Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Midweek Triple EP Meltdown

All the planets got into an alignment for maximum rockin this week which has resulted in three superb EP releases set off in a chain reaction of explosive action. New music from Vincenzo Salvia, Splash Wave and Steinbeck will all make your Wednesday as rad as humanly possible.

Light the fuse and run for cover as the Midweek Meltdown goes thermonuclear!!

Vincenzo Salvia​ - ​Traffic E​​P
Vincenzo Salvia is back with a three track exploration of dramatic synth moods in his Traffic EP. This EP demonstrates a great deal of new sounds and spaces for this producer, it seems every new release distills the essence of his music even further while his own personality continues to grow.

Taking on a very obvious 80s drug dealing motif from the Scarface inspired artwork and track titles the music does have the hallmarks of danger and action pulsing throughout its three movements. Opening up with Vengeance the scene is set with energetic melodies and electrifying sounds. Elements of many styles merge in this track and as a thematic scene-setting piece it delivers great portions of tension and luxury in even doses. "Vengeance" really shines in it's arrangements, with each section beautifully thought out and executed, something that Vincenzo Salvia has taken huge strides in.

The next track, Exchange, pushes this producers skill even further. As a standalone piece this runs the gamut of action and emotion with pounding rhythms and melodies that resonate throughout the music. This pieces midpoint change is absolutely stunning and hugely unexpected. It's this change with slow uplifting synth layers and and an engine powered by pure italo that makes this experience totally reference and easily my favourite Vincenzo Salvia track thus far. Truly magical.

Stray Bullers completes the EP with more action centered on lives living on the edge, constantly in the face of danger. It begins with a much more simplistic approach that sets the scene for the main melody which is then made all the more impressive when it hits. Once again, this is arranged brilliantly with three suites continuing the story and bringing the atmosphere to life with broad strokes of colour and action.

The Traffic EP is presented on Future City Records Bandcamp page here and is most certainly worth the price of admission for this tale of peril and vice in the 80s underworld.

Le Podium #2 : Splash Wave

The second edition of the Le Podium series contains some exceptional music from the marvellous Splash Wave. This series is intended to showcase new French talent in a range of musical styles and for their second volume they've chosen the 80s sounds of Splash Wave for a four track release made up of two originals and two remixes.

For those unaware, Splash Wave was a title of one of the background music tracks on the classic SEGA arcade game OutRun. Another track off this seminal title was also Passing Breeze, which provides some glorious homage to the classic SEGA title that has inspired an entire musical genre. Keeping the video game thematic going the other track on this release, Bad'n'Rad, was a title of Gameboy skateboarding game by Konami, a sequel to the NES's Skate Or Die. But classic videogame fanservice aside, it's time to get into the music of Splash Wave.

Opening with Passing Breeze we're presented with slightly melancholic synth pop that is firmly rooted in 80s sounds. The vocal track on Passing Breeze by Anna Jean provides an extra layer of moodiness and it's flat, dead pan delivery is implemented beautifully for maximum effect. The music does add interesting drum tracks to the experience which remind me of the marvellous Klockhaus. No bad thing at all! Passing Breeze is also on this EP as an Extended Instrumental Mix, which is also very engaging. I find it hard to choose between the two, and I seem to gravitate to either depending on my mood as the instrumental has just a touch less melancholy.

Bad'n'Rad continues the Splash Wave adventure with a perfect mix of old and new. Once again I'm reminded of Klockhaus in the use of the drum tracks, which in this track, push the action even harder and makes for even more rockin good times. The heavily effect treated vocal adds even more to the soundscape and it's non-traditional arrangements work like a charm throughout. I really enjoy this song on many levels, it just plain rocks.

The Publicist remix of Bad'n'Rad takes the music into a spacy-house direction that gives the experience an entirely new complexion. I'm not particularly sold on this remix, massively due to my liking of the original so much, but it does put a very interesting spin on the vocal track by making it the complete focus of the experience. I do believe the minimalist approach to the music betrays the originals soul however.

This release is presented on Splash Wave's Bandcamp here as a digital download and also as a luxurious 10" pink vinyl pressing, which is limited to 300 copies.  These may be getting thin on the ground though as mine is number 260, so jump on it quick if you're after the record.

Steinbeck - The First Tear EP

A new Australian producer has launched himself into the 80s inspired synth scene under the name of Steinbeck with his debut EP The First Tear. First EP or not, The First Tear showcases a very talented and passionate producer who's obviously in the grip of a long standing love affair with classic 80s sounds.

Steinbeck's sounds are totally on point with an early to mid 80s synth pop soundscape positively glowing with classic 80s songwriting details and nuances. The opening song, Heart, demonstrates his ability to craft emotions into music with synths that are written to go with the lyrical track perfectly. I know this might sound obvious, but there are very few producers around who write music with vocal track in mind and often the vocal feels like it's been added as an afterthought rather than something that shares equal importance.

Right from the opening this song is constructed in a way that feels totally authentic. The synth build and the vocal works with the layering of sounds magnificently. So many classic 80s synth pop bands are brought to mind throughout Heart, but it doesn't feel like a twee homage. Steinbeck's passion and conviction is palpable in every note and word and it's this intimation that he manages to get across so beautifully.

Steinbeck's voice moves in and out of different sounds throughout the EP. It does feel like he's yet to find the right sound for his music as it changes markedly, sometimes in the same song. He is obviously working very hard on finding the one that really works for him and this is something he should be massively commended for. In the second track  we visit slowed down synth pop romance with nods to early Duran Duran ballads. It's in The First Tear's chorus that I find a Steinbeck vocal sound I instantly fell in love with. Just enough suaveness and honesty to really make the lyrics go straight to the heart.

The EP completes with another balladesque piece entitled Your Eyes. Steinbeck knows his 80s and his 'whole package' of synths, guitars and vocals really shines even brighter in this song. The synth energies are smooth and transparent, guitars are whispered nuances and the vocal is once again intimated with perfect honesty.

This EP is a very, very promising start for Steinbeck. I really hope this artist sticks to his guns with his sounds as he has all the pieces of the puzzle already, he just needs to make them fit perfectly. I'll be covering Steinbeck's future with great interest on Synthetix.FM, that's for sure.

The First Tear EP is presented on Steinbeck's Bandcamp here and I hope everyone supports this great new talent in the 80s inspired synth scene.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Change Of Clothes For Python Blue

Python Blue is becoming a huge force to be reckoned with in the arena of 80s inspired soundtrack synth music. He has progressively impressed me with each new release with his ability to craft and evolve musical ideas in a genre that is usually a stop-off rather than a destination for many producers.

According to the by-lines, the Change Of Clothes album marks a concerted effort from this producer to make a "slightly lighter mood" as opposed to the shadowy realms of his previous record. This has added a great deal of scope to the album's character and personality and is, I believe, Python Blue's strongest record thus far.

The delightfully titled Shed Skin opens up proceedings, keeping a constrained and melancholy air about itself. The resonating soundscape fills and builds but keeps its emotional connection distant and slightly darkened. Maybe it's just the Plaisance-Effect, but I can't help hearing elements of Twin Peaks in the opening track, which actually enhances this piece for me a great deal and adds that air of tragedy to the music. As mentioned though, this is change in sounds and shedding of skin from his last album to this one still leaves the blue mood lingering on the horizon.

The opening transitional piece leads to Fun And Work and this second track really begins to change the colours from a the Python's darker blue tones into a much more vibrant and energised blue. Music is charged with positivity and dramatic changes and powerful percussion add weight to the airily formed melodies. This is still, most definitely, of the soundtrack synth denomination. Python Blue manages to create his own visuals for his music and Fun And Work leads into a dramatic second half that loses the innocence of the first act beautifully.

