Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Highway Superstar Takes His Time And Reaps The Rewards

Highway Superstar had a huge 2013, finishing it off with his incredibly rich debut album Take My Time. This album came out just after Synthetix.FM finished up for 2013 but I believe this album is something important to evolution of the 80s inspired synth scene and is well deserving of the full Synthetix.FM treatment. Having had the luxury of being able to enjoy it for nearly two months has really brought out the nuances and how this album works so well as a full package.

The dominant trend in the scene is for singles and EP releases, however the full album experience is still untapped by most producers. I can see how daunting this must be and in today's fast-forward production mentality, few seem willing to dedicate the time necessary to create an album that will be important and valuable as a creative work. This trend is slowly changing, and I hope more artists devote their time and passion to full LP’s as the format allows for so much more exploration and reward for the listener over an EP.

It’s kind of serendipitous then that Highway Superstar’s debut album is titled Take My Time. This producer has taken his time to create a record that stands out in many respects from a lot of what is happening in 80s inspired synth music, this is greatly due to one element that Highway Superstar has built his sounds on and used to his ultimate strength. That element is songwriting. Each track on the album is crafted in a traditional songwriting manner, not just the tracks with vocals either. The sounds never feel like they’re tracked and automated but instead feel written and jammed out. The emphasis Highway Superstar puts on hooks and catchy choruses is to be applauded as it’s this consistency which elevates Take My Time to wonderful new levels of aural enjoyment.

There’s a genuine 80s charm in this songwriting, a characteristic often lost amid the implementation of more modern sounding arrangements which Highway Superstar balances out with more contemporary elements that walks the perfect tightrope along an event horizon of new and vintage sounds. One finds this evident from the opening piece,  ‘Night In The City’ featuring the vocals of scene mainstay Dana Jean Phoenix. The Highway Superstar brand of 80s synth pop is taken directly from the funkier, back end of 80s pops sounds. Structures are polished and gleaming with mix of De Barge and The System woven into Highway Superstars own synthual brilliance. The vocals, the hooky chorus, the guitars, the horns; it’s all golden and makes for a hugely strong opening track that sets the scene stupendously well.

Things are taken on an instrumental cruise in ‘Boardwalk Sunset’ next and this is where Highway Superstar spreads his wings and takes off with an experience that explores so much musical territory it’s staggering. The saxophone is our guide as we’re taken on a fantastic voyage into the colours and textures of the night in a playfully delightful manner. The instruments are all separate voices given space and their own importance before harmonizing into a melodious glowing beauty.

The album deviates splendidly in the next track ‘Around The World’ as Highway Superstar teams up with the inimitable Who Ha in a vastly entertaining ode to the perils of rockstardom. Touring the world, rockin the planet each and every night doesn’t fill the void left by that someone special who’s timezones away, but still close in our hearts. Who Ha’s delivery is totally kick arse, with just enough swagger to make their teenage fans start fainting, but counterbalances this with his own sentimental honesty. Melodies dance and create a magic all their own with some of the best songwriting on the album as each verse and chorus has its rad levels kicked up the maximum. I find it hard not to visualize a live performance of this as a music video with a million dollar light show and thousands of screaming fans worshipping at the altar of this dynamic duo every time I hear it.

The most ambitious song on Take My Time would have to be the title track as Highway Superstar enlists two vocalists to realise a driving pop anthem that is absolutely rockin to the max. Dana Jean Phoenix and Chris Page trade emotional blows against a high speed back drop of a world in chaos. Their voices create their own universe, where only the importance of two people exists. The lyrics are pop perfection as they verbalize their passions strongly before realizing they both want and need the same thing. The music creates turmoil when needed and emotive epiphany at just the right points. This reminds me greatly of the 80s pop gem ‘Twist Of Fate’ by Olivia Newton John, and I mean this in the most complementary manner as the passionate, dramatic fervor and wonderful intensity in ‘Take My Time’ is a rarity in the 80s inspired synth scene.

