Thursday, February 27, 2014

Compilerbau Travels Beyond Light Speed, Into The Unknown

I've found it very hard not share Compilerbau's recent tracks his been putting on soundcloud. I've been aware the Tachyon album was going to be coming out for a while and really wanted to save the coverage on Synthetix.FM for its full release. It's tormented me so, not being able to cover these killer tracks recently but now that the album has been launched, I can finally give this producer some well deserved love.

For those new to the Compilerbau experience his sounds are a combination of numerous genres but his vision for thematic concepts are a huge part of the focus. His previous album, Talking Machines (reviewed here on Synthetix.FM last year) was a real gem of an album. Compilerbau took a myriad of great ideas and strung them together in a consistent record that really captivated me. Now that we have Compilerbau's second album in-hand it's time to take off to a new journey into the stars.

In the Tachyon experience Compilerbau has turned up all the elements that I loved in Talking Machines to new levels. The storytelling aspect is one of the biggest strengths in Compilerbau's music and through the introductory track and totally rockin 'Leaving Earth' we're delivered a scenario that is full of  details and conveyed in a spectacularly entertaining manner. This is a real synth rock-opera musical experience. Each vocal is like poetic dialogue and each passage of music describes scenes and feelings exceptionally well.

The vocals on Compilerbau's Talking Machines was one of my favourite aspects and it gives me immense joy to hear the voice Michael Reithmeier reprising his role as Compilerbau's mouthpiece. The vocal performance feels more polished and passionate this time around too, which aids massively in the narratives told. The instrumental tracks have also increased in their presence and atmosphere.

The stunningly performed title track 'Tachyon' brings to the fore a desire to explore the cosmic sounds as if traversing the void first hand. The drama and triumphant strains of the main reprise are joyous and feel like you're part of that small crew, hurtling through galaxies at a speed beyond human reckoning, spellbound by the experience.

To really paint the pictures aurally in an effective way Compilerbau enlists some very interesting synthscapes and instruments to give vivid colours to the journey. 'Weird Guy' introduces an off kilter approach that makes us wonder whether the crew has the mental and physical fortitude to make the journey. The eccentricities of the melodies and details add more to intrigue.

This track leads into one of the really killer stand-out pieces of the album: 'Walking Outer Space'. Disco feelings boogie into view as  the experience has genuine fun with it's self and provides a great deal entertainment in the process. This is one of those 'they'd only get away with this in the 80s' moments that really take the rad levels super high and the fun factor into orbit.

Performing a deft 180 degree turn Compilerbau eschews the frivolity of 'Walking Outer Space' in the dramatically haunting 'Continuum' as the awe and gravity of the situation become deeply felt. This piece of dangerous synth work is the catalyst for feelings exploding into intimate realms of pleasure in the Moroder-esque 'Pleasure In Space Suits'. Sensually crafted space synth erotica writhes in zero gravity with gasps of ecstasy echoing through the cold emptiness of space.

This arousing track then leads to the the fast paced 'Tachyon (Reprise)'. A sense of danger and  anticipation begins to rise as conditions to the mission change and unforeseen circumstances now threaten the safety of those onboard. Action heats up with synths kicking into high gear as the tension builds and builds to the point of melodic climax towards the end of the piece in stunning conclusion.

The aftermath of this exuberance is displayed in the stalking passages of 'Gamma Breakdown'. A fearful prelude then makes way to bouncing reprises until more dangers appear. Compilerbau's use of 70s progressive pieces with more traditionally 80s structures proves once again to be an enrapturing combination as the story twists and turns before our very eyes, ending rather exquisitely indeed.

The drama then turns to tragedy with 'Death In Space' turning the mission into a panic as the hull ruptures and human life is scattered into the cosmos with abandon. Guitars rock the scene and synths stab alarms of hysteria until control is wrangled from the clutches of deep space death. The motif of loss continues into the cold reality of 'Last Dawn'. Echoing percussion, and anger filled chords are struck with pounding fists; faced with a demoralising oblivion, cursing the stars themselves provides the only solace.

'No Exit' continues the panic stricken final chapters as Compilerbau uses some very clever speed controls to amp up the thrills. Seemingly insurmountable situations where lives are constantly in peril lead to clear-headed resolve for the sake of self preservation. Just as the success of surviving washes over the one man who made it this far the realisation that he is now stranded in space, living out the remaining final days 'Far Away' from earth.

As the space vessel's systems begin to fail one at a time and memories of earth so to begin to fade and become lost to the inky void of the cosmos. This song proves to be a wonderful finale to the experience, intimately conveying those final moments with a beautiful piano solo conclusion.

The 'Tachyon (Epilogue)' then completes the final log entry and the folly of the mission echoes and resonates, leaving behind the final human survivor, now a monument entombed forever in the emptiness. As an extra bonus the Extended Edition of Tachyon comes with a range of bonus features, including a remix of 'Leaving Earth' by DJ Ten and numerous versions and edits of other tracks on the album, offering some great perspective to the experience.

