired work with his War For Cybertron track. This is another gem, full of massive melodies and precision arrangments. One can't help be feel a bit of the classic Rocky IV soundtrack through this piece, which is always something I enjoy greatly.

Rain Sword staged a huge return to the scene this week with two killer tracks in Sarah's Quest and Cardboard Kings. I do love Sarah's Quest but the electro rock synth gold of Cardboard Kings pipped it at the post to make the Weekend Update. Sublime energy and a beautiful simplicity to this track make it thoroughly rockin.

The final musical adventure in this week's Weekend Update is a totally killer new song from Hot Hot Hawk and featuring the dulcet tones of none other than the teenage dreamboat himself: Patrick Baker. I can't help but think of Tesla Boy when I hear this, and that's one of the biggest compliments I can give any maker of 80s inspired synth music. Truly k-rad to the max.

I hope this week's Weekend Update added some neon colour and uplifting atmosphere to your weekend and I look forward to sharing more moving experiences with over the next week.
Till then stay 80s and keep on rockin!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Twilight Race To Vaillante Victory

The latest release from the auspicious Playmaker's Playground is a blast from the past courtesy of Twilight Racing, the Vaillante EP. As legend dictates this is a release that dates back to the early days of the initial 80s revival in 2009. The channelling of 80s synth becomes timeless in the face of the decades that have expired since. Be it whatever date it may be on the calendar it takes but one producer to rock us on back to the times we remember fondly, or wish we could've experienced first hand.

The Vaillante EP is strong in tone and delivery with masses of horsepower under the hood; set to unleash a blitz of speed and fury at a moment's notice. The five originals, plus a remix from ActRazer make for an energetic experience and by the time the chequered flag is waved you'll be wanting to get back out on the track for more thrilling times.

Thrillgear takes pole position on the grid making a deliberate, but not overtly outlandish start. The speed is kept to a cruise as the power builds and revs increase at every turn. Electro sounds fill the air and melodies climb and swoop. The excitement feels like it's being held on a tight leash, barely able be restrained, and by the time the first lap is complete all hell is let loose as the accelerator hit's the floor.

Like a good arcade racing game the second lap allows nitrous boosts to be used and Vaillante gives us the same insatiable lust for speed with the second track Boost Control. The engine screams into high gear and the bassline drives lightning force of thousands of pounds per cubic inch into a rhythm section forged in steel. Melodies are at one with the motor, shifting and elevating with the thrust of nitrous power unleashing a g-force propulsion that defies the laws of physics. Colours become a blur of rhythmic shapes and the sounds of power take us into the lead pack around the last turn of the second lap.

The Chase begins the third lap as calculated and strategic basslines become our racing lines, plotting and jostling for position amongst our competitors. The engines roar is supressed while the opportunity to employ drafting behind third place, catching the driver unawares as an element of stealth creeps into the gameplan and chills the music accordingly. Building upon itself as the time to overtake approaches it becomes clear to the racer ahead of us that he knows what we're up to. The feint left, then hard right takes him by surprise and roaring past him his despondant face becomes a blur as victory is now the only thing on our mind.

Terror hits the tarmac as lap five becomes the time to break out. The electro funk is strong, fuelling the demands our vehicle is taking. The music takes on a more classically video game persona, with reality and caution discarded in favour of a 16-bit symphony that drives at highspeed right down memory lane into a pitstop of pixellated, pulsing power. The scan lines spread, as does our distance from the lead pack. Theres only two vehicles left to duke it out for the final lap. Victory is so close, and it's burning fumes are intoxicating.

The penultimate lap is drenched in a barrage of synthesized speed, warping dimensions around it as the race's leader thunder headlong into obivion. The pace is unmatched, with engines and drums roaring in time with a swelling lead melody that radiates it's own power. The force is so strong it threatens to leave the track and take to the skies as tyres squeal with frictioned delight on every corner. The home stretch is upon us. The chequered flag waves and Twilight Racing takes first place leading to all night celebrations.

The victory lap is provided by ActRazer with a stunning reprise of Boost Control. This remix funks up the vibes into a triumphant confetti showered parade. The ActRazer edge adds a glowing and sharpened edge to the original, pumping the action into the sky like fireworks as the credits begin to roll.

Playmaker's Playground presents Twilight Racing's Vaillante EP on their Bandcamp here as a 'name your price' release. I encourage all Synthetix readers to dig deep and add this high octane EP to their music collection as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tommy Double Shot

Tommy's Outer Space Adventurer record has definitely been one of the years highlights for me. It's an outstanding record packed with an immense arsenal of sounds and moods, the Synthetix review of which can be found here. And now after a short hiatus Tommy has returned with two new tracks, taking on new themes and sounds while he develops his own musical destiny.