One would think that following this epic pop anthem wouldn’t be easy but it’s a testament to the quality of this album that the next track is one of my favourites, not only on this record, but for the entirety of 2013. ‘Dialtones’ is a spectacular instrumental that hangs on a monstrously infectious hook and then evolves this concept into a synthscapade of ravishing beauty. The atmosphere and tone are perfection, telling a deep narrative with each melodic sequence. It’s a hugely uplifting experience, something that embodies everything I love about this music into a vividly colourful six minute symphony.

It’s about this point in the album I find that one is prepared for anything. The amount of musical territory covered in the first half of the record can leave you breathless and right when you’re expecting a nice interlude to join some ideas together is going to happen the exact opposite occurs and Highway Superstar bundles you into his super car of choice and takes off into the night doing ’10-80’ in nanoseconds. The OutRun flavour of this piece is thrilling and exhilarating with racing melodies being deftly maneuvered in and out of traffic at a blistering pace. Spending most of it’s duration in the danger zone I find myself screaming out the window in ecstatic jubilation as the Highway Superstar explained his monicker in the most dramatic fashion possible.

There’s barely time to take a breath as ‘Them Or Us’ becomes a question of survival with pumping rhythms instilling some darker aspects into the milieu. Highway Superstar shows he’s just as comfortable exploring darker and dangerous ideas as he is with bright warm ones. The bouncing melodies transition in and out of ominous surroundings where a very real threat can be felt. In one of the oddities on this album, I found this piece ended a tad prematurely for my liking, but what is explored is done so with great presence of mind and artistry.

‘Camaro 86’ rolls up into view with a suave, devil may care coolness about it before casually setting the night ablaze in another OutRun themed adventure. The atmosphere, though exciting and fast paced, feels much more effortless this time around. Melodies illustrate fascinating details while the structure of the piece evolves into a spectacular new form. This contains some absolutely marvelous passages that come out of nowhere and blow your mind before continuing into new, electrifying dimensions. Breathtaking, from beginning to end.

The final original piece on Take My Time is the leisurely paced ‘Syndicate’. Espousing a much more contemplative air this piece is again a wonderful adventure into new and inventive sound structures with a jazzy flow that moves along like a live jam in concert. So many details are lovingly layered into the ambiance that by it’s end one feels a genuine contentment and a boisterous round of applause feels like the logical thing to do.

To finish off the album we have a bonus remix of the title track by the ever glorious Tommy. His remix is a very different take on ‘Take My Time’ as things are slowed down and examined with a more distant approach. It contains a deep longing, so consistent with Tommy’s work, and completes the album experience beautifully as a final refrain.

‘Take My Time’ is a truly epic album. After tens of listens I still find myself hearing new things and experiencing different aspects to pieces that I feel I know intimately. As mentioned numerous times throughout my musings the songwriting on this record is incredibly well realised as each element feels like it naturally and perfectly fills the space it’s been afforded. So much of this album feels like an effortless stream of consciousness, when I know that wasn’t the case, that it just adds that extra layer of magic to the listening experience.

Highway Superstar’s Take My Time is presented by Rosso Corsa Records on their Bandcamp here and is most assuredly a Synthetix Reference Experience. This is album is a shining example of why I love the 80s inspired genres so very much. Highway Superstar’s talent is undeniable, as his grasp on what makes the 80s rock so hard. I encourage all fans of 80s inspired synths sounds to pick up this album as soon as possible and if you already own it, please give it another listen on my behalf cause records of this quality don’t come around often at all, but we can always revisit them and feel that magic all brand new, all over again.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another week full of hot action in the 80s inspired synth scene has rolled around and I've got a bunch of kick arse new tunes to cover in this week's Weekend Update. A couple of things before we get to the tunes, there are currently two t-shirt competitions going on that are big opportunities for those with a penchant for 80s design to partake in.

Drive Radio are running their competition from the 19th of February until the 2nd of March so you still have a few weeks to get your designs rockin. The full details and specifications are available on their page here.

The second competition is hosted by Lazerhawk himself. He's hunting high and low for a kick arse t-shirt design via his Facebook page. The terms and conditions are all listed on Lazerhawk's Facebook page here and this is again a great opportunity to get your artwork out to a larger audience, via one of the true pioneers of the of 80s inspired synth scene.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how both of these competitions develops as the plans for the official Synthetix.FM t-shirt are happening concurrently also.