Compilerbau presents Tachyon on his Bandcamp page here, and once again he has created an album that is thoroughly enthralling and engaging as a concept album. The story is richly detailled by both the vocally driven songs and the instrumental ones, with the listener genuinely being included as a part of the narrative. This album is very, very highly recommended by Synthetix.FM and I applaude Compilerbau for his incredible creative vision and realisation of the Tachyon experience.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Take A Miami Cruise With The Cultured RF Extreme

When it comes to producers that I really love in the scene, it's a pretty short list. There are a lot of producers around, seemingly hundreds. But the love that I have for music takes time to first germinate, then grow and finally bloom. This usually takes numerous releases to happen too, sharing the journey with the producer and learning and understanding their own individual styles and nuances as indeed they do. With RF Extreme I feel this kinship in music, his sounds speak to me in a language I understand innately and his musical journey has been one I'm honoured to have been able share in thus far.

About a year ago RF Extreme began his love affair with 80s synth sounds and now we have a record of this past year in the 'Miami Cruise Culture' album. Featuring eleven tracks, this collection of emotionally involving synthscapes is a something special and a record that conveys intimacy, excitement and an unrequited love of the 80s through all eleven tracks.

The RF Extreme sound is one that has taken time to evolve into what we experience today. Every RF Extreme track has common elements that give them the personality and magical presence we've come to expect. There is reminiscence, passion, caring and most importantly love that is present and vital in each of his creations. 'A Time To Remember' opens the album with a joyously intimate refrain that speaks to the heart directly. The unhurried nature of this piece sets the tone for the first half of the album and ushers us into his world through hazy memories and warm memories.

'Forever Mine' drifts dreamily into a afterglow of the opening track seamlessly, continuing the love affair, telling new stories and intimating deeper connections via the synthual energies RF Extreme commands. Sounds are so resonating and deep yet caress with genteel grace, flowing nuances move in time with heartfelt rhythms. The aura created radiates beauty in all perceivable dimensions.

Upon experiencing 'Inner Bliss' as track three I began to realise how much more gravity RF Extreme's music takes on in this longer format. The two opening pieces compliment each other wonderfully and then 'Inner Bliss' elevates the feelings to new realms. The sublimely gorgeous refrain is perfectly explored and allowed to spread it's wings and soar majestically.

The synthscape is always kept to bare essences throughout this record. Every single sound introduced is uttered with clarity and value, the sparseness allowing for full appreciation of individual subtleties. In 'Lighter Than Air' this is given a heartfelt elegance as careful introductions are whispered and alluded to before the melodic passion is let loose and charges into a sensory heaven. Building and swelling like an unstoppable tide of fervent ardor.

RF Extreme manages to take simple, emotional links and then re-interpret them from new angles that give different perspectives to the situations his music describes. 'Time Stood Still' feels like it's a different take on the romantic interlude, with more overt passion in the introductory stages and defined forthrightness to it's melodic structures. The feelings are much more masculine and carry themselves in a way that is very refreshing.

'Fury Of The Flame' adds a new layer of unknown excitement to the mix. The rollercoaster ride into the shared experiences of two hearts becomes a thrilling experience. Moving in and out of times and spaces until a magical blending of melodies takes place and the calm reassurance of that close touch becomes electrifyingly real.

These thrills are not yet over, nor are the yet to even peak as the energy levels sky rocket further in 'System Transfer'. The melodies speak in more clinical colours, summoned from futuristic visions however they are humanised and harmonised into uplifting celestial tones; allowed to dance and release their energies in spectacular displays of aural fireworks.

'Gforced' continues this line as the machine becomes a vehicle for synthual feelings but keeps it's self restrained and on a steady, unwavering track. The music takes on an interlude like presence, hypnotising as the landscape whirrs by, details blurring and time becoming shorter as an air of panic begins to rise.

 These darker aspects are allowed to explode in the high energy '12 Cylinder'. RF Extreme's emotionally driven OutRun piece is a series of delicately smooth melodies attached to a power hungry rhythm section. The speed is exhilarating but the real excitement comes from the utterly angelic synthual refrains that move effortlessly throughout the synthscape.

The driving thematic continues unabated into 'Future Highway'. This piece is inquisitive in it's nature, asking questions about those things unbeknownst to us, lurking in the background of the city blocks and shying away from our comforting lights. The threats are never serious, merely suggesting that which we fear instead of rearing up in a frightening display. Our vehicle coasts along this restless road unaffected, yet perhaps this highway is another path RF Extreme will take us down again at later date?

The very title track of the album finishes our experience and the melodies become more refined and dignified with a lustrous appearance, melodies traverse dimensions with an elegant gait, pausing for reflection and moving in time with pulsating percussion. The high class 80s lifestyle is a dream we can all share in through RF Extreme's soundtrack to the 80s Miami fantasy, taking us there wholly in spirit and imagination.

Wave Runner Records presents RF Extreme's Miami Cruise Culture on their Bandcamp page here and Synthetix.FM very, very highly recommends this release. The synthscapes in the first half the album are absolutely wondrous Synth Romance escapades and the back half takes in rich, varied flavours of 80s inspired synth that is always riveting and rewarding. Where RF Extreme takes us next on his musical love affair with the 80s is something that I'm eager to experience, but this album stands up as a superb work of true 80s love and understanding.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

Welcome to this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. There's a hot new show in town, rockin every Sunday on Radio Pure Gently titled Synthwave Sundays hosted be longtime scene devotee Marko Maric. Marko's programming great tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene every week and is also doing a lot of interviews with the most rad producers. Check out the link to Radio Pure Gently on the right hand side bar for local times when it airs and make sure you catch up on the previous episodes. Synthetix.FM is honoured to be a supporter of this initiative and looks forward to a bright neon future with RPG and Synthwave Sundays!

