Saturday, June 29, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another massive week in the scene and yet another stellar compilation has been released, making four, yes FOUR incredible 80s inspired synth compilations released in the last six weeks. I can't help but think these would've made more impact is there was a bit more time between them, but there's no rule that people have to enjoy them right now and I'll have the links to them off in the right hand side column for at least the rest of 2013.

This latest compilation is OutRun Europa and it's a smorgasbord of the best talent in 80s synth that Europe dares to assemble. The big names come as thick and fast with a star studded array of producers  including Plaisance, Garth Knight, Vincenzo Salvia, Quixotic, Photosynthesi, Alpha Boy, Les Chic Voltage and New Arcades amongst the starting grid. It's a spectacular ride that traverses many genres and inspirations but the racing thematic links everything together magnificently. OutRun Europa is most certainly one of the big highlights of the June 2013 release schedule and you can pick your own copy up through the OutRun Europa Bandcamp page here.

Now, lets getting rockin the new Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM!

First up is a brand new track from one of the most exciting talents in the scene, Sunglasses Kid with his new synth romance opus 'Pretty Girl'. This producer is right up there with the best talent in the scene, his incredible consistency and gift for making authentically emotional 80s melodies is astounding. This new track is definitely one of his most polished thus far and is must-own.

Dallas Campbell has been an active member of the 80s inspired synth scene for quite a while but I do believe this is the first time I've had the pleasure of sharing his music on Synthetix.FM. His new experience, inventively titled 'Miami's Squarest Grouper' is full of exciting passages and melodies, the ambiance crosses a 70s and 80s flavour with  some disco/prog love thrown in the mix too. The end result works exceedingly well and has a delightfully individual personality. Currently available for FREE download too.

One of my absolute favourite releases this past week, and one that's sure to figure in my favourite music of 2013 is the new double A side release from Kristine. '(We Used To Listen To The) Radio' and 'Wild Heart' are beautifully crafted experiences containing the pure essence of 80s love cascading through the music while Kristine's sultry vocal performance really shows just why she's the leading vocal talent in scene. Both songs are superb, but 'Wild Heart' is definitely my favourite of the two, be sure to click through to the iTunes Store in the player and add these two sparkling gems to your music library as soon as you can.

Sternrekorder keeps on truckin' with new tracks surfacing with a welcome regularity of late. 'Seeburg' is a new experience shared this past week and it's once again a perfect of example of the Sternrekorder magic. His music is so full of wonder, containing such a rich synthcerity to the sounds and melodies. 'Seeburg' is yet another journey into wonderful lands created in Sternrekorders imagination.

Finding himself in a crossover point between 70s disco and 80s synth is Rutger Megahertz who arrives blazing onto the dance floor with his latest work 'Silver Tongue'. The music sits astride both decade's style with perfect balance as disco melodies dance alongside electro synth basslines. The narrative is full of excitement and groove laden passages and always rockin to the max. Currently available for FREE download.

A new EP preview from DreamWave Dave popped up this week and grabbed my attention instantly. In Your Dreams promises some powerful and engaging new sounds from this producer, even these tiny snippets allude to greater things. This five track affair is set for release in Summer 2013, but no further clarity for a date has yet been shared.

Evanton keep on rockin and their new release, Bliss, is full of their high energy signature electro italo sounds. The soundscapes created by this duo are evolving with each new adventure and this new extended EP is one of the finest examples of their sounds thus far. There is a new delicate dimension to their ambience that filters through the tracks, adding more subtlety and detail which in turn gives the throbbing basslines and high drama melodies a much needed contrast. The instruments have definitely been given and extra layer of polish and the mix seems blended more efficiently than previous Evanton releases which on occasion have sometimes felt abrasive. This latest evolution of the Evanton sound is definitely my favourite thus far and with stand out tracks like 'Disco Fox', 'Love In Rimini' and 'Happy Together' on Bliss I find the future prospects for Evanton very exciting indeed. Pick up a copy of Bliss on Evanton's Bandcamp page here and rock it.

A new producer, to my knowledge, on the scene is Neon Vandal. His new release 'Vector Dreamz' is a smoothly undulating ride into the night. The melodies are set to a slow burn and build to a point where the lead synths explode with much incandescence. The production feels a little undercooked, but that may be the aesthetic Neon Vandal is going for. I expect to cover more Neon Vandal action in the future on Synthetix.FM.

The rockin duo that is Cougar Synth shared another kick arse good time this week with their new synthsational track 'Can't Touch My Sneakers'. The Cougar Synth sound is really forming into something special over the last few releases and I feel like they've reached a new high point with his new track. The narrative is rich and energetic and the soundscape lights up with vivid colours. This is currently available for FREE download, so be sure to grab it ASAP.

RF.Extreme is another producer who's soundscapes are evolving with each new release and 'Neon Night Lights' is no exception. This hypnotically fabricated track is full of mystery and drama with some really spectacular  percussive work through the back end. I think this is the darkest we've heard from RF. Extreme and it's complimented by another shadowed experience released this week titled 'Gforced', which he also posted to his soundcloud here.

After a month since his last track, 'Golden Fox', Run Vaylor is back with his progressive synth sounds and a new epic 'Saturn V'. The music is arranged with a decidedly modern flavour but the melodies and soundscapes are full of vintage spectacle. There is something about the lead melody I find massively familiar but I can't put my finger on it, irregardless this tune really rocks hard and is totally kick arse.