Let's get down to business now with the latest rockin tunes from the scene in the new Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM!

An artist that's been on the Synthetix.FM radar over the last few months has been Trevor Something. His music has always been just on the verge of something special and with 'Something About You' I believe he's made some real magic happen. Quality melodies and the vocals work exceptionally well. His laid back, cool vocal style is well suited to the 80s music genres and I think this track is a pivotal one in his development.

I first thought the new Waveshaper track was a direct homage to the Mitch Murder synthscapes but then it's narrative deviates into something else that is totally rockin and full of great ideas. 'Surveillance' is rich in it's melodic exploration and keeps rockin hard from beginning to end.

Paris76 is back with a killer new piece titled 'Mind Games'. The swirling, ethereal presence of this experience is entrancing and leads to some great dramatic passages. The dreamlike nature of the airy melodies adds an extra layer of beauty to the ambience while the energetic drum fills pulse with a life force all their own.

A new rocker on the 80s inspired synth scene is Kid Quasar. His latest track 'We Are The Future' bounces along with an energetic elegance and combines some great 70s and 80s influences. Modern elements also come into play through the back section as the ideas evolve. Definitely looking forward to hearing more music from Kid Quasar in the future.

A dreamy new track from scene legend Palm Highway Chase next. '2014//high/wave/haze' takes the PHC style into the swirling vortex of synthospheric illusions, rising and falling with cushioned volition that drifts in and out of consciousness. Definitely one of this producers more experimental and experiential pieces and currently available for FREE download.

Taking a trip back to a much more pop-centric reality is the new Synth Pop act Glass Apple Bonzai and his new single 'The Freeze'. Synthscapes are a wonderful homage to early 80s styles and the melodies and vocals are orchestrated to perfection. 'The Freeze' is backed by the also rock hard 'I Can't Stop Running' both of which are are available at a name-your-own-price point via the link in the player.

There's absolutely no stopping Epoch with with his totally kick arse new track 'Zeta'. This driving piece of high energy OutRun is rockin to the max with dangerous curves, high speed straight aways and pedal to the metal drama. Pick up this k-rad rocker for FREE via the link in the player.

The next tune from Adrien Aubrun & Thomas Trichet has landed as their retro 80s odyssey continues. This track is a direct sequel the astounding F40 1987 track and takes the emotive high energy melodies from the first chapter and dapples them in a sun drenched sunset palette of golden tones. The result is much more laid back and contemplative, working as a future memory to F40 1987's original experience.

Shklovsky is another new producer to Synthetix.FM and his new track 'Never Hurt' is something I found very engaging. The music is a wavering and delicate pastiche of sounds that are at breaking point  much of the time, threatening to distort into oblivion. The piece evolves in a very ethereal manner, and the haunting vocals complement the atmosphere splendidly. You can buy this track through his Bandcamp page here also.

Navigateur has been a Synthetix.FM favourite for a long time now and his latest track provides much excitement indeed. Taking the Navigateur synthscapes into some decidedly Vapourwave dimensions has given 'Elevator Music' a wonderful new spin on his already individualised synthscapes. Grab a copy of this track for FREE while you can via the link in the player.

This is definitely a red-letter day for me on Synthetix.FM as I finally get the chance to share one of my favourite vintage synth composer's new music! Krzysztof Duda has been making exceptionally beautiful synth music since the early 80s and much of the library music compositions he's done for Polish TV and radio are my absolute personal favourites. If you're ever in the Synthetix.FM Plug.DJ room while I'm in there you'll never be too far away from one of my favourite Krzysztof Duda synth pop gems from the 80s either. Duda's latest piece, 'Out To Out' is a return to classic 80s sounds for this artist and conjures up some incredible uplifting melodic passages arranged with craftsmanship of the highest calibre. Absolutely k-rad to the max and also available for FREE download currently.

