Monday, May 6, 2013

The Force Of Power Glove Unleashed

Australia's Power Glove are getting all sorts of rockin love in recent times with the soundtrack they've created for the Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon video game. This soundtrack, for all intents and purposes makes the game and shows how much a great soundtrack can improve the immersion and excitement of the video game experience. The full twenty five track odyssey is available for purchase on iTunes here and is most assuredly something Synthetix.FM heartily recommends. Their work on Hobo With A Shotgun has been well documented too, which was thrilling to behold.

I thought with the new wave of interest in Power Glove it would be a great time to share some of their older but no less stellar music in celebration of this new soundtrack. Firstly though I'd like to clear up a little bit of confusion about Power Glove. There are two Power Gloves, well, technically there is a Power Glove and a Powerglove. They have some slight similarities in their inspirations and instrumentations but Powerglove  are a much more speed metal oriented band from the USA that do their own renditions of classic video game music.

Power Glove, on the other hand, from Melbourne are a duo of 80s inspired synth producers, who also use video games as an inspiration but in a far less direct way. They also use a lot of guitars but in a more 80s rock style. This confusion is something I wanted to get out of the way just so people are aware they are, indeed, two entirely different musical acts.

Getting back to the music of Power Glove, they just recently shared a group of tracks from roughly four years ago for the first time on Bandcamp and this EP is something of a blueprint which drove the inspirations for many producers since. The marriage of old and new styles began gaining momentum in 2008 and Power Glove were one of the original producers of 80s inspired synth music who's passion for classic sounds still ring true nearly five years later.

As I mentioned, this EP has provided huge amounts of inspiration since the tracks were initially published but still sound just as totally rockin as they did upon release. This is evidenced immediately in Streets of 2043, powerhouse melodies and layers of synth terror coalesce into a video game themed epic of ominous proportions. This piece brings the rawness of the Power Glove style out perfectly, each of their tracks have a gritty and harsh edge to it to them that feels so vital and visceral. Synths aren't polished to gleaming reflective perfection but are instead pulsing with an uncontrollable force that threatens destruction with every chord.

The sample work of Power Glove is something very individualised, too. The Dolph Lundgren samples used throughout Maximum Potential are low-fi and distorted with a rasping hiss that betrays the source material, but it's this that makes them so phenomenal and then takes the unevenness of the sounds into a tonal cataclysm of unrelenting power. This track stands up as one the ultimate classics of the 80s inspired synth scene and it's refreshingly raw timbre is as invigorating as it is exhilarating.

Night Force brings in the darkness of totally rockin dark synth moods with even more details layered en masse to provoke even greater frightening reactions. The Power Glove soundscape is almost always densely packed with a myriad of sounds that haunt with their indecipherable directions but always provide brilliant context to the melodies. This experience is still one of the best examples of dark synth done in a modern manner, while keeping true to the classic soul of 80s synth horror soundtracks.

A running theme throughout the Power Glove experience is the wholesale video game samples, entire refrains of back ground music, replete with sound effects, making for even more surprises from left field that add even more entertainment value. While the previous tracks stick somewhat of a similar thematic the last track is more of a departure as Fantastic Lover (Johnny Moog Remix) takes sleazily fuzzed up funk to the dirtiest of dimensions as the vocal intimates raucous smutty ribaldry. The music is always pushing deeper and deeper into the nether regions and ends up collapsing into an after glow of sweaty satisfaction.

Power Glove presents EP 1 on their Bandcamp page here and is a must-have piece of 80s inspired synth history. If you've not had the pleasure of these experiences previously I can't recommend it enough, and if you have had the pleasure before I recommend revisiting these tracks, for the first time available in uncompressed FLAC format, all over again. To keep on top of future Power Glove experiences be sure to follow them on soundcloud here and like the hell out of them on Facebook here.

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