A producer I came across this week whom I know next to nothing about, apart from that his music is totally k-rad is the enigmatically titled Franky Boner. For those unaware I do the the Synth Erotica blog, where I share soundtracks from 80s porno movies that are synth based, I've not found time to update it recently, but I hope to again eventually. The reason I mention this is the Franky Boner experience appears to be directly tied into feature adult entertainment from what I can gather from the track titles and the music itself. This is high energy euro disco synth that was most prolific in the Marc Dorcel adult productions of the late 80s which is full of catchy melodies, orchestral stabs and sensationally sensual passages. The seven tracks are all written exceptionally well and arranged for maximum excitement, but retain individual personalities between each track. Modern elements are sometimes incorporated, and even some industrial tinged aesthetics but the overall experience is totally 80s and non stop rockin. It's unfortunate this EP isn't available for download or purchase, but hopefully that will change in the future, and I'll be sure to be rockin more the Franky Boner experience on Synthetix.FM at a later date.

Our final track for this week's Weekend Update is a spectacular new adventure in electro rockin breaks from the one and only Mitch Murder. 'Breakazoid' finds Mitch Murder turning up  the fun to maximum volume with authentic electro melodies fused with the inimitable Mitch Magic, giving the synthscape a layer of glossy brilliance. My favourite Mitch Murder experiences are his funkier electro ones and this is right up there with the best of them. This is THE track to be heard blasting out of your ghettoblaster on every suburban street corner this week.

That does us for another week on Synthetix.FM. I'll be back with more good times and great rock'n'roll during the week, be sure to check in with the Synthetix.FM Facebook page for more synth action at odd times throughout the week too. 'Till then stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pixel Passions Get You Arcade High

Arcade High has always had a individualised sound; a mixture of 80s synth and ChipTune sounds that  compliment each other in perfect balance. This signature is, surprisingly, very uncommon, but in being so individual it makes the Arcade High experience instantly recognisable. Making this balance capture the listener's imagination is an art that this producer has made work spectacularly well with his new album Pixel Passion.

Last year's Beauty Queen from Arcade High (reviewed on Synthetix.FM here) was one of 2012's highlights. Its beautifully crafted synth romance was much more strictly 80s influence and eschewed much of the ChipTune soundscapes that his previous release, Art Of Youth was driven by. Pixel Passions takes the tones of both and finds a meeting point where emotion and passion meet digital evolution and the results are warm, uplifting and full of inspiration.

I can't stress enough just how well the balance between ChipTune elements and classic 80s synth work together on this record. Every track contains both styles but they're never in competition with each other and instead form a harmonious atmosphere. The opening introductory and title track personifies this. I'm sometimes reminded of Japanese bands like Capsule through this piece with its sweetly joyous melodies and looped vocals. This is a great part of the magic of this album in general in that the ChipTune pieces are never harsh or abrasive, as often ChipTune music can be. Instead a warmth and lightness has been refined through the 8 and 16bit sounds that allow them to feel more organic and in symbiosis with the more robust synth sounds.

Of course the melodies Arcade High composes are what makes these instruments sing with such a candy coated gloss. 'One Year Ago' takes a decidedly 8bit lead melody and weaves lustrous 80s tones through the music with the gentleness of a pink cumulus adrift in lavender skies. This lushly coloured and dreamy texture is continued into 'High Score Summer' as the glows become brighter and the melodies as full of inspiration, taking the sounds ever onward to victory.

Pixel Passion takes an interesting turn with  track four, 'Without You' featuring the vocals of Hannah Edwards. The off kilter nature of this piece with it's fragile arrangements and heartfelt lyrics take the Arcade High sound into much more modern atmospheres. The music feels very close and intimates to the listener directly, but retains a supremely poppy quality that turns hearts neon and tears to stars.

Shattering the intimations of the'Without You' is 'Outrun This!' which finds Arcade High opening up the throttle on and blasting full force into high energy OutRun with a devil may care attitude and a thirst for velocity. The ChipTune elements are used spectacularly well, with the synth powered engine being directly injected by 8bit samples for pure sounds of speed.

Introspective and intimate sounds return in the aptly titled 'A Moment Of Clarity' which strips things back to a similar thematic to the opening title track be devoid of vocals. Melodies are bubbling and bright, coloured with pastel palette and deliver a whimsical softness that is very engaging. The next song, 'Running To You' brings the romance back to Pixel Passions with it's yearning robotic refrains baring their digital soul through the hazy synthscapes.

I think the most Capsule-esque track on the album is the dangerously catchy 'Up Down Left Right'. An experience which takes most of the Konami code and turns it into a chopped up synth pop extravaganza. It takes a strong will to resist this track's infectious nature, and even the most stalwart will hear the echoes of those directional commands long after the music has ended.

This leads the album into the darker parts of the Arcade High manifesto in the piece 'Night Of The Genesis'. I wouldn't call this dark synth, but it's colours are definitely casting pronounced shadows. Rhythms are rife with danger and adventure while the lead synths are restrained and introspective, providing delightful contrast to the other tracks on the album. I think this piece may have had more contextual impact if placed more towards the middle of the album, but that's just my own feelings.

Finishing off the album is another text book Arcade High synth romance track entitled 'Look Into My Eyes'. The glowing positivity of this track would warm even the coldest heart and rekindle many a romantic flame. Once again Arcade High manages to make ChipTune melodies intimately delightful, without a trace of coarseness. The final seconds of this track dissipate into the ether like the sun just dipping below the horizon, the light fading but the warmth still felt within.

This new outing from Arcade High does a great deal to solidify this producer's individuality and relevance; his sounds feel matured and contain a genuine honesty in each track. It does feel on occasion that some pieces feel older, or newer, than others due to diverse nature but whether this is true or not is moot as the overall experience takes the listener through so much variety while staying true to the Arcade High sound.