Rockin the 80s styles for the first time in their musical journey is Germany's Blokkmonsta with his atmospheric new track 'Into The Unknown'. This hip-hop artist has ventured into this new territory very nicely indeed with melodies allowed to ebb and flow with much presence and exploring these possibilities with much passion. This is HUGE departure from his previous music but is something I hope he continues producing.

Super Vox is back weaving Italo Disco Synth gold with Snob Disco Project this time around with the totally killer 'Never Let You Go'. Everything about this track is 80s Italo perfection from the dramatic romantic melodies to the spectacular vocal track. Definitely one of my favourite Super Vox experiences to date.

Fantastisizer has been a Synthetix.FM favourite for while now and we finally have the chance to pick up this great producer's recent work in the just released Last Call EP. Featuring a slew of tracks I've covered in previous Weekend Updates you can now add these gems to your music library and rock them good and proper. The EP is available on Fantastisizer's Bandcamp page here at a name-your-own-price point, so dig deep and give this rockin producer some well earned appreciation.

With the Kung Fury Kickstarter only finishing hours ago, bringing in a spectacular $630,019 it's the perfect time to celebrate with a marvellous new Mitch Murder track, which I may be correctly or incorrectly assuming is from the soundtrack: 'Enter The Fury'. Opting for a more low-fi atmosphere (on the Mitch Murder scale, at least) this pulsating action anthem is full of drama, power and the fight for good over evil. Congratulations to Laser Unicorns for achieving their Kickstarter goals and I'll be sure be covering further developments in the Kung Fury project on Synthetix.FM.

That does us for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, it's been a wild ride of new producers and some classic favourites and I hope you've enjoyed these rockin tunes as much as I have.

I'll be back during the week with more k-rad action from the 80s inspired synth scene, 'til then stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Timecop1983's Love Story

When it comes to the styles and genres of 80s inspired synth music I must say that the pure, emotional warmth of Synth Romance is my favourite. The style is easily one of the most moving of all the 80s denominations and it has been exemplified wonderfully on the latest release from Timecop1983, aptly titled Synthetic Romance.

The Timecop1983 experience has always displayed the subtle sensitivities of Synth Romance in most of his previous works, which I always find surprising as one would expect a much more agressive and frenetic synthscape with a name like Timecop1983. It goes to show how wrong I was and that judging books (or producers in this case) by their cover is always a mistake. In Timecop1983's latest EP we're privy to a compilation of his recent tracks that have been packaged with an alluring air and wistful sentiment in five chapters of shimmeringly verdant Synth Romance.

I think this is the very first time I've covered a release on Synthetix.FM purely of this style. Many releases have contained single or multiple tracks, but even masters of the genre like LA Dreams always include some other styles in their albums and EPs. The choice to make this an entirely Synth Romance release is a bold one and has made for a concept that is beautifully endearing and lulls one into a world of synth driven passions.

Opening with 'Indigo Tears' the synthscape is irrefutably glowing with pink nimbus, moving in a slow motion embrace of serene melodic intimacy. Timecop1983 feels the magic and we can feel it via him as layers of enriching tones well up and soar to the heavens. The sparseness of the piece is integral as each element creates it's own spatial destiny, pinpoints of light dance about playfully and the gauzy soft focus illustrates the soulful devotion.

The tracks on Synthetic Romance flow into each other perfectly and maintain the mood and sentiment perfectly. Track two gently introduces a vocal track to the ambience which complements the synthscape beautifully. The continuation of the idea from track one is allowed to evolve into a stronger bond as 'Secret Love' gives voice and impetus to the heartfelt desires. The music is almost transparent in it's presence, so pastel and light while still being greatly powerful in it's evocations.

The passages merge into the new forms in 'Echoes' which brings in some very seductive guitar tracks to the mix. They never jar or disrupt but instead allow their resonant details to tell new stories. The temperature begins to rise dramatically in the refrains towards the end and feelings become combustible and the electric spark becomes a raging storm of fevered sensuality.

'Lonely Nights' juxtaposes the previous track with it's intimacy now turned to unrequited longing, taking a melody that feels as if it's at breaking point and pushing it into the forlorn abandonment of darkly shadowed nights alone. The memories persist, refusing to abate and it's now a question of hoping the dawn will bring back some warmth to the empty vessels we've become. The tick of the clock strikes deeply but the past cuts deeper.