Taking the mood back to darker climes is Time Capsule. This trudging dirge offers a superb contrast of down tempo percussion with stunning vistas of synth melodies. The delicate balance ebbs and flows with a poignancy that keeps the good and evil on a level playing field. This piece is epic in it's make up and across it's five and a half minutes covers aeons of future history and stories yet to be told.

This track is followed by What Is Love which takes the mood of Time Capsule and turns it on its head with high powered melodies that remind me of Wang Chung's superlative To Live And Die In L.A. soundtrack. Action and drama are on the streets, heating up to a boiling point that's sure to leave hearts broken and innocence lost. Python Blue's instrumentation choices, especially his synth sounds, are a huge strong point for how this album works as a thematic, each piece feeling sonically linked and aurally drawn from the same palette.

Moods become much more intimate in Snowmen; Change Of Clothes' 'love theme' if you will. The sparse soundscape is energised with human emotion the longing for the touch of the one dearest to our hearts. Snowmen is joyous in it's delivery, hopeful and gleaming with warmth. The air is light with colour and the sounds draw directly from our emotions, tying and binding them to each other. The melting of the ice leads to the discover of kindred spirits and our souls soar together into the crispness of the clear winter sky.

Like a shot, Leave You Behind signals that the honeymoon is assuredly over and it is now time for duty and honour to rise. The build up in this track extraordinary with a pounding and forceful drum track that allows each element to be triumphantly layered as the face of battle looms. This piece leads into Analog Desires, almost serving as a precursor to it. The build continues with a more mechanical flow but once again the synths elevate and rise above with the power of humanity in the face of a soulless foe. There is hugely moving final stanza in Analog Desires that feels like the culmination of the this chapter's vignette.

All Over The News begins a new chapter and once again energetic percussion complements the building synth layers as melodies begin to form and evolve before our very eyes.  The lead melody is superbly arranged with a vivid brightness to it's colour and keeping it's energy flowing majestically throughout the experience. All Over The News gives just enough action to keep the pace moving but the overlying theme is made much more esoteric by the angelic synths.

Moving into the last experiences on Change Of Clothes we return to the shadows in The Final Frontier. Sounds are much less bright and begin to show the tarnish of age as we look much more introspectively and realise the final frontier is about our own limitations and shortcomings. The darkness never feels oppressive in this piece, in fact it feels comfortable and right. This introspection isn't about failure but success, the synths guide us through our psyche into realms of new positivity and a feeling of elation begins to wash over us like a mental baptism of spatial awakening.

Change Of Clothes finishes with Memories, a book-end piece that finishes off the record very succinctly. It's reflective in nature, but brings to mind the vast territory we've covered in our new wardrobe. For now, the darkness isn't something that scares or intimidates. No. The darkness welcomes and provides a comfort. Like falling asleep, the darkness is our protector and confessor every night we rest. The darkness is a part of who we are and the balance between the light and dark is exactly what Python Blue has attained on his new record.

The Change Of Clothes album is presented on Python Blue's Bandcamp page here and is highly recommended to those who want to spend some quality time with engaging music that asks as many questions as it answers but allows the listener to decide where this takes them on a beautifully crafted musical journey.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

First off I'd like to apologise for the lack of posts at the end of this past week, my internet was down for  most of Friday and Saturday which made it impossible for me to do anything on here. The music I was planning on covering will be taken care of next week though.

It's been yet another big week in releases and quite a few kick arse new artists are surfacing with new sounds and ideas that are very exciting. It's the diversity of sounds that will keep the 80s synth scene engaging and relevant, I believe. There are still many, many untapped 80s experiences for the modern producers to discover and reinvent, which always gives me faith that the scene will grow, evolve and cement itself for the duration.

 2013 is already huge for a new releases and artists barely two months in, so lets get rockin with some of the brightest stars lighting up the 80s sky in this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM.

Going directly for the jugular is the enigmatically named Dot with the solid gold rockin hit Chupame Señora(pero no mames). This duo have been producing for about a year and have a tight grasp on how to make 80s pop magic happen. Be sure to check out their wonderful track Chaffinch on their soundcloud too.

Andy Fink's back and rockin with his latest single release Vice Love available now through Future City Records. This experience takes some delicately intimate synth work and contrasts it with a sinister bass line and dramatic percussion. The end result is quite unlike anything else as the senses are pulled in different directions all at once.

Lost Years has tantalised us with another new demo, this time of Red Horizon, which is already up to Version 2. This powerhouse track is direct in it's delivery and raucous in it's presence  but the delightful synth melodies combine the elements into something even more huge. Marvellous work, once again, from one of the most consistently rockin producers in the scene.

Turning up the funk and moving towards a more modern flavour is Peter "PH Groove" Hecher's new experience The Breakdown. This track really combines many influences from different decades but the bass line is just so catchy and the synths deliver so much joy that I'd be remiss not to include it in this Weekend Update. The vibrant melange of sounds are invigorating and by the time the sax hits I'm sure you'll agree.

New Arcades are back with an awesome new teaser track from the upcoming EP. 'Dreamers' is full of deeply emotive synth romance that intimates beautifully with a brightness and warmth of pure 80s love. The new EP promises six tracks of New Arcade magic, which I'll be sure to fully investigate on Synthetix.FM as soon as possible.

French producer Run Vaylor has been plying his craft for nearly a year on soundcloud with lots of diverse synth based music. His latest track, End Game, is definitely his strongest thus far. An air of moroseness is blended with hopeful synth melodies that swirl and flow through the soundscape. It's a very engaging experience with beautifully arranged movements throughout the journey.

Definitely one of the most exciting things to happen in the scene this week was the new preview for Embryonik's new Night Flight release. This producer explores many varied territories of electronic music but it looks like he's found himself in a decidedly 80s frame of mind for this new venture. Each track is sounding absolutely stunning thus far and it's looking to be an exceptionally rockin experience.

Two of my favourite producers have combined their talents for an epic new experience. Flash Arnold and Perturbator have taken the energy right down low to a slow a pulse and added smoothly evil synth sounds to melancholy guitar and called it Los Angeles. Superbly arranged and vast in scope this yet another kick arse tune from both producers.

Python Blue certainly isn't one to rest on his laurels. After the just released the Change of Clothes album (to be reviewed next week on Synthetix.FM) he has released a stellar new jam in Reminders. This piece has a marvellously visceral energy about it and the guitar track adds even more depth. Totally rockin.

Chaconne resurfaced this week with another stunning example of his incredible music with Heart To Heart. I can't think of many producers in the scene at all who come close to the sound Chaconne conjures  up. There seems to always be a massive amount of energy, mood and groove that is always identifiable as being a Chaconne experience. I really hope he has an EP or album release in the pipeline for 2013 as this producer deserves a much larger audience than he currently has.

Cougar Synth keeps on rockin with the best of them and his new track, Aeromotive, really shows some incredible progression and refinement in his sounds. This smooth as glass synthscape is punctuated with inventive percussion and melodies that entrance the listener. Beautiful in every respect, and also currently available for FREE download. Many thanks to Alex Karampas for the heads up on this one.

Hungarian synthficionado Quixotic has returned with an emotionally resplendent piece in Dust To Dust. This massively atmospheric journey is poignantly arranged with delicate synths that are contrasted with totally shredding guitars. I've often said that the producers who really incorporate other instruments, like guitars, into their sounds are going to be the one who set themselves apart and Quixotic has done this exact thing in Dust To Dust.

Keeping right on Q we have the final track for this week's Weekend Update which is an absolutely kick arse new tune from Quasars. With the best song title ever, Rockers, Quasars have elevated their sounds to stratospheric new levels. The opening build arrangements are massive, filling the soundscape with their trademark monster drum sounds which then leads into crescendo of synths and guitars that rock to the absolute max. Majestic in every respect and also currently available for FREE download too!