Arcade High's Pixel Passion is presented by Telefuture Records on their Bandcamp page here, and I must mention the incredibly rockin limited edition NES Cartridge packaging currently available, but this may have sold out by the time you're reading this. It's this amount of care and love that goes not only into the presentation but into every track on Pixel Passion. I think Arcade High really put a lot himself into this release and I hope he continues to make such a personal investment in his music. Synthetix.FM very highly recommends this album as its genuinely an experience unlike anything else in the scene and that alone should be supported and encouraged by all devotees of 80s inspired synth music.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blood Sport 2092: A Battlefield Of The Future As Told By Arc Neon

The build up to this new release from Arc Neon seems to have been going on for an immeasurable amount of time. The teasers and previews have worked brilliantly to make my interest rise to fever pitch levels in anticipation. Bloodsport 2092 has finally arrived and it's certainly been worth the wait. The most intriguing aspect of this release, from my perspective, was going to be the story Arc Neon was going to weave into this thematic of future-death-sports.

I'd absolutely loved what they did with their Night Heat: Original Soundtrack release (reviewed previously on Synthetix.FM here) in regards to the way the narrative drove the music, and it pleases me greatly that Bloodsport 2092 continues this deep, scenario-based experience.

Blood Sport 2092 is heavily influenced by classic cinema such as Deathsport and The Running Man with a futuristic backdrop hiding a gladiatorial competition that is used by the powers that be to wield power over the masses. The stench of corruption mixes with the spilled blood while the anguish of a lone individual is drowned out by the screams of the clamouring audience. 'Welcome To Blood Sport 2092'.

In one of my favourite introductions this year the scene is set to perfection and when the lead melody drops I can see the flash steel and mortal sacrifice before my very eyes. The Arc Neon sound has definitely taken on some new sheen in this release as tones are noticeably more polished and contain a dynamic energy the conveys the action of the subject matter with aplomb. This opening piece sets up an epic stage of good versus evil and the loss of humanity with lightning fast stabbing synthplay and a crucial ferocity, painting a visceral soundscape in angered colours.

The desolation and cruelty is set aside in the second act as a much brighter and positive atmosphere takes us from the battlefield to the training montage. 'The Faster You Move, The Longer You Live' is the perfect uplifting and revitalising soundtrack to restore faith and personal belief before the inevitability of combat arrives. The melodies are rich and vibrant, full of inspirational flourishes and an air of victory beckoning against insurmountable odds. This track would end with a wink and a thumbs up if that was musically possible.

Taking the challenge to the violence of Blood Sport itself is next chapter 'Rapely's Revenge'. This powerfully forged composition has a deliberate nature to it that marches into the face of adversity with the hearts of millions behind the force of one. A double cross in the fields of desolation finds a battle of good versus evil that spans eons and destinies. The eternal struggle becomes embroiled in a race against time with synths slicing through the air and drums shaking the earth with quake force resonance.

From small glimpses of a different future the heroes begin the destruction of the corporation responsible for the deaths of many in the Blood Sport arenas. Jubilant synth melodies ascend to righteous aspirations with glorious timbre and a single minded focus for justice. The energy is combustible and invigorating while the curtains of deceit are torn asunder, exposing the illicit corruption all the way to the top. The Blood Sport era has ended and the souls lost to this violent chapter of the future's history shall be revered.

This reverence is crystallised in the aptly titled 'Remembering Past Winners' which is a hugely climactic experience. I feel like the entire story builds to this chapter and all the previous tracks are there to provide the context for this incredible piece. Melodically rich in emotionally powerful refrains, the manner in which this track is arranged and layered is majestic to behold and beyond legendary in scale.

The final chapter of the story is the beautifully rendered reminiscence 'Vathek (2085's Champion)'. A return to glory after the ultimate sacrifice, a torch lit for the past that flickers with a hope of a better tomorrow. Poignantly constructed with an air of melancholy, synths are respectful and harmonious with an elegance that finishes the Blood Sport saga beautifully.

Included in this release is a re-envisioning of Remembering Past Heroes by Alpha Boy who has spun a spell of retro alchemy over the track to give a thoroughly worn out and analogue tape recording appearance. This is adds a delightful element of vintage intrigue to the performance as it does indeed sound like it was recorded on poor quality tape and subject to thirty years of mistreatment, sounding like the only existing document of a time past forgotten by the present.

Arc Neon have really made the perfect soundtrack to the subject matter they've explored in Blood Sport 2092. The pieces here are arranged and performed with a strong narrative that ties the elements into one complete experience. The music is full of quality 80s elements, but is rarely in the genre of Soundtrack Synth. Instead these pieces describe emotions and actions with aural energies more befitting of the context and move from dramatic Synth Wave into fast paced OutRun; sometimes through darker territory along the way. This release feels very complete and constructed with an eye (or ear in this case) for detail and I am very pleased that the wait for this most definitely paid off.

Arc Neon presents Blood Sport 2092 on their Bandcamp page here, it is also available in strict amounts as a limited edition cassette but these won't last long. Synthetix.FM wholeheartedly recommends the Blood Sport 2092 experience as from beginning to end the magic Arc Neon imparts into each track creates an aural motion picture experience full of action, excitement and triumphant human spirit.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Welcome to another Weekend Update! I've added another new facet to your Synthetix.FM experience and made a new 'fan' or 'like' page for Synthetix.FM on Facebook, to accompany the main site and also the Synthetix Facebook Community page.

This new page is going to be a place I can post all the things I'd like to cover but don't really have a place for on here. Things like news from the scene, announcements of new projects or releases, videos, special editions of physical releases and really anything else that comes my way that doesn't fit the criteria for a fully fledged post on here.