In other news in four days the Kickstarter for Nick Sabia's Valrosa Beach ends and is still requiring a large portion of money required to make it become a reality. This movie is combining a whole mess of quality 80s influences and a lot of exciting techniques for using pixel art effects in the video. Get behind this project and dig deep to make this happen! Click here to check out their very in depth Kickstarter page for lots more info.


Timecop 1983 - Childhood Memories - Hot on the heels of his wonderful debut, Synthetic Romance, is another stunning release from Timecop 1983. Filled with more emotive synth beauty and featuring the great 'Timescapes' collaboration with Femmepop. Rock the limited edition cassette release asap!!

Yannis Rianta - City Whispers - Smooth and sensual synth pop with a penchant for the funkier side of things. City Whispers is full of 80s homage and some exceptional songwriting sure to create the right kind of warmth right where you need it. Highly recommended for fans of Chromeo's late night work.

Goldbaum - Goldbaum - Mixtures of vintage and modern sounds collide with this eight track album covering a myriad of synthscapes. From early 80s European styles through to hard action ChipTune coloured pieces. Lots of great ideas are presented on this album, definitely a producer I'll be watching.


Time to get drifting and dreamy with the great new track from She Said (Judge Dredd) 'Sara'. The synthscape is alive with electrifying passages with a production that is raw and passionate. Haunting and stunning in it's delivery, an enlightening experience. 

Robert Parker is quickly becoming one of my favourite new producers in the scene. His grasp on the subtleties of 80s sounds is incredibly tight and each new track I hear from him is even more inspirational than the last. 'Great Expectations' is currently available for FREE download too.

It's been a while since we've had some honest to goodness Ninja Synth on Synthetix.FM so it brings me great pleasure to share with you the latest tune from Danas Vision entitled 'Kung Fu Master'. This homage to the classic video game is rife with Eastern synth magic and martial arts thrills and spills. Currently available for FREE download.

Nearly a year's time has elapsed between track from Alexino on his soundcloud but it's definitely been worth the wait as his new piece, 'Under The Dome'. Reminiscent of the likes of Tommy in many respects this track keeps emotions deep and melodies rich with languid gait that feels like a slow motion embrace.

Waveshaper's got his action rockin with much power in his new track 'To The Top'. Huge melodies are built upon with tidal force, marching into new horizons with a single minded determination. Inspiring and uplifting this track is sure to take you over the top!

While Betamaxx was digging around in his vast collections of music he uncovered an older track previously unshared. He remedied this situation by uploading 'Heated' this week and making it available for FREE download. Totally rockin 80s vibes and Betamaxx magic out the ying yang on this gem.

Block35 is a new producer to Synthetix.FM of whom I know very little aside from the fact their new track is totally rockin to the max. 'Chasing Trams' evolves it's melody with delicate nuance into soaring dimensions of brilliance. This piece is thoroughly beautiful in it's presentation and tone and I encourage you to get out there and give some love to Block35. You can pick up a copy of this wonderful experience on the Block35 Bandcamp page here at a name-your-own-price point.

Pulse80 and Quasars have joined forces and created a spectacular new work entitled 'Invisible Meridians'. Sumptuous space synth atmospheres are explored with hugely catchy melodies and luscious leads. It's many passages are entrancing and captivating, really giving both producers full license to take to the stars. Currently available for FREE download this track is a must-have experience.

PH Groove keeps on rockin sensational Italo vibes in his killer new track 'Arcade Feel'. As is always the case with PH Groove's music the bassline is funky and the synths are sweltering in an epic tale of dancefloor passions. Infectiously structured for maximum groove penetration this piece is currently available for FREE download.

Taking Italo synthscapes right back to the classic sounds is the great new song from Blue Star Project 'Open Your Heart'. From the orchestral stabs to the classically delivered vocal this right on the mark for sparking of that Italo magic into a blaze of 80s magic. A Radio Edit as well a totally kick arse Extended Version are available at a name your-own-price point.

Kicking the drama into high gear is the killer new jam from Laurence McFunk: 'California Gasoline Commando'. Building like a storm this saga of good versus evil in the wastelands of tomorrow rocks harder than a melonfarmer in it's vast soundtrack odyssey. Available for FREE download currently too.

Any time is the right time for some sexxxy sax action and Super Vox's hot new 'Sax Theme' gives us lots to love. Tropical Italo vibes lead the way for the cool night time, with cool breezes coming in from the coast, buoyed by bouncing melodies and that sweet sax

Manolis continues to blow my mind and expand his horizons with every new track he shares and 'The Bait' continues this trend. Incredibly lush synthscapes and tightly packed details just brimming with glowing 80s love. Polished to a mirror chrome finish this track is k-rad to the max and is also available currently for FREE download to boot!

Pyramid Aeon is defining his own sound more and more as we travel with him on his 80s musical journey. 'Better Days' find his sound taking some very inspiring cues from modern and vintage elements to create something rather special. The piano refrain is one of the real highlights of the experience but the full excursion is massively rewarding. Available for FREE download via Pyramid Aeon's Bandcamp page here.

Another debut producer for this week's Weekend Update is Australia's own Kick Puncher with his brooding Dark Synth track 'Highway Knight'. This rocker certainly knows how to combine the magic of 70s horror soundtrack synth and heart pumping pulsations of 80s denominations.

Another hot collaboration this time with Tommy and Sally Shapiro rockin some intimate and delicate disco coloured synth pop magic. 'Why Did I Say Goodbye' has a fabulous air of 2010 about it's presence that is still intoxicating with the blend of old and new sounds always sounding fresh and vibrant.