Our final chapter of this torrid love affair begins the healing process, finally, with 'Fading Memories'. The melodies which once caused so much pain are now able to be appreciated; the emotional scar tissue is strong enough to allow for fonder memories to be held in earnest. The touch of her hand that was once the most elevating experience possible became the touch of cold, cold emptiness but has now become a warm memory and a place to revisit with a positive light. The good times can be remembered and felt again, but one feels at a distance now, as a third person spectator. Was it real or just the passion of the moment? Feeling something is always real, and just feeling something is sometimes more than enough.

The intimacy of the narrative that Synthetic Romance tells is heartfelt and honest, and manages to convey a vast emotional spectrum in a succinct and five chapter love story. The greater emotional investment you give to this release, the greater the reward received. Allow the visions of beauty to wash over you and envelope you in their tight embrace.

Timecop1983 presents Synthetic Romance on his Bandcamp page here and it comes very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM. As genre music within genre music this EP takes things to a level of intimacy that is wonderfully orchestrated, as Timecop1983 hones his craft further I can't wait to be taken to new dimensions of impassioned synth wonder.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vincenzo Salvia Breaks The Surface And Takes The Plunge

If one views 2009 as the break-out year for 80s inspired synth music, this means we're now in the fifth year of the development of the soundscapes modern producers are creating with homage to classic 80s sounds. The evolution has been incredible to witness, thus far, as splinters of ideas have now become towering evergreens of deeply rooted styles. Singular ideas have inspired tens of producers who have now re-imagined this inspiration and crafted it into something new. I've always said: it's the producers who push into new territory, with new ideas and creativity that will keep the scene rockin and my excitement levels in the red zone.

Vincenzo Salvia is one of these producers. It's a shame I missed the opportunity to put my Top 10 Albums of 2013 on Synthetix.FM, or elsewhere, as Vincenzo's Auto Radio was my favourite album of last year. The vision of this producer and his reverence for the classic sounds makes him a true artist and with his new EP, Vincenzo has gone even further out of the 80s-comfort-zone and into invigorating new territory.

The Atlantis EP is five tracks of Vincenzo Salvia's own brand of 80s inspired synth music that channels much of the classic Italo Disco Synth of his homeland while adding ideas and aesthetics that have, up to this point. been buried beneath at the bottom of the ocean's floor; unexperienced until now. Much like the incredible artwork that ignites the visual aspect of this EP, the thematic is new and fresh, broadening the aural horizon and really capturing the 80s spirit and feeling in a refreshingly beautiful way.

Beginning with sonar beacons and crashing waves 'Over The Pillars' washes over you with it's dignified melodies and heavily narrative based arrangements. Unlike Auto Radio's much more pop based arrangements the stories told in the tracks on Atlantis are heavily detailed with nuances and soundtrack inspired passages that continue to divulge the ocean's mysterious secrets to you in an elegantly adept manner. The parts take your imagination through levels of depths and into delicate refrains that override the underlying dangers with wondrous anticipation.

Our first companions in this new watery realm are the 'Mermaids' and Vincenzo Salvia's innate gift for capturing the spirit of classic Italo Synth is brought out into the shallows as light filters through the water and glints seductively on the curvaceous mythical creatures. A lightness is imbued into the melodies adding a playful and carefree atmosphere, idyllic and entrancing while inspiring a heartfelt joyousness.

The richness of the underwater kingdom is brought to life in the third chapter 'Gold And Ivory'. These two very tactile substances are reflected in the sparkling refrain that dances from side to side in a most inventive way. The instruments used on this EP feel like they've been coerced and caressed into being with their delicately elegant tendrils moving effortlessly in the underwater currents, conveying the magical majesty of Atlantean culture. Airs of sorrow and remembrance are layered in with a ghostly serenity towards the end of this piece that adds a reverent depth to the musical richness.