The Weekend Updates have become very large and I think some of the content I'm currently posting in here would be better suited to get it's own little post on the Facebook page. This also means, if you Like the page, that you'll be informed at more regular intervals of what's happening in the scene as opposed to the larger prestige format reviews I post a couple of times a week and then the Weekend Update.

I've been considering doing this for a while now and I believe this is a positive step forward as the scene grows and the amount of music being produced increases. I figure this is a good option for a 'news feed' style delivery while the more focused and in-depth content appears here.

So please Like the new page, it's linked directly off here on the right hand side column, and I hope this new layer of the Synthetix.FM experience is beneficial to you.

Let's open up the Weekend Update with a double shot from one of the more prolific producers in the scene LA Dreams. His ever expanding body of work is taken on some new directions of late, especially with the very dark and minimalist piece 'One Way Out' which he published this week. This is part 1 of an extended experienced called 'Back Off' and gives us a glimpse at LA Dreams' experimental side. Definitely a welcome change of pace and mood from this producer and ignites many new possibilities.

Another new LA Dreams track surfaced under the title of 'Fem Le Glam'.  Sharing a darker atmosphere with 'One Way Out' there is much more contrasted brightness in this piece's main melodies and the LA Dream's trademark magic melodies are allowed to whisper beautifully throughout. Full of romantic drama and sublime instrumentation this is yet another LA Dreams classic.

Lost Years has brought us a demo for his new track 'Ghost'. Edging into some supernatural Mike Oldfield style cinematic giallo disco this haunting piece is already delivering thrills and chills.  Melodies are haunting and mesmerising, with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue in the atmosphere.

One of the most rockin bits of news this week was the triumphant return of 80s inspired synth scene legend Noir Deco. This highly regarded producer was one of the first-wave of 80s revisionists and his previous Nemesis Collision record and other works are all superbly crafted experiences. This new track teases a great deal, but more importantly it means this talented artist still has the 80s love and inspiration. If you're new to Noir Deco please be sure to check out his soundcloud page here and give him some well deserved love.

Electric Disection is definitely upping his productivity of late and this week has seen the release of two new tracks. 'Laserbeam Romance' can be found on his soundcloud here and I chose to cover 'Dark Haired Beauty'. This piece is has a wonderfully authentic 80s atmosphere and the narrative is very engaging as drama unfolds but hope remains vigilant. Currently available for FREE download (as is 'Laserbeam Romance').

Rising star in the synth scene, Gina Calabrese shared another great track this week with 'Nobody Lives Forever'. The delicate soundscape positively sparkles with 80s magic as the instruments layer in in smoothly undulating waves. This track has an entirely different personality to her previously released 'Shadow In The Dark' and provides an endearing contrast in sounds and emotions.

There's no stopping the rockin machine that is Dreamwave Dave. His new track 'Starfighter (Mastered Version)' really shows why this producer rocks so damned hard. Frenetically paced and delightfully arranged the Starfighter launches into the cosmos with adventure on his mind and a dream in his heart.

Although not released this week, Dr Pecco's Crystal Eyes And Diamond Tails EP is definitely one that you should give some love to. This four track EP was written as a soundtrack to the video 'Undercover Predator', which is available for your perusal here and takes the Dr Pecco sound into more atmospheric dimensions.  There still beats a soul of chaotic giallo disco in the later chapters of the EP but this release does display Dr Pecco's talent for creating atmospheres and emotions through more diverse styles. Dr Pecco has stated the production of this soundtrack was slightly rushed to meet a deadline but the overall package still stands up as lucid aural accompaniment to the 'Undercover Predator' video and is definitely worth adding to your music library.

Coming up this week is the next rockin album from the irrepressible Arcade High. Pixel Passion promises to take this 80s producer into all new realms of creativity as his video game oriented 80s synth music grows and evolves. Due out on the 24th of June (tomorrow!) this should be a spectacular adventure as the preview sampler displays many new ideas and exciting sounds in the the Arcade High experience.

New music from Nightdrive was shared this week with a new work-in-progress 'Full Moon'. The atmosphere is rich with promise as the melodies drift in over the horizon. The relaxed pace is very conducive to the melody structures and I'm hoping that the ideas hinted at in this early stage are expanded upon more. I can envision this being a five minute epic, but only Nightdrive knows where this journey is going.

Mild Peril's debut EP has been out for a while but my interest was renewed in it this week with his promotion of a preview track shared on soundcloud. The EP is broken down into three chapters with highly individualised pieces making up the experience. Music is full of 80s synth love that moves in and out different energies and colours, with sharply written passages full of colourful new sounds. One might think from the presentation that this is a soundtrack oriented release but the tempos are set high and modern arrangements complement the 80s elements very well indeed.

I want to make it official that I have a love/hate relationship with Jowie Schulner. Over the years this producer has made some of the most stunning pieces of synth romance I'm yet to hear but these works are rarely shared in a finalised form. My long running unrequited love affair with his beyond incredible track 'Friends Forever' is a constant reminder to me of what he's capable of and now with his new preview for 'Summer Heat' those old feelings are coming back again. I just can't help but fall in love with gorgeous melody that instantly captures your heart. But I know, I shouldn't get too attached as I've been burned before by Jowie's infections synth romance.. I should just resign myself to the heartbreak and enjoy what I can while I can cause this track is totally k-rad to the max.

The final item for this week's Weekend Update is a rockin new video that Dark Energy Discoveries has cut for his 'Beyond The Ashes' track. The wonderful source material from the classic Neverending Story movie he has made the perfect visual accompaniment for this song. The emotional vocals and deep melodies take on new life and drama. Although I'm sure the vocal styles will polarise some listeners one must give credit where it's due for this imaginative combination of contrasting soundscapes.