Our video feature for this week's Weekend Update comes from Germany's Puls with their amazing new song 'Du Gehst'. These rockers are totally killing the 80s rock synth sound to the max and I'm sure your pulse will be racing in no time with this superb music video. You can download a copy of this kick arse song via their Facebook page here too. Many thanks to Action Jackson for enlightening me to the Puls magic!

That does it for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, I hope you've found some great new music to make your weekend rock that 80s love just a little bit more. I'll be back during the week with more exciting music from the 80s inspired synth scene, 'til then stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Golden Age Of Cobra Copter

Cobra Copter has been one of the rising stars on the scene for more than a few months now and with the release of debut EP his music is demanding you to sit up and take notice. The real magic of Cobra Copter is his understanding of classic 80s melodies. I often say that a melody 'sounds 80s' and the concept can seem very esoteric and ambiguous but one needs only listen to Cobra Copter's The Golden Age EP to understand what I'm talking about.

80s inspired synth music hangs on these bright, catchy and emotive melodies at the music's essence. These are the hooks that energise and contain the spirit of the decade. One can have as much vintage equipment in hardware or software as they like but it is the understanding of the 80s melodic structures that makes these instruments sing. This is one of Cobra Copter's huge strong points and what drives The Golden Age experience so eloquently.

Following the studio ID style intro, complete with opening mood-setting credits Cobra Copter begins the adventure with 'Vegas Nights'. Instantly Faltermeyer-esque melodies begin to dance and pirouette in an aural moonwalk which builds with the perfect blend of accents and structures. This producer always keeps his synthscapes uncomplicated and sparse and in doing so allows for a copious amounts of melodic intimacy that draws the listener in via slight nuances and carefully chosen accents. Cobra Copter never lets the melody get lost or watered down, which is consistent through all the compositions on this EP.

'Rebel Heart' begins to lead the direction into a much more dramatic atmosphere before a refrain of purest action bravado takes over. Slightly more modern techniques are used to accentuate the mood, adding mystery and then a sexy female lead to the ensemble cast. Cobra Copter often employs the classic technique of fading the melody out before reprising it with powerful impact which gives his music a greatly theatrical presence, with 'Rebel Heart' being well at home in any 80s action cop movie.

Expanding his horizons further, in ''86 Love Affair' we're treated to Cobra Copter's journeys into Synth Romance with a dreamy love theme. Allowing the melodies to mix and interweave their elements gives the space for the percussion to become the track's heart beat. The huge crush arrives with a sensually glorious lead melody that promises endless devotion, lost in her eyes your heart skips a beat before fading into a hazy mist of adoration.

With 'Chrome City' Cobra Copter elucidates futuristic vistas of sparkling beauty while gently introducing incredibly beautiful melodies. layered in with sublimely accomplished presence. Tiny details like the guitars and percussive subtleties bring the music into our own personal space, such intimacy and connection with these delicate sounds is uncommon but Cobra Copter performs this in an effortlessly magical way.

The final piece of The Golden Age is 'Showdown' which brings back tension and electric energies with a huge snare rockin the synthscape marvellously well. Thrills are delivered in small, pinpointed doses, with midnight espionage and graceful dexterity moving hand in hand into the final scene's confrontation.

Cobra Copter presents The Golden Age EP on his Bandcamp page here and Synthetix.FM very highly recommends this release. Although this is his debut EP I can't help but be impressed by this producer's understanding of what makes 80s melodies so magical and also his stellar control in fabricating such beautiful synthphonic suites. By the same token, I feel like the best of Cobra Copter is yet to come and hope this producer keeps on refining and exploring his beautiful synthscapes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Palm Highway Chase On The ARPNET

I may have mentioned this in a review or two previously on Synthetix.FM but being able to review new music from my favourite pioneers of the initial 80s synth revival of the late 00's is thrilling for me, to say the least. One of my biggest dreams when I began Synthetix was being able to finally give some love and support to the artists that made a difference to me nearly five years ago. Palm Highway Chase (PHC) is one of those artists. I fell in love with his Streethawk track off MOTU2 V.2 instantly and his Escape From New York album (available still on vinyl!!) is still one of the greatest album releases the 80s inspired synth scene has produced. The album still sounds as fresh, vital and individual as it did in 2009 and it's inspirational that PHC's new album retains the artists stylistic hallmarks while also forging new ideas.

Of course, this isn't to say it's been such a long time in between drinks for PHC, there have been a smattering of small releases in between these two albums (not least of which is this recent gem) but it's ARPNET that marks this artist's 'next level' so to speak. This reclusive producer, even by the scene's standards, appears to have constructed his own world that he exists in; creating his own music to his own rhythms and beats and when done transports it into our dimension. These visions of another plane of existence are a large part of the PHC mystique and on ARPNET we get the most intimate view yet.

The PHC style itself is one of the most avant garde in the scene, and has been since day one. Compositions are rarely over three minutes long and synthscape takes 80s Library Music into a parallel universe of technological wonderment and experimentation. This producer densely packs his ideas into paragraphs of intensely detailed aural poems in a manner that is highly invigorating. Like 'dark matter' in musical form the depth of the ideas and synthscapes have texture and presence that transcend the human constructed limitations of time.