That does us for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. I hope you found some rockin new tunes to enhance your weekend with 80s love. I'll be back next week for more k-rad tunes, so remember to stay 80s and keep on rockin!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Synthetix Midweek Flashback: The System

I think it's about time for the inaugural Midweek Flashback on Synthetix.FM. This is something I'll be doing at semi regular intervals, when the inspiration takes me and serves as a bit of a revisiting to some classic tunes I love, usually with a musical link to something current as well.

When The System went back into production a few months ago I became very excited. I've been a fan of their classic synth funk from the 80s for forever, but a new album with a new sound was something I began looking forward to greatly. Unfortunately their new album was not to my personal taste, and the stand out songs were really more reworks of their classic tracks to my ear, but you know me, I'm so biased towards the traditional 80s sounds that it remains hard to be objective in such instances.

But this new record (which will be linked at the bottom of this post for your own perusal) got me right back listening to the classic music from The System I love so much. After being inspired by recent post by Ryan Sheridan on the Synthetix Facebook group I thought the planets are in just the right alignment to make it all rock on, it's time for The System, It's Passion.

One thing instantly recognisable about The System's sound is it's classic mid 80s synth funk sound. The melodies are dripping with sensuality and are raw with synth power. What makes this so exceptional is the record this is from, Sweat, was written in 1982 and was released in 1983. This is years before the synth funk mainstream success that flourished from 1985-87. The System are true originators of the now classic sounds with a huge reliance on the then brand new technology. There are even some sample loops amid all the funktastic synth brilliance, which was absolutely cutting edge at this time.

Technology aside, The System's melodies were the real hallmark of their soundscapes. Each hook sinks deep and refuses to budge, carving irresistible grooves up and down and back again. The System's Sweat album is packed with stunning synth visions and set the standard very high. The System also produced the now very well revered Baptize The Beat for the Beat Street soundtrack, cementing their place as leaders of the electronic revolution of the 80s.

Their follow up record, X-Periment, was very aptly named, this technology centric album pushed the envelope well beyond the safety zone. X-Periment feels like The System were given all their wishes in regards to production technology and the result was a massively detailed record that was full to the brim with the sounds of the future but often at the expense of their pop sensibilities. Some songs feel smothered under intricate layers of sounds that confuse the listener more than engage them. I, personally, love this album, it's a work of unbridled creativity with each song being a thrill ride into new electric dimensions. The song Dangerous of this album is a classic example of the manic nature of the record.

After the experimentation of the X-Periment The System came back in 1985 with the much more pop funk oriented The Pleasure Seekers. I find this album to be the quintessential The System experience with the perfect blend of the future and the funk that now felt fully developed for maximum rockin. From this classic album here is the absolutely perfect title track:

The Pleasure Seekers still sounds as fresh as the day it came out. The title track is an example of total pop synth perfection with some of the catchiest synth arrangements ever conceived. The party aesthetic, with the "jamming all night long, heading for the danger zone" lyric is just pure ambrosia making the energy of this experience riveting and invigorating. The music, for an essentially pop track, has such advanced arrangements that are engineered with a precision most uncommon at the time. Each track on the Pleasure Seekers is coloured with a futuristic energy that demands one's total attention to every nuance of the production. I consider this album, light years ahead of it's time and encourage everyone on Synthetix.FM to add it to their music libraries as soon as possible, if it's not in there already.

The System's next album, Don't Disturb This Groove was released in 1986 and found massive commercial success with the title track. This record was most definitely their most mainstream friendly production with a much greater R&B influence to the soundscape. But one can't deny the total synth magic of the title track, the sounds of the previous albums can all be heard in there, even if they are of a much more muted palette.

This high point then led to The System really fading into memory as trends changed and styles merged. It was only a few months ago that I discovered that The System had returned however, with a new album and the promise of exciting new sounds. As I mentioned, the album is not to my tastes, however there are a couple of tracks that are massively rockin, particularly System Overload.

This song is full of The Systems classic sounds with just enough modernity to appeal to a new generation. The new album also has a retelling of Don't Disturb This Groove with is quite engaging. If nothing else, this new record just goes to show how visionary The System were/are and I do hope it finds an audience that appreciates it.

The System Overload is available right now on their Bandcamp page here here and I encourage all Synthetix.FM readers to give it a listen, but if like me, it's not quite your scene I highly recommend picking up their back catalogue from the 80s for a real tour de force of absolutely stunning 80s synth magic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Plaisance Down By The Lake

It's no secret that Synthetix.FM is a huge fan of french composer extraordinaire Plaisance. This artist is consistently releasing killer new tunes that have his own branded style and always sound fresh and engaging. His style always seems to work within a concept or thematic that governs the experience. Last years EP's by Plaisance were of a decidedly nautical nature and in 2013 Plaisance has moved to waters of a stiller, darker kind.

Down By The Lake is a three track EP that's wholly inspired by the classic  TV series Twin Peaks. I for one was massively enthralled by this series upon it's initial airing and have subsequently revisited it numerous times over the years, each time being fully engaged and entertained by it's uniqueness. Although technically from 1990 there's always something I find distinctly 80s about Twin Peaks, it's a time capsule of the end of the decade that united audiences around the world as true 'event TV' in ways not seen since the glory days of Dallas and V.

To say I was surprised that Plaisance used this particular series for the theme of his latest EP is quite an understatement. I associate this artist with bright, sparking disco sounds that are devoid of the darker side of life and deal much more with action than drama. To hear his take on Twin Peaks is a very deft sidestep from the traditional Plaisance sounds, keeping much of his sounds we love, but adding a twist to the proceedings that make for an unsettling atmosphere which is perfectly in step with the source material itself.

Each track is delightfully structured around the complex relationships depicted in Twin Peaks. Opening with Laura & James we're instantly embroiled in forbidden passions as James Hurley's bike accelerates away. The tempos and structures are pure Plaisance, but the moods and melodies are forged of darker stuff. Inquisitive in nature, they spread like a fog through the night, claiming everything as it's own and unstoppable as it covers the lowlands of Twin Peaks. Even the catchy synth lead is mired in a twisting doubt that panics it's way into a delirious rush that ends in a disaster to be felt by all it touches.

Laura's boyfriend, Bobby begins an inquiring conversation with his father, Major Briggs in the second act. The major recounts a vision as the music builds with a deliberate drama that flows into synthesized guitars and a powerhouse drum track. The sinister is turned up ever so gently throughout this piece as the seamy underworld of Twin Peaks begins to writhe in an attempt to hide it's shame. The music plays the perfect role in displaying the two sides of much of the characters in the show. The bright and dark, the good and evil, the sides that can take over, even briefly, and leave long lasting scars. As the melodic refrain echoes into the local surrounds it becomes very clear simple answers are not even in the realm of possibility.

The final chapter is Norma & Shelly with a scene in the Double R Diner as the plot deepens with shocking new discoveries. The music takes an unexpected turn into bouncy, funky disco with wonderful orchestral stabs and soaring melodies. This is not without it's darker side, however, as the slowly surreal synth leads bring the sound into a much less joyous space and instead asks harder questions, enquiring delightfully and uncovering the secrets of Twin Peaks as it progesses. The final sample of Shelly leaving the diner is exquisitely used to finish the experience.

The Down By The Lake EP is presented for FREE on Plaisance's Bandcamp page here and provide a wonderful insight into this artist's inspirations, while providing an eloquent trip down memory lane to those who are already fans of Twin Peaks. And if you've never had the pleasure of this series then I highly recommend you enjoy this classic example of quality 'event TV' as soon as possible too.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Navigateur Travels To 2020

One of my favourite producers of avant garde and experimental synth music is Navigateur. Walking a line somewhere between LaserDisc Visions and Com Truise the sounds produced by this talented visionary consistently offer new and diverse journeys into the galaxies of synth music while always maintaining a primarily 80s tone and personality.