That does us for this week's Weekend Update. I'll be posting throughout the week to the Synthetix.FM Facebook page and will be reviewing the new Arc Neon and Arcade High records during the week on here. I hope these new changes enhance your Synthetix.FM experience and I look forward to sharing more good times and great rock'n'roll with you soon. 'Till then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Batch Sound Takes Out The Psykotrash

The latest release from Future City Records is a massively surprising and entertaining record from Italy's Batch Sound. My initial impressions were that this album was going to be an 80s electro themed excursion, especially based on the Batch Sound singles I'd heard previously. But much to my surprise this album took things in hugely varied directions that weave a musical tapestry of bright colours and many moods; all the while retaining a totally authentic 80s presentation.

The opening tracks, 'Psykotrash' and 'Automachine XOVOM' are high energy electro breaking opuses that deliver high speed thrills with classically layered sound effects and magnificent vocal/sample work.  The authenticity of the production is totally invigorating, each elements sounds dialled in directly from 1984 and is composed in a manner that remains absolutely true to the style of the day.

There is a bridging piece on this record that occurs in track three. 'The Chimpanzee Dance' is a tremendously entertaining novelty track that is driven by a range of samples that present a cacophony bleeping melodies, digitised voices and excited sounds from the animal kingdom. This piece is held together by a melody that is much more pop than electro based, all the while the electro percussion blasts away in the engine room. It's this melody that takes us from one genre into new territories, the wild electro safari completes with a slight hint of drama that is then expounded upon in the fourth act.

'Night Rust' is the track that changes everything I thought I knew about Batch Sound. The scene opens amid a sirens wail followed by crunching guitars. All of sudden we're dropped in the middle of an urban panic; full of energy and driving melodies. The soundscape explodes into an incendiary OutRun experience that leaves a ruinous trail of fire and smoke in it's wake. The build throughout this track is superb, the narrative runs deep and it's many smaller passages make for a densely intense story.

Taking even more of a departure from the familiar cues of the earlier tracks comes the highly enigmatic 'Poison Sunday'. This darker toned soundtrack synth piece contains a few elements of horror, and numerous influences from the likes of soundtrack composers like Goblin, but it's structure displays the range of musical emotions Batch Sound are capable of capturing. The music builds with a methodic slowness, adding layers and flourishes in their own time and allowing this track to build to a climax full of powerful synths and thunderous guitars.

As if this wasn't divergent enough chapter six of Psykotrash brings back some their electro sounds and then injects a colourful dose of italo disco into the mix for spectacular results. 'Regatta 666' feels like Plaisance on electro shock therapy as the smoothly seductive synth melodies are punctured by sharp sample stabs and the Regatta 666 refrain. It's a mix that Batch Sound weave their magic around in an inimitable fashion that works beautifully.

'Cartagena Rock' takes the listener into a jungle deep with drama as pan flute melodies get obliterated by huge drums and even bigger guitars. The pace is kept to a canter and the sounds flash over head in a neon lightning storm. Once again the structure of this piece is spectacularly arranged with passages that signify new threats and suspicions, while every melodic tone intimates the finest detail. Batch Sound's use of samples is really second to none in the 80s inspired synth scene. Each track has a range of sampled sound effects and the way they are implemented is perfectly authentic to the early 80s soundscapes where this type of element was fresh and exciting; which is exactly what Batch Sound's music is throughout this record.

By the time 'Crack-Cola' begins you become aware that this record is a freeform entity unto itself. The chaotic nature of this track especially really displays what Batch Sound are capable of with their mixing of a tonne of unrelated genres, samples and melodies and fabricating something that is thoroughly engaging and still completely authentic to the 80s in every way. Sitting back and enjoying the ride through such exotic and verdant scenery is definitely the best way to take this in.

Moving into the back end of Psykotrash the soundscape gets as minimalist as Batch Sound will allow on 'A Bickk Trick'. Delightful melodies quirk and jerk through bossa nova derived percussion into a bright odyssey full of cheerfulness and pitch perfect 80s naiveté. Completing the album is 'City lights Blues' which allows the soulfully cognisant guitars to wail a tale of sorrow and heartbreak amid the unforgiving concrete jungle. The moonlit synths and cloudy percussion set a poignant and delicate soundscape that is wholly entrancing and also finishes off the record on a sweetly high note as the melodic refrains fade out into the darkness.

This record is an incredible experience from beginning to end, it's the kind of album you can have on repeat for hours on end, as I have. The sheer amount of diversity without any weak links in the presentation all the way through Psykotrash creates an experience unlike any other in the 80s inspired synth scene. It's a testament to this duo's talent that every single track hooks the listener and takes them into so many different worlds and emotions, while still retaining individual hallmarks in their soundscapes.

Batch Sound's Psykotrash album is presented by Future City Records on their Bandcamp page here and ,  to put it simply, I can't recommend this album highly enough. The originality of Batch Sound's music while still being so authentic is something uncommon in the scene. These producers deserve much respect as it's very obvious they've refined their sound over time and have created something spectacular in this album. I can guarantee you won't hear an album from anyone else that sounds anything like Psykotrash so please support this totally rockin duo buy purchasing this record and give them some more love on their Facebook page here for more kick arse Batch Sound action.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. I've been on a little break and have now returned with more rockin good times from the world where the 80s still rules.

There are going to be some minor changes to the updates from now on. Due the massive, and growing, amount of music being released I've had to make a decision about whether I try to cover absolutely everything relevant or whether I focus more on the music that stands out from the pack. The latter has been my choice as this site is always going to be a quality over quantity affair. When I review an EP or an album I want it to be the full Synthetix Experience and the only way I could cover more music is to radically change how I write about the music I review and that's something I don't really want to entertain.