First up is Discover. The introductory portion of Discover feels like an epilogue to Outer Space Adventurer, a parting glance at a galaxy we've befriended, but have had to move on from. This track evolves as it swirls through a new cosmos. The undulating Tommy melodies feel slightly more bent and askew as their pitch and yaw shatters earthly dimensions. A constrained rhythm holds things together, but only just. There's a pronounced feeling that at any moment the entire movement could collapse upon itself and fold into the void of a black hole.

It's this frailty of the sound that is so beautiful. Like much of Tommy's previous work it's very esoteric at it's core, bloomed in a lightness that dazedly orbits around a blue sun in it's own meandering manner. The journey is without mishap, however, and the constriction of time feels very apparent. At a length of four minutes and thirty five seconds it feel less than two and half. Has Tommy discovered the secret to musical time travel through synthesized new dimensions? One can't be sure, but early signs are beginning to point to yes.

The altered states continue to develop into somnambulant directions with Tommy's second new piece: Lovely Dreams. The dreamscape of the imagination is a fertile ground for synth artists, since the early synthesizer music in 70s this has been a muse for much inspiration. Tommy's Lovely Dreams is a bit more of a departure from his previous work and this track comes across as a more realised and tactile emotion that would have been used as a segue or interlude previously. This is not the case though as the depth of this work goes well into R.E.M stage and beyond.

Tommy manages to make all his music feel like it's floating above us, and with an arm extended to it the music will carry us up and beyond the earthly realms we're bonded too. Flying feelings are often felt in dreams and this track aurally does this to us. Visions of clouded skies parting to azure oceans above as our mind is carried into the innermost subconscious realisations through a synthual atmosphere of ecstacy.

When it's time to awaken from this journey one can't help be feel a sense of wonder that shines like gold and glows like neon. This bodes very well for the future of Tommy, and with any luck we'll be taken by the hand once again for even more soulshaping excurions into the worlds he creates.

Both tracks are available for FREE download, so please make sure you get them while you can, or like some dreams, they might disappear sooner rather than later.

Monday, November 5, 2012

20/80s With Future City Records

Looking back through a lot of my favourite music from this year I find a substantial amount has come to me via the Future City Records stable. Pete Andersen's label par excellence has been raising the bar with each successive release and with artists like Aminova, Vincenzo Salvia and Arc Neon amongst their stellar line up it's meant a new Future City Records release is going to be a big one. 

Future City Records Compilation Volume 1 is like an end of year clip show of many of the highlights from the ten months in the 80s inspired synth scene. The diversity of the tracks is reflected by the talent of the producers, recreating beautiful vintage sounds full of vibrance and modern personality. This free release is a must-have for any discerning devotee of quality 80s sounds.

In celebration of this release Synthetix has a special 20/80s with Future City Records president and founder himself Peter Andersen. So let's rock, with no delay!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another exceptional week in the world of 80s inspired synth has elapsed, here are some of the major highlights in this week's Weekend Update.

Busting out the big guns right up front is the exceptional new track from Le Matos. This Canadian producer blew me away a few years ago with his stellar Quiet Earth and he's back with avengeance with his amazing new experience Sarah. The power, action and emotion of the 80s done to perfection.

Evanton's really becoming an act to be reckoned with in the field of 80s italo funk. This is now his thrid hit in a row on Synthetix: Flash! Another piece of disco funk brilliance that builds marvellously. Flash! will be released on the Magnetron EP soon, expect full coverage on Synthetix upon it's release.

DreamWave Dave is back with another 80s experiment in synth/guitar disco with Heatwave L.A.. This composition rocks a more indie pop synth angle, especially with it's bassline. The main thing is that it rocks and this is something it most certainly does do in spades. Available for FREE download too!

Silenx brought more 80s outrun action synth love into the world with his killer new single The Chase. This producer's sounds are always beautifully refined and the layer of gloss on this piece is no exception. I'm a HUGE sucker for key changes and this track has one of the most perfectly executed ones I've had the pleasure of experiencing in recent times.

Keeping the energy level at fever pitch is a new demo for Arc Neon's new piece No Going Back. The action enhances an inquisitive air that probes in many directions. I love the journey this takes the listener on and am greatly looking forward to it's further evolution.

Another exciting release to look forward to is Hot Hot Hawk and Patrick Baker's new venture Electric Touch. I get a bit too excited about anything Patrick Baker gets involved in, he seems to bring out my inner 80s teenage girl and every time I hear his music I want to put Patrick Baker posters up on my bedroom wall and go down the mall to talk to my friends about how dreamy he is. But I must digress as this piece promises Baker but is currently Baker-less, however even in this Baker-less form it's a gorgeous high energy synth pop experience and even truncated to a forty five second teaser is  massively promising.