'Towards The Light' becomes a pivotal point in the adventure as inquisitive melodies offer bright possibilities and promises with riddle-like buoyancy. The atmosphere takes a more dramatic turn as the costs of one's choices begin to appear, the light becomes stronger but is it a light of warning or of welcoming? Melodies play off each other, never really uttering the answer, but instead purposefully making the choice a one that requires listening to the heart and the mind.

This all becomes moot as the final chapter, 'Consequences', plays out the the true eventuality, that the choices we make are guided by forces beyond own consciousness and the Atlantis of fable and lore is not a tomb from which riches are plundered, but an idealised path that human evolution branched away from. The wonders of the deep rise with crescendos of jubilant melodies and the mystical Atlantean magic gives us a glimpse of a beautiful world we could have had. The dazzling sights and sounds are enrapturing, concepts we can barely grasp flash before us and as our comprehension almost reaches breaking point we're sent back to the surface; seemingly in an instant. The crashing waves of our own world serve to wake us from the fantastical dream-world we just experienced.

The spirit of adventure and exploration is a running theme throughout these pieces of music and each serves a different aesthetic dimension to Vincenzo Salvia's vision. To say this EP capture my imagination is a monstrous understatement, from beginning to end this journey was wholly tactile, I could see the beauty of Atlantis and feel it's tragedy also. The narrative is stunningly well crafted and is a huge achievement in how visual a soundtrack can be.

Future City Records presents Vincenzo Salvia's Atlantis EP on their Bandcamp page here. It's available at a name-your-own-price point but I encourage all fans and supporters of the 80s inspired synth scene to dig deep and show your appreciation for this work of art. The five chapters of Atlantis are individual, self contained stories that intricately describe this mysterious realm in a totally mesmerising way. The ocean thematic is a perfect pairing to the Italo Synth palette, as evidenced previously in Plaisance's work, but the other-worldly fantasy aspects make Vincenzo Salvia's vision unlike anything else. As a conceptual artist Vincenzo Salvia has made something very special in this EP; Atlantis is a truly Synthetix Reference Experience.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Welcome To 2014 On Synthetix.FM With The First Weekend Update For The Year!

After a relaxing break over the holiday period Synthetix.FM is now BACK and ready to rock you all year long with the hottest music from the 80s inspired synth scene!

Firstly, I'd like to introduce to hot new Synthetix.FM experience in the official Synthetix.FM Plug.DJ room. This is a 24/7 party anyone can join and is hosted by the scene's hottest talent as Resident DJ's. It's up and running all the time and you never know who's going to drop some rockin tunes and even preview exclusive new tracks, as we've witnessed with yet unreleased tracks from Perturbator and Phaserland this past week. This new extension of the Synthetix.FM experience allows an avenue for us all to share new and classic favourites in rockin online party atmosphere. We're already talking about running some special exclusive events in the near future too. Your hosts in the room are Magnum Crockett and Marko McLovin and their team of bouncers. Many thanks to Magnum Crockett for making this a reality and for his constant support of the scene. I hope all Synthetix.FM regulars use the room for lots of good times and great rock'n'roll and I'll hopefully see you in there too!

I'd also like to welcome Drive Radio as a new Synthetix.FM partner. This team of rockers are devoted to the scene are doing a wonderful job of spreading the love for 80s inspired synth sounds through Europe. Here's to rockin' with much radness through 2014, Drive Radio!

The first compilations are already hitting for 2014 too, the first one I'd like to cover being the debut compilation from Pink Neon Records entitled auspiciously titled The Compilation. This is a spectacularly star studded affair with the likes of Batch Sound, Vincenzo Salvia, Sam Haggblad, Protector 101 and Arc Neon amongst many others providing scintillating synth slices of sonic sumptuousness. The cassette release has already sold out, but be sure to grab a digital copy and support this new label. Pick up The Compilation from Pink Neon Records here, or via the link in the featured compilations on the right hand side of this page.