Take the opening piece for example, classically titled 'Outrun'. Stereo panning basslines wind in and out dangerous turns and synth melodies falling like a downpour descend onto the road, choking the engines sounds, opening new spectrums while closing others. The layers cut and weave in and out perception before disappearing entirely. Left breathless, the silence returns briefly upon which the title track powers into view. A behemoth of machine gun percussion and bright synths evolves into stabbing refrains of cascading synth brilliance. The speed and intensity is blinding in g-force pulling rush of pure magic.

PHC's experimental synthscapes are often his most alluring, as evidenced 'LA Darkzone'. Cold winds of melodies are bracing and piercing while drum tracks create discordant echoes, pounding with life but jaggedly in disarray. Synths climb above the turbulent atmosphere with grace but below the world churns in obscured, ravenous darkness. Rising into a much more idyllic and peaceful dimension is the wonderfully uplifting 'Dream Level'. Arpeggiated flights of fancy become swirling lights of golden warmth, barely able to hold their physical forms, drifting in and out of coherence and vision.

In 'Future Shock' PHC conveys huge amounts of atmosphere within seconds of it's beginning. Thudding and machine like but taking on organic elements that are compacted and merged to magnify the weight and power of the music. The movements become lighter and broader brush strokes are given to melodic parts that then take on their own new forms of existence. These forms are evolved into even more incredible ideas in 'Shoreline Outrun' which dizzies in it's tremendous build until the elementsal forms coalesce into a euphorically moving refrain that is easily one of the cresting high points of the album.

Taking back some of the musical intensity, only slightly, and instead concentrating on the radiance of the melodies, the sweetly beautiful 'Invisible ARP' is intimate and joyous with it's light embodied presence, glowing with unadorned exquisiteness. Future violence returns with 'Street Temple' crushing its way through. The intensity in each facet of the music is teetering on breaking point and as the war machine gains momentum new and powerful visions are cast in a shroud of temporal distortions.

Continuing the back and forth zigzagging journey from light to dark PHC gets dreamy and wistful in his own version of Synth Romance with 'High School'. Love drunk passages eddy and sway with giddy affection, electrifying moments with freeze framed instances of endearing naiveté. 'Arena' swaggers in after 'High School' as a massively catchy piece of pure Library gold. The triumphant melodies are full of the winning spirit and drive for perfection, focused on positivity and delivering the musical equivalent of the clenched fist of success.

'Atari Prime' allows for some very avant gard arrangements to meander and create their own destinies in a free forming synthscape with undulating waves giving buoyancy and verve to the stylised, robotlike melodies. It serves as the perfect link to the final track, 'End Of Drive' which offers an air of calmness as muted instruments and star filled vistas pulse with emotion. Our journey through PHC's ARPNET dimension is complete and as we return to our own familiar time and space our surrounds take on new lustres and magical colours, touched by spells weaved by this artist, giving us a glimpse at the domain in which he exists.

ARPNET as an album creates worlds and allows us to be involved in them first hand. The twelve tracks are all individual highlights that are in themselves then fabricated of incredibly wonderful moments. This album feels like it finally captures what PHC is all about as an artist, with each distilled vision being stunningly crafted with exacting precision while keeping an organic and free-flowing ambiance.

Rosso Corsa Records presents Palm Highway Chase's ARPNET album on their Bandcamp page here. As a long time fan of this artist I can barely contain my elation over how satisfying this record is, for those new to the PHC experience you're in for a huge treat unlike anything else you've heard before. The sounds created here as an enthralling as they are individual, distinguishing PHC's synthscapes from every other producer in the scene. More than anything else this record is art of a uniquely refined character, it is truly a Synthetix Reference Experience and is an album everyone with a love for 80s inspired synth music needs to have in their music library as well as their imaginations.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

The more the scene grows the more great music comes out and the more releases I find are slipping through the cracks and don't get the chance to be shared on here. As a bit of a trial run I'm going to reprise something the old FM stations used to do on their weekly Top 40 flyers and bring in something to the Weekend Updates to make sure as little as possible misses getting some exposure.

In honour of an FM radio station that no longer exists that I used to listen to religiously in the 80s (EON FM) I'm going to call this new section Airborne. Airborne is going to cover the EPs and LPs that I don't have the space to review or doesn't technically meet the criteria for a full Synthetix.FM review but still is well worthy of your attention. The reviews during the week on here are all about the music that moves me and I fall in love with, and I give them the full treatment. The Weekend Updates are for my favourite tracks that have come out through the week and the odd EP, with the new Airborne section it gives me the chance to share more great music with you.


Paris76 - Sandy Dreams Debut EP from this promising producer, with great 70s and 80s influences and crossing over a wide range of genres.

Kid Quasar - Mega Drive Another great debut EP, this time taking the 80s in more experimental directions, highly recommended to fans of the Klockhaus brand of soundscapes.

Cheap Talk - Let's Get Electric Lots of great 80s pop sounds given a modern coat of gloss with a dreamy, charming lo-fi aesthetic.

Nightcrawler - Metropolis  Debut album from Nightcrawler covers a massive ranges of styles and genres with some marvellous atmospheric pieces and collaborative work.


SaiR is back with a hot new track 'Leaving Earth'. Smooth and funky sounds jam along with a sumptuous glow and explore deep melodic passages with just a hint of sexiness. Superb arrangements and full of that rockin SaiR magic!

MUSCLE is new rocker on the scene and has created quite a buzz with his track 'Our Bodies In Heat'. Only his second track but he already has a great understanding of 80s sounds and has some excellent progressions that really build up the excitement. Currently available for FREE download, too!