Garth Knight's expanding his horizon's with a modern electro take on an electro funk 80s vibe that runs through his Transformer's inspired new single Galvatron. The bass slaps you in the face and the synths stab with robotic precision. Superb work.

Keeping with the 80s cartoon theme, Greetings Program released a scintillating rendition of the ending theme from Voltron. Epic and triumphant, just like the original and certainly full of that Greetings Program magic.

Ensuring that everything is 'right' with the world is the release of another beautiful synthsperience from LA Dreams. Glowing melodies and flawless arrangements are becoming standard fare with LA Dreams and Coast is no exception. Totally engaging synth romance of the highest calibre.

A new artist has surfaced through the Synthetix community on Facebook under the monicker 1985. Smooth disco synth sounds are what 1985 is all about and this producer has all the right moves. The track is available to buy on Bandcamp, I'm hoping this is the first of many new experiences from 1985.

Our final piece of synthtacular 80s magnifcence comes from another killer collaboration between Starforce and Dynatron. These guys work so well together I think they should seriously consider making a supergroup together. This new work cements this further as Celestial Time Lapse is a mirage of a million dimensions that defies the laws of space and time. The stella carresses of every moment of this track are sublime. If there ever becomes a fulltime DynaForce or StarTron I'll be first in line for a lifetime membership.

And that's us done for another huge week of 80s inspired synth music on Synthetix. I hope you've found some new favourites and rekindled some old memories, I'll be back again with more rockin action next week.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Alpha Boy's Streets Are Hot

Barely two months since his last album, Heroes On Tape, Alpha Boy has released another full length album The Streets Are Hot. Heroes On Tape drew direct inspiration from classic 80s movies and this new release channels more diverse range of influences, but all nicely coloured by all things 80s.

This ten track record keeps it's moods simple and it's delivery clean while keeping the now signature Alpha Boy melodies right at the forefront of the experience in each track. Alpha Boy's sounds have usually been leaning towards the italo and soundtrack sides of 80s synth, but there's pronounced OutRun sound to a few of the tracks that adds greatly to the diversity.

The introduction ushers in the warm Alpha Boy sounds that are instantly recognisable but begin to step up to a feverish build that leads into the title track. This is definitely one of the highlights of the album, right from the start The Streets Are Hot brings a sumptuous pallette of sounds to the tables. Glittering starfalls and crisp percussion compliment the synth horns beautifully. The spatial nature of this tracks is wonderful, sounds feel muted but still punchy and it's simplicity belies much of it's wonder.

The sunset drive continues into a Night Rush of more constrained yet high energy OutRun Italo. The production again works well through this track as sounds build and fade. The dots of light on the horizon blink and move past us in a blur as the beats and melodies echo through a moonlit highway. As the lights fade into Top Gun the more traditional Alpha Boy arrangements kick back in. This piece is channelling some of the classic Faltermyer moods from the Top Gun soundtrack, but it doesn't really move into the danger zone as much as caress the listener through banks of clouds, soaring like a bird at peace more so than a tool war. The melody echoes throughout the sky as the sun hits the water for a Cool interlude.

Taking a cue from more mechanical electro, New Life begins with heavy beats and climbing bassline that enlists more airily atmospheric melodies before falling into dramatic break downs. New Life finds Alpha Boy incorporating an excellent vocal track that enhances the mood greatly. As the drama subsides the next chapter takes on a much more uplifting mood in Neon. Melodies echo and bounce through and the atmosphere, taking flight when the beat picks up to glow beautifully.

Riding into a more subdued and pastoral climes is Charlotte Blackwood. Alpha Boys experiments with synth horns really evolve in a magical way through this piece. The depth provided by this sound alone is wonderful. More wonderful homages to Top Gun smoothly move through the night skies in a vapour trail actoss the heavens.  Coast Highway 101 moves back into Alpha Boys signature sounds without causing to much fuss, a simple affair but not without it's charms. Building like the crest of a wave but spilling more than crushing as the music reverberates across ocean.

The final act of Alpha Boy's latest release is Sunset In Silicon Valley. Forgetting it's title, this once again feels like an homage, or an experience inspired by Top Gun's soundtrack. It's a moody and dramatic piece, but it caresses the listener delicately, this is definitely the most intimate sounding piece on the record, and although only short in length it's fathoms in depth. The lingering sounds finish of the album very nicely indeed.

When looking at The Streets Are Hot I can't help but think it may have worked better as two EPs, rather than one album. The amount of Top Gun influenced work would have benefitted more by being grouped into it's own experience, I believe. The music itself though is coloured with much Alpha Boy magic and does create a sense of wonder in much of the tracks.

The Streets Are Hot is available on Alpha Boy's Bandcamp here and is a recommended release as the Top Gun inspired tracks alone make for much enjoyment, but the title track and others on the album are stellar also. Rock it in your jetfighter or sports convertible as soon as possible!