One last thing I'd like to mention is the Kung Fury Kickstarter that only has a few days left. I'm sure there aren't too many, if any, readers of Synthetix.FM that don't already know about this but it's most definitely one the single most exciting things I've ever seen. Laser Unicorns are working with Rosso Corsa Records for the soundtrack and this is something that'll expose a lot more people to the music we love. The viral nature of the video for Kung Fury has gone a long way to display how on-the-verge of the mainstream this music is so please dig deep and support the Kickstarter here.

On to matters at hand! It would be futile of me to think I can cover all the hot music that has been released over the last month, as well as keeping abreast of new releases so this Weekend Update is a mixture of brand new rockin anthems and some of my favourites that came out over the holiday period. There are a few really kick arse EP and LP releases I'll be reviewing over the next few weeks that came out in this period too.

Just as a bit of a refresher the Weekend Updates on Synthetix.FM are all about sharing my favourite new tracks in the scene, but I always try to give space to new and upcoming producers to expose them to a wider audience. As the scene keeps on growing it becomes impossible for me to cover absolutely everything that comes out so the tracks shared here are what I believe are the 'cream of the crop' based on my own personal feelings. I always prioritise tracks that are now available for download/purchase, and I won't cover tracks that are titled as still being in demo/unfinished states, simply because I don't have the luxury of being able to fit them all in and I'd rather share fully realised ideas than incomplete ones out of respect to the producer and their audience.

This is all based on my personal taste of course, but Synthetix.FM will always want to deal with quality over quantity and as we embark on new and exciting adventures in 2014 who knows where these magical 80s inspired synthscapes will take us!

So let the radness begin, with the first Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM for 2014!!

First up is a the hot new tune from Photosynthesi. His seductive Synth Romance sounds are always so emotive and enriching, he has a true gift for making sparkling synth love poems. 'Saying The Three Words' is full of 80s love and beautiful passages of deeply caressing synth sounds.

Compilerbau is rockin hard with his great new track 'Weird Guy'. This slightly of kilter track is layered with some very interesting passages and the creativeness of the producer is allowed to flourish beautifully. This is currently available for FREE download. Also check out his awesome brand new track 'Tachyon' he's just released.

Time to get dark and epic with the kick arse new Soundtrack Synth release from Matt Creamer. 'Prolonged Anti-Evolution' is about as dystopian as it gets with equal parts of futurism and nihilism painting an atmosphere that details a beautiful story. The sounds verge on the triumphant while building to a contemplative conclusion. This marvellous experience is available for FREE download too.

A new rocker on the scene now as Beat Plastic begins his 80s synth journey with '(There's Something) About Us'. The Beat Plastic synthscape is energetic and vigorous with driving percussion and wonderfully constructed passages. It's refreshing and totally kick arse! Many thanks to Randall Rex for introducing me to Beat Plastic.

Pumping Body was one of my favourite new producers last year and he continues to push the rad levels into the danger zone in 2014 with his stellar new track 'Picture Of The Future'. The story evolves with much excitement and explores some totally electric melodies. Available for FREE download currently too.

More new talent now, this time from France's Sandrine Harrouet and her enticing new track 'FM Radio'. The pace of this experience is what gives it such a resonant presence, I find. It canters along at just the right speed to explore it's details in an unhurried and cool manner.

Keeping things at a decidedly languid pace is the great new experience from Cartridge 1987 with 'Love Lost'. The deeply cutting chords are drawn with much despondency and heartfelt pain as the music takes us into sensitive passages of cold emptiness before being set afire with explosive energies during the final sequences. Incredibly beautiful, arranged to absolute perfection and available for FREE download through the player.

Riddlis is a producer whom I believe is still experimenting in finding his own sound and with his new track I think he's taken great strides in achieving this. 'The Lost Days' has an air of dramatic Italo about it but also explores more cinematic territory in it's journey. The end result is uplifting and joyous and totally rockin.

Cluster Buster is rockin 2014 with his fantastic ode to the exploitation classic Maniac. Surprisingly, however, this is not a dark synth dirge but is instead a thoughtful exploration of the humanity behind the monstrosity. Cluster Buster has also just shared his own vision of the classic Airwolf Theme, which is available for FREE download for a limited time.