Bixby Snyder's rockin the Valentine's Day spirit with his totally rockin new track 'Moon & Back'. Working with vocal talent Heidi this synth pop gem bridges the 80s pops standards as well as some Italo flavour cast into the mix for more good times. You can purchase this kick arse song here.

Offic3r is rocking some supremely engaging work with his new track 'Close To Harmony'. The foreboding melodies are accented by chilled, emotive leads with deft flourishes of effects highlighting the action. The drama is dangerous and threatens to explode but is held on a tight leash throughout.

A new producer to Synthetix.FM is Infinity Cobra from Austria. He's been sharing his music on soundcloud for about a year and his latest track is rather special. 'A Cyberpunk Story' is very atmospheric in it's synthscape and retains an uncomplicated lightness through it's chapters. The lead refrain is fantastic and becomes a haunting mantra. Available for FREE download currently.

Destroyah is another new producer but definitely demands some attention with his new track 'Neon Knight (1980-14 Mix)'. The music is emotive and very creatively engineered with a stellar variety of sounds creating high points in the synthscape. It's hugely atmospheric and vast while retaining poignant touches of intimacy. Be sure to check out the other tracks on Destroyah's soundcloud too.

More Valentine's themed love, this time from scene legend Sferro with his sensuous track 'Endearment'.  Melodies come in and out of focus with a deep embrace and lingering synths form deeply enriching passages. In the spirit of giving Sferro has also made this track a FREE download to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Danger Mode keeps on rockin all the right ways and his latest track although on the short side is totally sweet. 'Burning Rubber' gets back to OutRun basics with a devilishly infectious melody set afire with searing synths and high speed thrills. Marvellous work!

Next up is a track that's sure to divide audiences but is definitely something new for the scene. As I mentioned in last week's Weekend Update, I was wondering where Blokkmonsta would take his 80s journey next and my question has been answered rather vociferously! 'Night Life' is a collaborative piece with Swagbot rockin the synths over aggressive beats and a rap vocal in German that I'm pretty sure isn't a Valentine's Day themed love poem. I'm still on the fence, personally, but it's definitely something new for 80s inspired synth scene that could lead to more exciting music in the future. Also check out Swagbot's killer new solo track 'Natural High' for more rad rockin.

One of the highlights of my listening this week is the totally rockin new track from Waveshaper titled 'Deep Circuits'. This piece is arranged for maximum excitement and engagement and has a lead melody that is k-rad to the max. A marvellous blend of 70s prog and 80s sounds makes for a tonne of aural magic.

Robert Parker is a producer I was only recently made aware of and now I'm trying to catch up as much as possible. His new track, 'Brooklyn Bridge' is a wonderfully atmospheric composition with emotions that run deep and true. Make sure you check out his killer Drive, Sweat, Play release on Bandcamp too!

Pulse 80's new track 'Automation' is sure kick the 80s Electro Rock sounds beautifully. This Dub version is a apparently a B side (as well this Bonus Beats mix) but I'm unsure when the A side will appear. Either way, this track rocks to the max and both pieces are up for FREE download.

Haunting melodies are the order of the day for Kruiser's new track 'Childhood'. There is a palpable air of melancholy about this piece, but perhaps it's this affectionate memory of times in our youth that are sure to bring a tear to our eyes. Emotionally driven and crafted with much beauty, this is a riveting experience. Kruiser's very new to the scene, but I'm certainly looking forward to hearing more from him.

Keeping things melancholic with a bit more of a pop angle is Decades/Failures new gem 'February 14th'. The distorted Joy Division-esque vocals tell a tale of broken hearts and the emotional mess left behind after the romance has gone. The sweet synth melodies are full of 80s homage  and make for a great counterpoint to the much more raw vocals.  This song is currently available for FREE download.

Miami Beach Force are having a bit of Valentine's sadness too in their new track 'The End'. Morose and moody melody build with powerful rhythms pounding unforgivingly. The searing lead synth is beautiful and fragile as it climbs higher and higher into the nothingness above.

Bringing back some romance to fix our broken hearts is the rad new collaboration between Femmepop and Timecop 1983. 'Our Time' is a fantastic modern take on 80s pop sounds with sweetly passionate vocals and synth melodies that smoulder great beauty.  You can pick up a copy of this song on Bandcamp here, and you can also watch the official video for 'Our Time' here.

The final piece for this week's Weekend Update comes to us from synthwave auteur extraordinaire Neros77 and his video from Palm Highway Chase's 'Atari Prime'. His source material is one of my favourite 80s ads and befits the music to perfection! I'll be reviewing Palm Highway Chase's Arpnet album on Synthetix.FM next week, so enjoy this candy flavoured taster until then.

That does us for this week's Weekend Update, I'll be back during the week with more of the raddest tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene, 'til then stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day From Synthetix.FM!

In keeping with the traditions begun with the Halloween Rhythm Vivisection Mixtape I'm elated to bring you a new annually themed mixtape, this time for Valentine's Day.

I've chosen some of my most favourite Synth Romance pieces from some of the most prolific artists in the scene and created a twenty four track mix entitled Synthual Rendezvous. I'm also very, very pleased to have EXCLUSIVE tracks from both LA Dreams and RF Extreme in this mixtape, created especially for Valentine's Day.

To accompany the mixtape I also have cover art that I created to celebrate this event, click here for your own full resolution copy.