This will result in a slight restructuring as my weekly reviews are going to be at the most two per week and the Weekend Updates will be subject to more filtering. Some EPs are also going to be covered in the Weekend Updates but the focus of them will still be giving a priority to rockin new producers on the scene. I want to make Synthetix.FM 100% reflective of the best of the 80s inspired synth scene and I hope this new formula makes the Synthetix Experience and even more refined and relevant to my readers.

Without further ado let's get rockin with your brand new Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM!

Professor Zonic Zynth keeps on teasing his radical new tunes primarily through his YouTube channel but he seems to be coming around to letting his adoring fans now own some of his music legitimately. His recent piece 'Speedin' Bully' is purely golden Zonic Zynth magic with the melodies and production are glowing with 80s authenticity. This is available to buy on his Bandcamp page through the link in the player and be sure to check out 'Ashley's Theme', which the Professor has also made available for purchase.

Some seriously radical sounds from Dreamwave Dave now and his new track 'Temp: Mastered Version' which I'm assuming is a 'work in progress' title. This producer loves pushing new ideas and his music into new directions, with this track we find more of a distilling of his sounds into a huge elements that remain uncomplicated but full of 80s brilliance.

Mulperi is back and rockin the scene with his very impressive new experience 'Rainbow In The Night'. The delicate formations of this composition are orchestrated to perfection with warm of each melody casting mesmerising spells over the listener. This gentle and thoughtful tracks displays a great deal of growth and refinement in Mulperi's music.

Nowtro is new producer introduced to me by Synthetix faithful Craig Packman and I'm very happy he did. Nowtro's latest track 'Neon Marathon' has absolutely glorious melodies and a structure that delights in every second of it's duration. The music is augmented by a slight modernity but this just emphasises the 80s magic of the piece even more. A superb track from this rockin new producer.

It's always a red-letter-day when there's a new Amazing Police track shared to soundcloud and 'Feel That Promise' exemplifies why this producer is one of the most exciting on the scene. The Amazing Police sound pushes a dreamy synthwave vibrancy while the soundscape becomes punctuated by exciting and unpredictable passages. Totally rockin in every way imaginable.

One producers who's sounds are always right on point for authenticity is Palisded and her new EP VHS Dreams gives an insight into the creative mind of this producers 80s sounds. The production lends itself to the bleakness of the tracks making a Cold War era electro synth atmosphere drive the melodies and emotions. Each track has an 80s minimalism to it which makes the elements very pronounced and allows Palisded to create emotional vistas that remain succinct throughout. 'Midnight Madness' is definitely one of the stand out tracks on this release with it's early 80s grimness contrasted by the high energy percussion. Unfortunately this EP isn't  available for purchase until the 7th of October when it will be up on iTunes, Juno and Beatport but I'll be sure to mention this release again when it's finally out. Until then these beautiful sounds will have to suffice on soundcloud in their full form although 'Midnight Madness' is currently available for FREE download.

'Pulse 80' is a new producer of rockin 80s sounds from Russia and he's proving to be a very exciting talent. His soundcloud has numerous 80s inspired pieces well worth spending some time with while his new track 'Midnight Escort' finds him in a more ambient and soundtrack themed space. For only being two minutes long this track certainly packs in a great deal. Its the kind of piece you could imagine taking five minutes plus to fully realise it's potential but even in this short, possibly work-in-progress for it's stunning to behold.

Poko Cox keeps on rockin hard with his latest song 'Electricity'. This artist continues to develop his own sound space with a personality all it's own and this song is possibly his strongest yet. High energy rhythms and vastly entertaining instrumentations really push the Rad Meter into the danger zone. This song is off his forthcoming Beginning EP which I'm champing at the bit to experience.

Gina Calabrese is a totally rockin new producer making emotional charged 80s inspired synth. Her new track 'Shadow In The Dark' brings to mind an ethereal romantic soundtrack which follows a lush path of emotional passages. The melodic refrain in this track combined with the haunting ambience makes for a wonderfully intimate soundscape. Loaded with melodic synthcerity 'Shadow In The Dark' is one delightful journey.

Sternrekorder's back with more golden tones of classic 80s synth in his new experience which is, I think a live jam he's recorded and shared. I'm always in rapturous love with the way Sternrekorder fabricates his pieces and to hear this magic in live session is totally k-rad to the max. The narrative is rich and full of surprises, which is to always be expected with this fine producer.

More hot new producer's keep making the scene and Steel Sky definitely knows how to make totally rockin 80s synth gold. His latest track entitled 'Mirage' is a pounding anthem with smoothly constructed melodies and a soundscape that forms majestically from glowing remnants of civilisations past and futures yet to be told. Many thanks to Lothar Poeller for enlightening me to this kick arse new producer.

One of the most exciting things to happen in the 80s inspired synth scene over the last few weeks was the return of early synthwave pioneer D/A/D. I've been a huge fan of this composer's sounds over the years and his triumphant return is to be applauded. His latest piece, 'Orion Beach' is absolutely beautiful from it's synth melodies to it's shredding guitars. This artist has always had a insightful understanding of how to make the 80s rock and it warms my heart to get to experience new musical frontiers from the imagination of Day After Discovery.

The long build up to the release of Arc Neon's next opus is almost over. To tease this release even further is this totally rockin new and heavily stylised preview for 'Blood Sport 2092. Arc Neon's new work has an incredibly detailled thematic they've built around the experience which is sure to provide us with huge amounts of thrills and excitement.