Lurking in the shadows, awaiting their next victim we find Miami Beach Force. Taking a break from their day time beach lifestyle to indulge in some nocturnal insanity with 'Night Stalker'. The mood is definitely full of danger and caution while the soundscape is a delectable mix of 80s sounds with 70s progressions, creating a Goblin/Tangerine Dream-esque ambiance that works exceedingly well. Miami Beach Force just opened their Facebook page too, so get liking them here.

Android Automatic's ear for classic 80s melodies arranged in a modern manner has really been exemplified in his new track 'Future Eyes'. The structures are built in a wonderfully exciting way and the 80s love weaved through out the melodic structure is thoroughly intoxicating.

Redefining intensity in 80s inspired synth is the amazing new track from Twilight Racing: 'The Kawasaki Ninja'. This ode the superpowered street machine is cranking into the red zone from beginning to end. Hold your breath, wrench the accelerator and take off into oblivion!

One of the few producers in the scene really writing with guitars as the driving force behind the music's structure is Jon Of The Shred. His metal background has now ushered in an 80s inspired synth journey that he's taken to with much passion. 'Infiltration' has a Soundtrack Synth styled arrangement that rocks hard into the future with symphonic guitars and spatial synths. This is currently available for FREE download but also check out his kick arse other new track 'Premonitions' for more intense action.

RF Extreme was most certainly one of my favourite producers of deeply emotional synthscapes in 2013. His journey throughout the year was one of the most inspiring as each new track explored his passions further. In his new piece we get to experience this even deeper as melodic tendrils of light ebb and flow in an esoteric orchestration of glorious majesty. In other RF Extreme news, you can now purchase his first EP consisting of Synthetix.FM favourites 'Eyes Of Blue' and 'Never Ending Desire' courtesy of Wave Runner Records here.

More new talent, this time from London's OFFIC3R with his latest track 'Pursuit'. The drum programming in this jam is totally kick arse as the fills fly like a hail of bullets above the darkly constructed synth melodies. This kind of track is just begging to have an accompanying video, I think.

Manolis appeared to me towards the end of 2013 but certainly made a lasting impression and his offerings in 2014 are already kickin hard. His latest track 'Wave' is incredibly strong it's arrangements and develops an epic narrative that is absolutely stunning. Be sure to check his 'After The Sunset' piece that came out recently too, which is available for FREE download currently.

Transcend is another new producers on the scene, this time out of Norway. His synthscapes really piqued my interest with the modern and dramatic percussion being contrasted by ethereal 80s melodies. Definitely constructed with a contemporary flow, there is an 80s soul within that glows bright and warm.

Amazing Police continues to blur decades, sounds and emotions in his own inimitable way with his incredible new experience 'Speed In Reverse'. The entire piece is completely enthralling and full of excitement and ascends to all new levels on enlightenment through it's multidimensional synthscapes.

Hugo Rancho is rockin one of the catchiest melodies I've heard in recent times in his track 'High Noon'.  The piece is engineered to maximise to excitement of the lead melody and does so with aplomb. The build up towards the back end before the final passages just magnify it even further. Be sure to grab a copy of this while it's available for FREE download.

It's a pleasure to usher in the new year with a hot new track from Evanton in this first Weekend Update for 2014. The Italo vibes of Evanton are always seriously hypnotising with their trademark pumping basslines and sharp melodies. There's always distinct machismo to Evanton's modern take on Italo and 'Moderno Sintetico' certainly delivers that. Currently available for FREE download in celebration of them achieving 25k plays on soundcloud. Keep on rockin, Evanton!

And speaking of hypnotising, the final piece for this first Weekend Update for 2014 is a totally rockin new video from Orax for his great track 'Dreaming'. This is a really well conceived video that takes the music to all new levels of enjoyment and excitement. If you've not picked it up already, please grab your own copy of Orax's Dreaming EP on Future City Records here.

That does us for the first Weekend Update for 2014 on Synthetix.FM, it's good to be back and rockin hard and I look forward to sharing lots more kick arse music from the 80s inspired synth scene throughout the year ahead.

I look forward to seeing you during the week for more rad synth action, 'til then stay 80s and keep on rockin.