So turn the lights down low, and the volume to the most intimate possible levels and allow the magical powers of Synth Romance create the perfect atmosphere for you and your partner of choice this Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Between Heaven And Hell; Gost Exists

The last time we visited with Gost on Synthetix.FM was way back in August 2013. This isn't to say that Gost's been out of action til now, not at all. In fact, Gost has released quite a bit of music in the last six months but I've found his more recent tunes to be leaning a bit to far into the abrasive side and lacked the counter punch of the more melodic structures. That is until now, as Gost's self titled EP has brought a tempering balance to his vicious synthscapes that brings back the 80s horror synthscapes exceptionally well.

I find that with the extreme music that I like, in general, that there needs to be the contrast of sounds to give importance and impact to the other side. Too much intensity causes loss of intensity and that all important impact is lost. On Gost's new EP he's rediscovered and retooled and resurrected that 80s magic I found absent in his last few experiences. The result being five chapters of coal black Slash Electro that is backlit with a neon glow and rocks harder than a melonfarmer.

For all of Gosts marvellously entertaining evil bravado the real black magic in his jaggedly dangerous compositions is the sweetness of the melodies. 'Ritual' begins the incantations with sliced and diced rhythms electrified with seizure inducing brutality but it doesn't take long for the melodic beauty to be coerced and exorcised from the diabolical eruptions and given cause to rise and soar above the chaos. This is the true magic of this genre; the tightrope walk between heaven and oblivion, the beauty and the beast existing as one.

Gost stretches the chasms of depth even further in the follow up to 'Ritual' in the phantasmagorically constructed 'Cascade'. Melodies are light and vibrant, with only the rhythm section championing it's cause for complete arcane devourment.When the dark forces can wait no longer the gates are torn from their rusted hinges and the inner demons are unleashed but the music retains it's ethereal elements. Amid the growling synth ferocity a floating layer of beautiful serenity remains present.

'Ascension' begins as a blood pact forged in hellish domains where melodic beauty seems the furthest possible imaginable idea with cauldrons of malignancy boiling over with intensity. At the point of physical and emotional breakdown Gost conjures a wistfully enchanting melody which he then stabs and flays away with in a spectacular display of rhythmic flagellation. Melodies break and then reform, stronger, with more presence, the refrain refuses to bow down to its dark master in an act of eternal defiance.

Upon the introductory passages of  'Within' we're transported instantly into the realms of classic 70s horror soundtrack synth. The clarity of the instruments gives a gleaming, crystalline texture to the melodies which the chugging boorishness of the piece's back bone simply can't affect. The music is allowed to grow into an epic narrative that is possibly Gost's most ambitious excursion into the more atmospheric side of his sounds thus far. The structures are positively uplifting and full of promise without being destroyed by the curse.

The atmosphere is really what sets this release apart for this producer. Gost has developed a great storytelling aspect that gives that magically entrancing aspect to the greatest of synthual experiences. In 'Horizon' this is expanded even further as symphonic passages are configured into rising structures of immense grandeur. Layers of surfaces form and blend before our eyes as the impossible becomes the tangible and the music speaks a language all it own. Foreign tongues and bizarre customs from other worlds are presented in an incredibly original fashion that ends abruptly, but implies a great deal more of these interdimensional voyages are something Gost will guide us through when he feels we're ready for it.

Girlfriend Records presents Gost's self titled EP on their Bandcamp page here. I believe this a hugely important record in this genre as it takes both extremities of vulgarity and beauty and elevates them into electrifying new dimensions, not only in their own spaces but often at the same time. By rekindling his melodic muse, Gost has taken his synthscapes into an all new level of brilliance. The depths and heights achieved from movement to movement and track to track is akin to baroque religious iconography with its exquisitely refined paintings of the most grotesque subject matter. Gost's self titled EP is a true Synthetix Reference Experience and raises even more possibilities and intrigue as to where Gost's apparition will appear in his next incarnation.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another week full of rockin action rolls around and it's time for another big Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM.

The more astute readers of the site may notice a new addition to the left hand side bar on the page. This new addition is a PayPal Donate button I've added to the site. Over the last couple of years numerous people have said they'd like to support Synthetix.FM more and would like to help out with the costs. There are very few costs associated with Synthetix.FM besides my own time but I wanted to give people the opportunity to help out with the hosting/domain costs if they'd like to. I'm not begging for money, nor does the future of the site depend on donations, I just thought it'd be an option for those of you out there who'd like to take your support of this site further.

Next week marks Valentines Day's on Friday the 14th and Synthetix.FM is getting into the spirit of this most emotional and passionate holiday with special celebration. It's all being kept under wraps in a heart shaped box, tied up with big satin ribbons right now but come Thursday next week there'll be something special on here to ensure no one misses out on feeling the love this Valentine's Day.

On to this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM!

Let's open up with the hot new EP from Arc Neon: Technicolor Workout. This much anticipated releases from one of my favourite UK purveyors of quality 80s sounds has arrived and is surprising, refreshing and most importantly, rockin to the max! The six tracks (including an intro piece and instrumental version of 'Heat Of The Night') takes much of what we've grown to know and love about the Arc Neon sound and expands it out into all new dimensions.

Technicolor Workout opens with 'Heat Of The Night' which to me feels like an evolutionary next step and also homage to Arc Neon's classic 'Night Heat' track. The vocals from Dana Jean Phoenix are performed with a sultry longing that compliments the mood of the track perfectly and the inclusions of guitar and sax through the different stages really add a huge amount of presence to the Arc Neon sound. Definitely one of the group's most developed and complete experiences.