One of Navigateur's tracks from last year, We Need The Beat, was my number 2 track for the year in my Electronica chart and his latest release contains the official home for this masterpiece along with six other totally rockin Navigateur journeys into the future.

The opening salvo, Elevator Music, is a perfectly crafted introduction to the futuristic vistas we're about to explore. Synth tracks flow and pulsate with the colours of futurism, crystallised in chrome and neon, welcoming and yet cold with austerity. This piece is just off-kilter enough to make your centre of gravity feel slightly out of alignement before the floor drops away and our concepts of the near future become rewritten, Navigateur style.

The pulsating neon becomes the Bright Lights of chapter two. The funky staccato loops begin forming in esoteric layers, stippled with vocal stabs and a glorious delirium that is pure Navigateur in colour and motion. There are so many totally rockin 80s sounds in here that are brought into a futuristic dimension, it's like we went right from 1985 to 2020. What Navigateur's sound trades off in its authenticity to 80s sounds it gains in its own personalised vision that manages to remain true and honest.

One just has to hear to radiantly radical opening to the title track, 2020,  to know the heart of the 80s beats loud and proud within the modern vestige displayed. The bass funks up a storm and orchestral stabs punctuate a glitching vocal that is still epically soulful, then the hi-hats open up and the stratosphere becomes a multicoloured kaleidoscope of aural energies. The majesty is breathtaking and the fact this track leads into We Need The Best makes for an absolutely stunning experience.

We Need The Beat is a musical adventure, I personally think, is total perfection. This was one of my most listened to tracks last years and just begs to be put on repeat for hours at a time. The glitch skipping is engineered to masterful brilliance and everything feels like it's riding the same audio roller coaster, leaning into the turns while the inertia bends out the lower end of the spectrum only to then be sent careening in the opposite direction in a startlingly beautiful manner. It's hard, still, to go passed this track on the album, but more Navigateur magic beckons, this time with and extended robotic hand that beckons and guides us into the Destiny Club.

The smoothness of the first half of the album is eschewed for sharper and more sparkling piece that jumps in and out its own dimensionality like some kind of multi layered holographic dancer. This track's midpoint takes on a much more relaxed vignette of calmly serene beauty, but this flight of fancy is merely hinted at before the colours mesh, then flicker once more.

2020 contains Navigateur's own brand of synth romance in Future City Love. The resonating tones of the opening lead into pure 80s teen love splendour as the times of 2020 become the place of first crushes and late night phone calls. The glitch skipping is used in a wonderfully warm new way in this piece, feeling like your heart's skipping a beat when her eyes catch yours across a crowded home room. The final parts of Navigateur's romantic foray ends up at night time on the beach where first kisses beneath the twin moons lead to a whole new future of possibilities.

Our final experience in 2020 keeps to a similar motif in Dream School. This is pointed directly into the dreamy end of the spectrum with a tailspin dive through pink clouds at the speed of sound accompanied by a driving percussive track and a refrain that calms the mind and spirit in the face of all this possibly cataclysmic energy. Pulling out of tailspin and climbing back into the heavens we feel the earth drop away and star filled universe becomes the canvas on which our dreams are painted. The story is made complete as the void of space rotates around our very beings, becoming one with the energies of earth and the cosmos as the final evolution of human kind.

2020 is presented by Synconation Records on their Bandcamp page here for FREE purchase. This release is such a perfectly arranged and constructed experience that it is most certainly deserving of being a Synthetix Reference Experience.

Be sure to give Navigateur lots of love on his soundcloud page here and Facebook page here and thank him in advance for the future we're yet to experience.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Lots of totally rockin new music to cover once again in a huge Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. If this trend continues over the next few weeks I might need to split this over two posts, possibly as a Midweek Update. There's way too much killer music around to trying filtering things down, I always want to cover as much as possible. I'll let things keep on rockin as they are for now and evaluate things in a few weeks. But right now it's time to rock, so lets dive right in!

First off, a most fitting way to start with Amazing Police's new track Cizeta Intro. This producer blew my mind a few weeks back with his track White Tape and it looks like the 80s magic is going to keep on flowing as this new experience is yet another superbly crafted composition.

Cougar Synth is back with some more synth romance themed music called Make It Hot. Once again Cougar Synth totally rocks with stunning arrangements and supremely uplifting instrumentation. The love feels deeps from this producer, so please be sure to follow him on soundcloud. Make It Hot is also currently available for FREE download too.

Hyboid's new track Martians Do It Better provides lots of cosmic italo disco complete with totally kick arse vocal track. Everything about this is feels thoroughly authentic and makes for an energetic interplanetary discotheque where the martians get all the girls. Many thanks to Eduardo Del Pozo for sharing the Hyboid experience.

Mitch Murder is back with another instant classic, Stages. A great deal of classic Library Music influences flourish throughout out this funk filled, groove-tastic experience which adds a huge amount of class to the soundscape. All the hallmarks of Mitch Murders magic are replete in Stages, here's hoping it makes it onto an EP or LP release soon.

After experimenting with vocals in his last track, What I Need, LA Dreams has expanded his horizons a little bit further in another direction with his new work Common Places. There's a new and different feeling to the melodies and percussion that feel very fresh and involving. It's definitely an LA Dreams track, no mistake there, but it feels like he's just pushing out of his comfort zone a bit more, which is to be applauded rapturously.

A new producer on the scene full of promise and 80s love is Brain Food Deluxe, discovered courtesy of the always rockin Deniz Akbas. Brain Food Deluxe has a wonderful air of classic 80s naivete in his sounds that I always find engaging. Arrangements and melodies are simple but always totally kick arse, providing for some really energising music.

Keeping on a similar thematic is the wonderful new track from Sternrekorder: Antipodes. This producer is a master of the uncomplicated yet endlessly deep style of 80s inspired synth music and this latest experience distills the essence even further. With so many new tracks being shared on his soundcloud over the last six months I hope an album release isn't too far off from this massively under appreciated producer.

Pumping up the sunshine and taking to the streets is Glass Mirrors, a new discovery from Synthetix.FM favourite Jordan F. This Australian producer is making some massively rockin 80s inspired sounds and his latest song, Marine Parade, feels hugely authentic and charged with kinetic mayhem that rocks the streets to perfection. Many thanks for sharing the love, Jordan!

Getting off the streets and back into the disco we have a totally rad new track from Laserama, brilliantly titled Fade Into CMYK. Smooth disco vibes are punctuated by electric hand claps and an electro disco bassline creates an aura of pure intensity. Fade To CMYK is currently available for FREE download too, so rock it like a melonfarmer ASAP!

Beaumont is one of the most experimental producers I follow, you're never sure where his next track will come from, or be going to. His latest track Milton's Party is one his most awesomely rockin experiences of recent times. This composition is bright on colour and glowing with an 80s soul. Part disco, part electro funk that's then mixed with a more modern arrangement Milton's Party just plain rocks.

The build up to Arc Neon's new EP Blood Sport 2093 has just reached fever pitch with their latest teaser track just being shared to soundcloud. "How fast you move, determines how long ya live" is rife with dark energies and moody melodies that convey the fearful future of Blood Sport. I can't wait to hear this concept release in it's full form but for now the latest teaser will have to do. Let's hope the full release isn't too far off.

To finish off this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM we have an exciting new remix from Jordan F. I'm not usually a big fan of posting remixes unless they do something particularly extraordinary and Jordan's re-envisioning of Flume's Sleepless is just that. We get to experience a Jordan F that is very different to what we're accustomed, and it works beautifully. There are elements of Navigateur's soundscapes in there (whom we'll be visiting with in greater detail next week) which are then reinvented and coloured with Jordan's own pallette.