To finish of this Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM we have a spectacular new compilation from the rockers at New Retro Wave. This release is packed with incredible new tracks from the scenes most kick arse producers including Rain Sword, MegaDrive, Starforce, Perturbator, Highway Superstar, Silenx, Mulitpac (!!!) and many, many more. This is a must-own release and is definitely one of the best compilation releases of 2013. All this rockin action and it's FREE!! Get on it and rock it ASAP!

That wraps up this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. I'll be back with some more killer tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene during the week ahead. Until then, as always, stay 80s and keep on rockin!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Perturbator Becomes The Sexualizer

Perturbator continues to go from strength to strength in his musical creations. Following on from his Nocturne City EP from last year (reviewed here on Synthetix.FM) he's since ventured into providing sounds for the Hotline Miami video game. His tunes on this game's soundtrack has most certainly given Perturbator a much wider audience, and his name has since become synonymous with the synthwave scene as an iconic producer and has lent his talents to numerous releases from other producers over the last six months.

With his latest EP the Perturbator experience has been seriously kicked up a few notches. Perturbator's collaborative works with others have always been spectacular affairs and this has been taken into all new realms of pleasure and engagement throughout Sexualizer's chapters. The progression of his songwriting techniques are undeniable and his use of narrative throughout Sexualizer is stunning to experience.

The plot of Sexualizer delves into the world of Jimmy, a porn star who's drug addictions lead to acts of violence and ends in a collapse of mind and body that brings in ideas of manipulation by higher powers. The story begins at the end with the staggering opening chapter entitled 'Meet Jimmy'

After Jimmy's mental breakdown and institutionalisation the story is retold from broken shores of fractured insanity. Adam McNab of Le Cassette fame provides one of the most wonderful vocal performances I'm yet to hear from this modern age of 80s inspired music. The tortured lyrics soar in a stylistic combination of Tony Hadley and Iva Davies but with the McNab soul reverberating through each syllable. 'Meet Jimmy' is a scenic synthscape into a mind trying to piece things together but the rawness of emotions make each chord's tender nuances actualise with ever greater impact. Sweeping melodies are delicately infused with poignancy that reflects the emotive vocals in deep, limpid pools.

The high energy of the previous high life begins in the second chapter, the title track, 'Sexualizer'. The usual darkness of Perturbator's high energy synth sounds aims at a brighter and more vibrant texture this time round. There is most certainly elements of drama through the action but the crispness of the melodies provide a genuinely uplifting feeling, totally befitting this part of the story. Enlisting the always rockin Flash Arnold on this track has given the scene a salaciously seamy rock-edge which completes this experience in an exemplary manner.

Things move into more of stark panic in track three 'Angel Dust'. The rapid pace of heightened amphetamine madness is pumps with a furious vigour. This chapter moves into dreamlike state midway through that brings to mind much of the what is and isn't reality plot before charging into the opening refrain with renewed energy and purpose.

'Miami Disco' (previously heard on the Hotline Miami soundtrack') is the fourth chapter of Sexualiser and it brings in an all new context to it's existence in this release. Sounds of exotic nightlife and untold sexual pleasures flash in freeze framed moments as reality strobes in and out. The fantasy of Jimmy's life becomes blur of between lucidity and hallucination. Melodies are again uplifting and beautifully arranged while the bassline hints at more sinister elements at play.

The final act of Sexualizer is 'Perverted Precinct' is another collaborative piece with additional synths provided by the ever wonderful Tommy. This final track takes the final breakdown and incarceration of Jimmy to it's penultimate climax. The slow paced syncopated rhythm section allows to the synth leads to take off into new dimensions with brilliant colours contrasting the bleak surrounds. Definitely the most introspective piece on the EP, the music explores more intimate machinations of Jimmy's existence. The underlying tenderness of the man he used to be is contrasted by complete hopelessness of his situation. The man is broken, but a faint memory glimmers through the shimmering synths like a flickering flame that could be snuffed out at any second or conversely set a powder keg to explode.

Throughout the Sexualizer EP the songwriting and attention to detail is what has really struck a key with me. Perturbator's dimensional qualities have multiplied in this release, each track feels massive and full of ideas and energies, but these elements change and develop within each track in a way I've not experienced previously in his other releases. Once again the collaborative works on here are really spectacular. As I've said many times before, the artists who work together with other producers and refine their sounds by learning from each other is what will make for the more enriching experiences in the 80s inspired synth scene, which certainly evident throughout Sexualizer.

The Perturbator sound is still evolving with each new release, where previous experiences were most certainly dark by design, Sexualizer removes that darkness and replaces it with new directions, while still remaining loyal the integrity of this overtly dark story. He has once again proven why he is one of the most exciting producers in the scene and with his new experiments and inspirations it feels like the road ahead of Perturbator is an ever expanding horizon of possibilities.

The Sexualizer EP is presented on Aphasia Records' Bandcamp page here at a name-your-own-price point. These five tracks are all must-have experiences for any devotee of quality 80s synth sounds but 'Meet Jimmy' on it's own is one of the single most beautiful pieces of 80s inspired music created thus far. I can't recommend this release highly enough, just for this one song, but with the other four very impressive experiences also included I'd be remiss to not recommend this marvellous EP as highly as possible as a Synthetix Reference Experience.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another totally kick arse compilation has been released to celebrate the first anniversary of Telefuture Records. This label has been instrumental in bringing to light many talented producers in the last year including scene favourites like Garth Knight, Makeup & Vanity, Le Cassette, Collins, Arcade High and Rolly Mingwald, amongst others.

One: A Telefuture Compilation presents all new tracks from these artists and many more at a 'name-your-own-price' point on their Bandcamp page here. Make sure you grab a copy and support this fantastic label.