That gets us done for another rockin week on Synthetix.FM. I'll be back next week with more glorious and inspiring music from the 80s inspired synth scene. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nick Force Takes It All The Way Back

Once in a while an 80s inspired synth experience comes along that just blows my mind and becomes crystallized as a genre defining moment. These moments are uncommon and when one from the near past comes in to view and obliterates all and sundry in its wake I believe its well worth dedicating some Synthetix.FM week day space to. Released nine months ago Take It Back by Nick Force is a perfect exponent of 80s melody, arrangement and instrumentation. Prepare for you mind to be taken to a new dimension and get rockin.

From the intro the monstrously epic nature of this experience becomes apparent. Dirging synths present an air of technofear and dystopian ambiance. Drums syncopate to primal fears and the hope of tomorrow seems to be dashed in seconds today. Then the magic happens. The lead melody raises it's head and shoots into the heavens creating a glowing ionosphere of radiance the that lacerates the darkness with godlike power. Every element from this point on is engineered for maximum enjoyment. The bassline keeps super funky at all times and angelic vocal nuances elevate the listener into an aural epiphany.

The music is arranged with so many nods to the classic original sounds, but feels absolutely fresh and devoid of pigeonholing. The narrative is so strong that it's almost overwhelming and one has to squint or shield one's eye from the vibrance of the soundstage, the colours are all new and the light is as dazzling as it is enlightening, with  a power created be beings far beyond our earthly bonds.

At six minutes and forty one seconds Take It Back is the definition of epic, the experience is so dense that numerous listens are demanded just take in a fraction of what is musically possible. It's the fabrication of this rich electronic tapestry that just begs for repeated listens as initial journeys are merely scratching the surface, barely hinting at what lies beneath. I could, quite literally, go on and on about how magnificent this track is but I think you get the general idea by now. That this is a FREE download means you can enjoy this wonder when and wherever you like, and you should. As often as possible.

If Nick Force can channel the 80s spirit as well as he has in Take It Back he could become one of the the big league producers in 80s inspired synth very quickly. Only time will tell, but for now Nick Force's Take It Back is an undeniable Synthetix.FM Reference Experience.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Night Crawler & Friends Play Road Blaster

Night Crawler's latest track, Road Blaster, has been released with an assembly of 80s inspired synth talent unsurpassed in recent memory. I think I'd have to go back to the Teenage Criminal release of Hero mid last year to find an equal to the talent enlisted to remix a single track for an EP release.  It provides ensemble visions of the original idea that covers massive expanses of the synth spectrum in a magnificently inspiring manner.

The Road Blaster EP, as one would expect, contains the original by Night Crawler which is then followed by remixes from Miami Nights 1984, Tommy, Dynatron, Protector 101 AND 80s Stallone. I'll get to these retellings in due course, but first lets get rockin with the originator. The original incarnation is a superb synth wave track that takes in classic videogame soundtrack elements, but is by no means a ChipTune affair. The energy is set to turbo and elements of OutRun-like chase excitement charge the atmosphere like electricity. The samples used are not familiar to me, but work exceedingly well. Road Blaster has overall aesthetic really does feel like a soundtrack to the classic arcade game of the same name, which I'm sure provided some of the inspiration to the composer.

The music is arranged for maximum excitement, unrelenting in it's delivery and driven by thousands of horsepower straight into the night, the entire track is packed with action and details that grab the listener by the throat and refuses to relinquish it's grip. With this in mind it's time to experience MN1984's take on this. I was expecting this remix to actually be more OutRun skewed but instead we get a funky synthstravaganza that evolves into something entirely different. The panic on the streets gives way to smooth piano runs and a more deliberate pace, it also feels like the spirit of Lazerhawk possessed MN1984 during the end stages, which is totally rockin. The final result is spectacular while still remaining true to the original.

Moving into Tommy's universe for the second remix of Road Blaster we are treated to the flowing majesty of Tommy's synth magic that seems to follow the action on the streets like a ghostly alien angel. Ever watching over the dangers of the night but ever present as a guiding light. It's no secret I adore Tommy's style and by injecting these sounds and emotions into the experience and removing some of the more mechanical elements one gets a dazzling display of beautifully entrancing music.

As soon as I saw Dynatron's name in the track listing I had an idea of what could happen, but I wasn't prepared for the eventuality. Familiar opening stages are then smashed into oblivion with crunching guitar riffs and a battery of drums and percussion. The mood gets darker, but the energy remains similar to the original and a tangible danger accompanies each building second. By the time the guitar solo side swipes the listener the rolling carnage takes off to the heavens in a fireball of aural triumph.

Protector 101 begins weaving his own arcane magic on Road Blaster right from the outset. Menacingly conceived synths and machine gun hand-claps immediately make things very obvious that darker powers are controlling the experience. The swell of the synths and devastatingly metronomic percussion allow for zero chance of a happy ending, but in the face of all the bleakness an ember glows through the final chapter which colours the mood with a forceful intent of revenge and denial of adversity. Clenched teeth and a steely gaze end this version of Road Blaster most succinctly.

The final episode of the Road Blast series finds 80s Stallone getting his disco back into action with a bright italo revision which is made even more sparkling from the previous chapter. The samples are enhanced with classic Stallone samples and complemented by a mirroring melody that dances up and down the bassline like a shadow boxing android. This remix is probably the most removed from the original but the original intention from Night Crawler is still felt throughout. It's the perfect finish to a fantastic EP.

The Road Blaster EP is presented on Night Crawler's Bandcamp here and is a FREE release. This is a must have EP for any fan of any denomination of 80s inspired synth, with the amazingly diverse amount of soundscapes contained within this release you're sure to find a Road Blaster that's right for you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Alpha Boy & J-F Conrad Go Back To The Lab

From their recent work together on Obsidian, Alpha Boy and Jan-Friedrich Conrad have now released a feature-length experience entitled Simplicity Lab. This album is seven tracks of artistic experimentation and free flowing ideas that evolve into all new experiences that are, in essence, genreless and timeless.

Alpha Boy's work in 80s inspired synth music has already been evidenced many times on Synthetix. FM but you may not be aware whom Jan-Friedrich Conrad is. J-F Conrad is a hugely prolific composer, also from Germany, who is responsible for many soundtracks to the German versions of many TV series an movies including such icons as Knight Rider, Nightmare On Elm St, Airwolf and The A Team. This composer was one of Alpha Boy's greatest idol's growing up and for him to create an album with this composer should not be understated. This is music that makes dreams come true and music the brings together the 'then' and the 'now' in ways previously unexplored.

It's been documented that the seven tracks that make up Simplicity Lab were made through much more organic, live music writing than tracking sounds and this becomes patently obvious from the first track: Blue Amber Rush. The Alpha Boy melodies begin to bloom in all new colours and variations with a natural and warm sound that opens up more as the music progresses. This avant garde style is what drives the Simplicity Lab's engine. The feeling of contemporaries jamming and feeding off each other, working as humans rather than humans working machines. The elements of live instruments add much to the soundscape, drums and percussion along with bass and guitars make for even more richly dimensional experiences, especially once Violent Violet begins to work it's magic.

The music retains a lot of 80s soul throughout the chapters, not just from Alpha Boy's more obvious nuances either. J-F Conrad's sounds come across as modernised 80s ideas that still glow with neon, even though tinged with the experience of time. Jazzier moods and varied instrumentations add even more layers to soundscapes, often resulting with a clear spatial transparency that is bright, fresh and always refreshing. One just needs to take in tracks like Solcena and Bending The Voice of the Prophet to hear mirages of great beauty that entice the listener with intimacy and the twist and turn into fathomless visions.

The flow and liquid nature of the tracks are a great part of what adds so much refreshing flavour throughout. Each composition is a river unto itself with it's own direction and lifeforms existing symbiotically within. It's hard not to be swept away and allow the current to be one's guide as the sounds buoy the listener's journey through mythical flora and fauna. By the time we get to Corrosive Agent Spill the technology begins to reaffirm it's value with the most mechanical experience on the album. Even still, the live drum sounds and esoteric synths provide warmth that penetrates the cold machines with all the forces of nature.

As the album finishes with the epic eighteen minute serenade to science, Credo Of The Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, time is pushed back even further as progressive sounds of the 70s permeate the atmosphere with chemically enhanced synthesizers making the last adventure one of the most mind bending. This last track just pushes even further the 'alive' nature of the record as the music becomes it's own organism, with it's own fate that the composer's merely temper.

The Simplicity Lab is probably unlike anything else you've experienced in the world of 80s inspired synth music, and in all honesty, that descriptor is far too limiting for what is presented. The avant garde nature of each aesthetic might prove too 'out-there' for some, but for those that embrace that sounds and allow them to whisper their full story will be the ones that will remain affected by these experiments for much longer than the album's duration.

The Simplicty Labs is presented Alpha Boy and J-F Conrads joint Bandcamp page here. Synthetix.FM highly recommends this album and prescribes that it be best enjoyed in a dark, silent room when one wishes to achieve peace and clarity; sit back, relax and let the Simplicity Lab experiments work their magic upon you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

20/80s With Garth Knight

Garth Knight's 80s inspired synth sounds have been some of my favourites experiences on Synthetix.FM over the last year. With every new track this producer always comes across as someone who's always pushing themselves into unfamiliar territory to expand their virtual aural arsenal. A new Garth Knight release always leads to huge amounts of excitement as you're never sure where you're going to end up while he's at the wheel.

With the release of his latest album, Goliath, it has become apparent to me just how much this artist has grown over the last twelve months. The album is almost like a Greatest Hits compilation with so many of my favourites all in one package. From the (still!) totally rockin Breakpoint, through to his Transformers period and on into his verdant synthscapes like Solidstate and Silicon Dawn it's a full catalogue of superb synth music. This release is almost entirely devoid of his more recent funk synth odysseys, but I believe thematically they mightn't have worked in the context of the other pieces.

Although many fans will already have some of these experiences already in their collection it's well worth the purchase as an extra refinement to the production has been added to the tracks, giving them an extra glossy layer to behold. It also must be said how well these tracks work as an album, the moods and textures always feel cohesive and no track feels like it doesn't 'belong' even with the different thematics.

The Goliath album is presented by Lunar Boogie on iTunes here  and Juno Download here and is quite honestly a must-have release for anyone into authentic 80s inspired synth music. In fact, I'll be recommending this album as an example of the perfect 'gateway album' for newcomers to the classic synth styles of the 80s to experience the lion's share of the musical spectrum all in one super hard rockin release.

So please take in an abbreviated taster of Goliath while we spend some quality time with Garth Knight's 20/80s on Synthetix.FM.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another week done and another huge Weekend Update is delivered to your table, fresh and piping hot!Full of 80s goodness and sure to satisfy even the hungriest appetite. Grab your knife and fork and let's dig in with a four-course, sumptuous synth repast in the Synthetix Weekend Update.

 Vector Hold is back with a powerhouse new dark/soundtrack synth experience accusingly entitled Lies. A megaton force snare bangs along to dirge-like bassline complete with sharply pointed melodies.
The instrumentation is perfect with each sound pointing it's accusatory finger with much conviction.

Kicking the energy into overdrive is Jowie Schulner's latest OutRun masterpiece: Bad Rain. This producer's usual 80s tendencies lean to the more tender side of the spectrum but with Bad Rain Jowie's unleashed a high octane driving force, packed with his trademark melodies and that take every curve of the road with total precision.

A new producer making music in the classic 80s style is rf.extreme. He's just beginning his 80s musical journey but his first tracks mark an excellent starting point. Miami Cruise a beautifully emotive and luxurious melange of synth sounds and shapes. The abrupt ending leads me to believe it's still a work-in-progress, so please give him some love to let him know he's rockin in all the right ways.

Fantastisizer is another new producer making the scene with the 80s sounds burning in his musical soul with a neon fire. His latest track, Last Call, provides a great deal of emotion and depth with slow rolling melodies and a sky doused in night emotions. I'm definitely looking forward to listening to more Fantastisizer experiences in the future.

Kicking up the funk right to the heavens is Hidden Groove. Many thanks to fellow synthficionado Jarred Hageman for sharing this UK producers superb funk synth magic. Hidden Grooves soundcloud is packed with totally kick arse 80s sounds, so make sure you check out more funky good times. We Got The Funk is a massively authentic example of mid 80s synth funk, and with the english inflection to the vocals adds a bit of Paul Hardcastle/Universal Funk era flavour to experience. Totally rockin.

When it comes to 80s synth pop authenticity the latest song from Jenna F, A Song Of The Sea (Across The World) is magnificent exponent. Channelling Ultravox and Yazoo almost directly the drama suaveness of the lead vocal is the perfect match to the synth melodies. The female vocal in the second verse and then the combined vocals for the final chorus makes for a dimensionally epic experience that works on every level, superb music.

Bending the dimensions with a slightly more modern flavour is the new track from LuvKraft. This instrumental version of (With You) All Over Again is a bittersweet synthscapade of emotional moods that meander in and out of focus throughout the story. It's beautifully written and I'm looking forward to hearing where the eventual vocal mix of this goes. Many thanks to Lorcan O'Shanahan for the heads up on this rocker.

One of Synthetix.FM's favourites, Quasars, are back with a promo cut of their kick arse new track, perfectly entitled: Rockers. These guys always know how to make that quintessential 80s experience and with the extra guitar elements permeating through the mix I can guarantee the final cut will be rockin to the max!

I, unfortunately, missed posting the first demo of Lost Years new track, but intend on remedying this with his V2 demo of The Second. This track is taking Lost Years into some exquisitely constructed synth romance sounds. It's bright and sparkling with lush melodies and a synth pop sensibility that Lost Years has seemed to have developed over night. This is definitely a track I'd love to hear a vocal on.

Miles Prower keeps fine tuning his craft and expanding his musical horizons and his new track San Francisco Nights display excellent instrumentation and authentic melodies. The superfast high hats and subdued soundscape make for a very immersive and satisfying OutRun flavoured experience.

LA Dreams has expanded his horizons into the realms of synth pop by sharing his first track with a vocal this week. What I Need features Dana Jean Phoenix on vocals and feels like an experiment more than a fully realised 'song' as such. The LA Dreams feelings are there and the vocal enhances and elevates the experience, but without a verse/chorus/verse/chorus style format I feel the vocal doesn't get the attention it deserves. That said this is a monumental step in all new directions for LA Dreams and I for one encourage more of this wholeheartedly.

On the cusp of his album release on the 25th of February Logan Sky has shared a teaser track from it: Blonde Cobra. This album promises to be a totally rockin release and Blonde Cobra is a full of quality sounds and melodies with a penchant for drama in the arrangements. Synthetix.FM will be sure to give the Face The Flames album the full treatment upon it's release.

A new discovery courtesy of Arc Neon's Benjamin Norman is the radically named Kyle Ma-Rocklin with his new track Free Dance. There's a bit of Devin Dazzle era Felix Da Housecat in this track that I really like, and the soundscape is almost ChipTune-ish in it's personality and the whole things works into a superbly engaging experience. I really like Kyle Ma-Rocklin's quirky style and look forward to where he'll take us next.