Now, let's rock the latest Synthetix Weekend Update!

First up is a totally killer new track from Final DJ's. 'Flash In The Night' is a return to the classic 80s synth sounds for this duo, flavoured with a modern dancefloor energy. This is one half of their latest EP, with the their piece 'Los Angeles' providing the other side. This FREE EP is available through the link the player, so get it switched on ASAP.

Foreign Blade is building the momentum for his new release Electric Dusk rapidly by sharing two tracks from it this week. 'Night Life' was my favourite of the two, but Crystal City is also very impressive. This smooth twilight synth piece is perfectly executed with an understated ambiance that is tremendously engaging. I'm definitely looking forward to the release of Electric Dusk, which is at this stage still un-dated.

Fantastisizer is back with a moody new morsel of synthtacular sounds with his latest 'The Dark Sun'. Minimalist in presentation but also full of character and personality I love the narrative that builds throughout this piece. It's thought provoking and delightfully introspective from beginning to end.

DigitalNativeDance is spreading his creative wings into some seriously sensual synthscapes with his latest experience 'Ocean Drive-Through'. The languid nature of this track is completely enthralling, time begins to slow and the sights and sounds of the seaside begin to permeate through. Sublimely orchestrated with every element working together in perfect symbiosis. This is currently available for FREE download currently.

Keeping on the same track, but moving into more urban surrounds is 'Take The D-Train' from the always rockin Amazing Police. Melodies are are vibrant and colourful against a buckled down funk bassline. The mid point break down and consequent rebuilding is absolutely k-rad to the max.

Another rocker who's got the funky flow this week is Rutger Megahertz and his teaser for a new track called 'Tension'. The sparse synthscape reverberates with sexual tensions and teasing glimpses. The experience is still to be fully realised, but this two minute teaser is still available for FREE download.

Time for some high energy synth pop and Sady K Diskostar's totally rockin new song 'Ich Bin Nicht Wie Du'. Even being in german language this song is full of nocturnal adventures and sensual promises with a huge percussion track and synths that soar majestically with the vocals. This is the first track from the upcoming album '1981', which I hope is going to be released soon.

The Boy & Sister Alma are back with a superb new rockin track 'Tom's Cruise'. This is one hell of a ride with a totally killer guitar track and, once again, a hugely catchy chorus. The songwriting is beautiful throughout this experience and displays a great knowledge of understanding what makes 80s style pop so wonderful. 'Tom's Cruise' is currently available for FREE download.

It's time to welcome Hemendex into the Synthetix.FM family with their new song 'Faith In War'. This band from Croatia do a radical mix of New Order and earlier UK synth pop styles, and also have an excellent message to their music. There's a lot to love about the Hemendex experience and I'll be sure to  be giving them lots more love on Synthetix.FM in the future. 'Faith In War' is also available for FREE download. Be sure to check out their other rockin tunes on soundcloud too.

Bending the concepts of reality ever so slightly is the new SPF5Ø track 'フェティッシュ' which loosely translates as 'Fetish'. This vampiric cacophony of synth sounds is accented by spoken word samples and I do believe an obscure Billy Idol sample. It's riveting all the way through and it's elements of ChipTune rawness add even more intrigue. Available for FREE download at this time

While we're in the twilight zone of 80s inspired synth it's a good time to take a trip to 'Golden Pond' with Toasters & Dreams. This unsettling piece swirls synths around pointed samples from the movie On Golden Pond, while percussive drama and flourishes from other parts of the cosmos complete the soundscape. It's an uncommon combination that Toasters & Dreams manages to pull off exceptionally well. Available for FREE download, also.

I must say, I do have a penchant for the odd bit of vaporwave. It's not a style I listen to a lot, but I find it provides a delightfully engaging alternate 80s dimension. Sgreyes has taken the vaporwave pill with his new track 'Provincial Fashion' and his hazy dreamlike loops make for an interesting adventure. Sounds obtain much more clarity than the usual vaporwave fare and this adds a much more defined and solid nature to the soundscape.  Stellar work, as always, from Sgreyes.

Taking the on-ramp to excitement is the rockin new track from RF.Extreme 'Speed Daze'. The powerhouse drum track compliments the slow motion rhythm melodies incredibly well, the experience is constructed with the right amount of questions and answers throughout the narrative. It's simplicity belies it's energy and that's what makes it rock so very hard.

We're already up to Version 4 of Lost Years new experience 'The Other Side Of You'. The last couple of revisions really expanded upon the initial ideas and through this current incarnation we're told a much deeper story. The Lost Years soundscape is always so precisely engineered, this piece really makes that pinpoint sharp dynamic of the Lost Years experience a priority.

A rare treat from Professor Zonic Zynth as he has shared his track 'Contact' as also being a FREE download. This producer is near the top of my short list of producers who I really think need to release a full album, which will hopefully occur sooner rather than later. Getting back to 'Contact' we're taken on much more ambient space themed excursion that hypnotises with it's melodic refrains and dazzles with it's otherworldliness.

Our final piece in this week's Weekend Update is a compendium of free tracks previously released by synth romance raconteur Rain Sword. This is a must-have release for all fans of quality 80s inspired synth music and goes a great way to solidify Rain Sword as one of the true artistes in the field. These eleven tracks  encompass many and varied genres of vintage sound and all are filled to overflowing with golden neon 80s magic. Pick this up through the player or click here to go directly to Rain Sword's  Bandcamp page.

That does us for another rockin Weekend Update. I'll be back during the week with more good times and great rock'n'roll but there won't be a Weekend Update next weekend, I'll be having some time away but will be back with more radical action the following week.

'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.