Python Blue has an impending album release with his Change Of Clothes album due out next week. This producer has been kind enough to dedicate his latest track, Dark Space, to the one year anniversary of Synthetix, which I'm very honoured to receive. Dark Space is a dark soundtrack experience that isn't too heavy on the blackness but definitely is on the drama. Python Blue's style really gravitates towards this end of the spectrum and he does it exceptionally well. This should prove to be massively entertaining across the full length format.

To finish of this week's all-you-can-eat Weekend Update on Synthetix we have an excellent new track from Perturbator that he's cut to the new trailer for the upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077. The soundtrack is called Future Club and is the absolute perfect accompaniment to the 80s dystopian sci fi theme of the game. With Perturbator's recent work in Hotline Miami's soundtrack we can only hope this talented producer gets picked up to do more projects like this as it's something he does with aplomb and finesse.

I hope that this Weekend Update has satisfied your hunger for new 80s inspired synth music and that your currently basking in a contented glow. Rest assured there'll be more delectable 80s themed morsels to keep you from starving throughout the coming week on Synthetix.FM.

'Till then, stay 80s and keep on rockin!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Action Jackson's Vices

Action Jackson is producer of rare quality. His visions of 80s sounds always feel true and refined, every second has an intensity that is unrelenting and once in it's grip refuses to let go. A new Action Jackson release is always exciting as they consistently work like a concentrate of energies, distilled to perfection, and impeccably written. His new EP, Vice, is a three track experience that is yet another fantastic chapter in the Action Jackson story; full of excitement, emotion and meticulously crafted 80s magic.

The refinement I speak of is noticeable from the opening stanza of the first track: Takeover. The instrumentation is totally perfect as electronic sounds layer and compliment each other while the percussion dances a mechanical storm around the melodic magnificence. This piece is paced to perfection, nothing feels rushed, or like it's been padded. The story moves along with an energetic timing. This is a text book Synth Wave classic, loaded with 80s hallmarks that work into a perfect mid 80s soundscape.

Our second experience brings us to the coastline as waves lap the shore Inside begins to take shape. Action Jackson is a top gun with the Synth Romance style and Inside's languidly luscious melodies form entrancing curves around the seaside motif. A slow pace is called for in the moon filled night and the ebb and rise of the tide mirrors the passionate embrace Inside. The instruments are allowed to linger and hang gently in the air with a tenderness of purest silk that then becomes intoxicating with black lace.

The last track on Vice is Nights. This simplistically named title is deceptive as this piece of energetic and uplifting Synth Wave is full of vibrant colours and a groove that runs canyon deep. The melodies are just so positive and refreshing, it's totally 80s and thoroughly authentic. Each new layer turns the colour and contrast up even further until the rainbow becomes a torrential explosion of cascading aural neon. This track is, again, flawless in it's arrangement and instrumentation making it's four minute duration feel like about thirty seconds. A perfect finish to a great EP.

The Vice EP from Action Jackson is the musical equivalent of a freshly opened can of Tab cola, or a rising and falling LED meter on a classic boombox, or the feel of a brand new pair of high top sneakers, it's the taste, the sight and the feel of the 80s that is unmistakable. The Vice EP is available on Action Jackson's Bandcamp page here and is a totally radical release that Synthetix wholeheartedly recommends.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Get 2 Know Patrick Baker All Over Again

In my top tens that I did for 2012 Patrick Baker's song Get 2 Know U was my number one hit in the Synthetix Synth Pop Charts. This track has finally seen a full single release with the totally kick arse original mix and three sterling remixes. How much love can Synthetix give Patrick Baker? Not nearly enough, I believe.

Get 2 Know U is as authentic as it is pure. The authenticity of the arrangements and instrumentation are complemented by a purity of vocal, lyric and aesthetic that is uncommon in the 80s inspired synth pop scene. I've already gushed like a rabid teenage girl over the original mix of the song  here on Synthetix mid last year but it bears repeating how stunning the Get 2 Know U experience is. I can count on one hand the amount of acts that can do 80s synth pop as authentically as Patrick Baker and this song is one of the yardsticks by which all others are compared. Get 2 Know U is still one of the penultimate Synthetix Reference Experiences and being able to revisit with this gem just reinforces everything I've previously stated.

This single release is accompanied by three new remixes too, which shouldn't be understated in the slightest. In the glowing pink light of the original it would be hard to make a 'bad' remix of this song, but the three contained here add different dimensions to the experience like a prism reflecting and re-imagining the original experience.

First is the Televisor remix. The Televisor magic is very identifiable and when it works (like in their absolutely stunning Pin Up and Le Rock Francais) it becomes awe inspiring. Televisor's remix of Get 2 Know U is full of this magic and really tells a new story to song. It's a more measured approach, and refuses to march so voraciously into the glorious aural chintzyness of some of my favourite Televisor tracks. In doing this it makes for a beautiful balance in the sounds and never betrays the vocal sincerity. A truly wonderful combination of sounds and emotions.

Robots With Rayguns' take on Get 2 Know U travels a new path for the experience which is full of the trademark RWR sounds. This blending of new and old, with an always funky/elecro edge lends itself well to the source material. There is a new colour to the synth melodies with a more contemplative air that makes for a distinct atmosphere of coolness, control and cunning. The song jumps around a lot more however and this eclectic energy  replaces the smoothness of the original which works exceptionally well.

Jolie Cherie's remix provides another different vision, with a little bit more modern inspiration. This is by far the dreamiest of the remixes with sounds fading and melding into each other coupled with a repeated synth refrain that rises and falls with emotive majesty. This version builds a lot more than the others, forgoing the more song-structured format in favour of house-y flavour that changes dynamics dramatically. It's a bright and warm dream, with a lightness and sense of naivete that is massively enjoyable.

The Get 2 Know U EP is available on Beatport here and is thoroughly recommended as a must-have Synthetix Reference Experience to all fans of 80s inspired synth music of any denomination.

Here's to more rockin magic from Patrick Baker in 2013.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tune In To The Gost On Radio Macabre

An exciting new producer of exceptionally powerful dark synth has arrived on the scene under the name Gost. This producer has just released his first (to my knowledge) EP entitled Radio Macabre, a three track explosion of sone seriously bitchen synth-evil that rocks as hard as it rolls.

Radio Macabre is the perfect name for this trilogy of terror, each track is a self contained horror show full of suspenseful melodies, demonic drums that are totally unrelenting in their severity. There's a huge shroud of blackness that each track is dripping in with a primal fury that pulses and glows with hellish abomination.

The nightmare begins with Dead End channelling The Exorcist/Tubular Bells directly into a savagely pounding monstrosity of pure black magic. Melodies actually keep to the slightly brighter end of the spectrum, but instead of sounding like a positive hope end up feeling like things are constantly on edge and being further skewed to the darker dimensions. Dead End is very well arranged, a hallmark all true dark synth really needs to fully tell a story. Each page turns with devilish precision, building atmosphere with every second and keeping the listener on the edge of their seat right through to the grisly conclusion.

The title track is chapter two and Radio Macabre begins to introduce a lot more traditional OutRun arrangements with a megaton bassline and melodies that ring with a tinge of sweetness that leads to drama and panic quicker than expected. The track's moods swing madly into the realm's of chaos with alarming force with layers of deeper and darker forces taking full control of the situation. Again, the arrangements and execution of each component work marvellously well right through to the last minutes where the scene disintegrates before the final, chilling farewell.

The final chapter of this experience is another fantastically dark OutRun affair called Night Crawler. The familiar thunder of the bassline and unforgiving percussion track lead into smoothly surreal synth melodies that again provide excellent contrast in sounds. Melodies glow with reverence in the face of darkness making a wholly holy versus unholy soundscape where good and evil are building their forces for the final showdown. We as human pawns can but look on as the armies battle through the heavens with searing melodies cutting through the cataclysmic atmosphere. As the sky seems ready to explode in a final Armageddon both forces retreat as the empyrean ether loses it's red glow and reverts back to a peaceful blue. It appears that now is not the time for the final battle, but who knows when this could happen again and will good be strong enough to win over evil next time?

These questions and more are to be looked forward to in future releases from Gost but for now the Radio Macabre EP will have to suffice. Radio Macabre is available for FREE download on Gost's Bandcamp page here and is thoroughly recommended by Synthetix as the perfect accompaniment to those cold, lonely nights when you want to welcome in the fear like it was an old friend.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Synthetix One Year Anniversary

A year ago to the day I began Synthetix. This place came about because I wanted to give the 80s inspired synth scene it's own home that was 100% dedicated to this music. Thanks in no small part to the Synthetix Facebook community and you reading this now I'm very proud of where this place is one year in. Without the support of producers and likeminded fans theres a very good chance the Synthetix dream would've ended months ago.

So a year on it's time for some changes. You'll hopefully have already noticed the cosmetic changes to Synthetix and with any luck you've also noticed the address is now Synthetix.FM. This is something I've been working on for a while, in that I want to incorporate more elements and experiences into Synthetix. The primary force will always be what you're reading now, but the Synthetix Facebook community is another facet. There's also the Synthetix Mixtapes I do every few weeks and added to this now is Synthetix Photography, which is one of my other passions, that I'm introducing under the Synthetix banner.

This Tumblr page is dedicated to a lot of the 80s style product and design photography I do, which I hope adds a new visual component Synthetix. My hope is to provide more 80s inspiration to complement the aural delights covered here. This is now linked, along with the Facebook community and Synthetix Mixtapes in the "Expand Your Synthetix.FM Experience" in the top right hand corner of this window.

My hope is to make Synthetix.FM a home for even more homages to the decade we love. The focus will always be on the music, as that's my number one passion. I also want to evolve some existing things I do on here into new and exciting formats. Beginning very soon I'll be doing some new features, including the Midweek Flashback to revisit classic 80s music as well as gems from a few years ago. There are a lot ideas in my mind for the future of Synthetix.FM but these will come to fruition in due course and their regularity will entirely depend how many current releases I need to cover, so these new features won't be at the expense of any regular ones.

It's these different ideas that lead me to choose the .FM suffix for Synthetix's domain name. Like an 80s FM radio station I want to offer a range of interesting features that cover the 80s then and now. This is something that I'm very open to suggestions to as well, so please contact me if you have any ideas that would fit the Synthetix.FM ideology

2013 promises to be a massively exciting time in the 80s inspired synth music scene and I want Synthetix.FM to be right there with it every step of the way. I thank you for your patronage of Synthetix over the last year and look forward to lots more kick arse times in the coming months.

For now, I'd like to share with you latest edition of the Synthtix.FM Mixtapes, so Happy Birthday Synthetix, and hope you all keep on rockin!

Synthetix.FM Mixtape 3 2 13 Side A:

1, That's All I See - Thomas Barrandon
2, 3D - Synthaesthete
3, Emotional Passenger - Highway Superstar
4, Night Dream - Cougar Synth
5, If Looks Could Kill - Collins
6, Night Play - LA Dreams
7, DX Heaven - Betamaxx
8, Return To The Red Planet - Vincenzo Salvia & Peter Robinson
9, Breeze - Mitch Murder
10, First To The Finish Line - LA Dreams
11, Never Look Back - Vector Hold
12, California Highway Patrol - Vestron Vulture
13, East Coast Summers - Betamaxx

Synthetix.FM Mixtape 3 2 13 Side B:

1, Silicon Dreams - Betamaxx
2, Whistling Shurikens - Highway Superstar
3, Penumbra - LA Dreams
4, Desk Duty - Laurence McFunk
5, Retrace - Cougar Synth
6, You Just Came To Crash The Party - Garth Knight
7, Khaki (Instrumental) - Who Ha
8, Open Sea Adrenaline - LA Dreams
9, Takeover - Action Jackson
10, Halloween Theme (rework) - Perturbator
11, Only In Movies - Betamaxx

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Tomorrow, Monday the 4th of February 2013, marks the one year anniversary for Synthetix. Tomorrow there will be some changes to your favourite internet channel for 80s inspired synth music which I hope will be exciting and enhancing to your Synthetix experience. For now though, it's time for another massive Weekend Update. So let's get rockin!

First up is a hot new track from Vector Hold. This high energy piece of action is positively bursting at the seams with quick melodies, flashing nuances and percussive drama. Once again Vector Hold strikes a beautiful balance between 80s inspired synth and 80s video game music. Currently available for FREE download also.

Miami Nights 1984 spun his synth magic on Sally Shapiro's "Starman" featuring Electric Youth and the result is a bitchen experience that ticks all the boxes for a totally kick arse 80s synth pop classic. MN1984's remixes are always in the upper echelon in the scene and this reinforces his stature for quality remixes in every respect.

80s Stallone is back for the attack with a demo cut of his new experience: True Romance. This forgoes much of the italo sounds of recent 80s Stallone and provides a slightly darker OutRun-feeling track. I love the lead melodies that colour the soundscape brightly while the shadows threaten to ovewhelm.

A discovery courtesy of Neros77 this week was a new producer on the scene called Hamblok. His track Desert Rose is a serenely arranged cascade of beautiful melodies and expansive details. I can feel the heat of the sun and the breath of the wind in every second. Hopefully we will be experiencing more Hamblok music in the future on Synthetix.

Adding some moroseness to the serenity is AKAHands Down's new track Strain. As this pieces moves along it wends and grooves through a very ethereal space, the energies feel dark, but not to the point blackness. There's a hope in the melody that is uplifting and very engaging.

The enigmatic Mitch Murder unleashed another gem from his imagination this week called Interceptor. With definite leanings to the 80s neo-tokyo stylings this is one of the more sparse Mitch Murder experiences I've heard. The layering is kept to a minimum and the sounds are allowed to evolve in an uncomplicated manner that is very refreshing.

Like Mowrey has just begun his dark italo styled musical journey only recently and has shared a few of experiences on his soundcloud, which I've found very entertaining. His latest track, Emerald Hill his a shadowy space disco monolith with beautiful ambience and wonderful instrumentation. Many thanks to Denovomutans for enlightening me to this producer.

I always look forward to hearing new Sternrekorder music. Since this producer has returned to the scene late last year his new sounds have become even more eclectic and inventive. His latest work KRazy KR-55 sounds like a classic late 70s experimental synth work with a heavy injection of Sternrekorder magic.

Keeping to the avant garde end of the synth spectrum is the wonderfully titled Coconut Hologram from Aminova. Once again this producer adds new light and colours to the 80s synth experience and expands the soundscape into previously unknown dimensions. Total Aminova magic.

A pillar of the 80s inspired synth community, Eduardo Del Pozo, shared a magnificent new discovery this week in the form of Highway Superstar. This new producer has firmly stamped his name on the ninja-synth genre with his new track Whistling Shurikens. Epic, dramatic and sharpened like Sho Kosugi's very own ninjato.

Keeping the action frenetic and the drama intense is a sterling new demo from Kid Machine called Black Futura. The synthscape is rife with danger as flashing lights and electricity charge the atmosphere in a situation where getting out alive is your only hope. Even as an unmastered demo this a scintillating experience.

Last but certainly not least we have an incredible new experience from Jaypeau in his epic track Thrasher. This supercharged composition of high energy synths and ripping guitars is thoroughly amazing. The sounds and arrangements are 100% authentic while the production is, simply put, flawless in delivery. I dearly hope this becomes available to download or purchase soon.

That does us for another kick arse week in the world of 80s inspired synth music. Remember to tune in tomorrow for a one year anniversary spectacular on Synthetix that I hope will rock you even harder. Till then stay 80s and keep on rockin!