'Aerobicide' takes a different approach with rocks more guitars and some totally killer 'plinky plonky' synth melodies to take your workout into dangerous levels of exertion. This track is a great exploration of the melodies while make sure the energies are frenetic and vital. Conversely, the next track, titled 'Forbidden Dance' winds things back to a slower pace that allows the guitars to soar instead of shred and the more soundtrack oriented Arc Neon elements to come into focus. Once again, the sax in the final act of this composition elevates it beautifully.

The title track is another collaborative work, this time with Abbey Bretts performing the vocals. Melodically this adds an Italo Disco flavour to Arc Neon's sound and the repeated vocal refrain adds just enough modernity to the atmosphere. The songwriting of Arc Neon has most definitely been refined and the structures keep the hooks rockin and the moods intimate. The final piece of the EP is an inclusion of 'Heat Of The Night' as an instrumental, I personally prefer the vocal version, but this affords the listener to fully realise the the lustrous synthscapes.

Technicolor Workout displays a marked growth in all facets of the Arc Neon experience and Synthetix.FM very highly recommends this release. You can pick up a copy via their Bandcamp page here.

Let's keep the rockin rollin with great new piece from ForeignBlade. Although made last year, he's just released this gem while still working on a new EP. 'Extraordinary Circumstances' is a marvellously structured soundtrack styled affair that enthrals from beginning to end. This is currently available for FREE download too.

New Spacious Sweep next with his latest 'Backtrack'. The mood of this track is laid back and mellow yet the melodic layers add beautiful Italo flavoured details. Haunting elements through the midsection complete the experience. This is intended to be included on his upcoming new EP.

Pyramid Aeon is a new rocker on the 80s inspired synth scene and his latest track really grabbed my attention. 'Stay' contains a wonderfully vivid vitality that drives the lead melody and is backed by dreamy haze delightful 80s nuance. Though he's still finding his sound, Pyramid Aeon is definitely a producer to watch for, be sure you grab a copy of 'Stay' while it's up for FREE download. Many thanks to John Littlefield for enlightening me to this producer's existence.

Cut from a similar cloth to some of my favourite work by Starcadian is the rockin new retro styled funk jam from Atrey: 'Guilty Pleasure'. The horns and vocals create a spectacular 80s homage to the modern chopped up melodies while the mid point breakdown provides some stellar expositions between passages. You can pick up a copy of 'Guilty Pleasure' via Atrey's Bandcamp page here, I hope that you do and rock this track loud and often!

Germany's Blokkmonsta continues to explore his 80s passions, this time featuring Italy's favourite synthsation Vincenzo Salvia. 'Human Destiny' is yet another wonderfully realised soundtrack piece that summons all kinds of wonderful visions and possibilities. Also of note, on Blokkmonsta's soundcloud bio it mentions he has the record for being Germany's Rapper & Producer with the highest count of banned CD's nationwide. After witnessing such beauty and sensitivity in his recent pieces I can't wait to see what he comes up with when he really lets fly!

Manolis continues to be one of my favourite new producers in the 80s inspired synth scene and his melodies and productions always have an air of perfect 80s understanding. His 'Escape Vacations' piece ventures into a bit of Library territory with its catchy hooks and explosive percussion. He also released another great track this week in 'My Future Girlfriend' which is a sumptuously smooth track that builds to an absolutely stunning melodic adventure. Both are available for FREE download so please give this producer some love and appreciation.

Speaking of sumptuous synth, 'The Seven Sunset Ride' by Olivier P.G. via The Music Is Vast is an incredibly authentic soundtrack love theme that does everything absolutely right. The languid pace, the heartfelt melodies, the synths, the guitars, the sax, it's all here and it's all 100% magical. Stunning work. Thanks to Sunglasses Kid for letting me know of this totally rockin producer.

Mitch Murder's really ramping up the releases of late and his new track shared this week is one of his most exciting in recent times in my opinion. 'The Final Stretch' is built on a selection of melodies that are both triumphant and catchy as hell. Mitch Murder works magical elements into his trademark styles as more of a secondary concern this time around so that melodic power always retains it's focus. Solid gold rockin and rich in all my favourite aspects that make this artist so very, very rad.

Our next piece is one I review with a heavy heart, but still with hope for the future. The Azure Crime project is unfortunately over before it really began. Citing major health issues this producer has taken his leave of music production after releasing a handful of tracks that are truly kick arse. For now though, we have to wish Azure Crime all the best and a speedy recovery so he can keep on rockin. His farewell release, The End Of Crime is four previously unreleased tracks that span many 80s inspirations and are full of emotional investment and much musical prowess.

Opening up with 'Particles' we're greeted by an expanding vista of city lights and slow burning melodies introduced like clouded phantoms into the mix. The spectral melodies rise and fall in the night sky and each new chapter carries them higher and further. 'Polvo De Angel' then turn the scene into more passionate arrangements, energised with pounding drums and dramatic chords. Azure Crime verges on OutRun in this piece with it's twists and turns, but he retains an intimacy through the synthscape that prevents the high speed chase from going off the rails. By the time the guitars crunch into view the path ahead becomes a minefield of dangerous curves and high risk maneuvers.

The redlining melodies are exchanged for a romantic interlude in the home room affair 'Highschool Love'. Aurally delicate feelings create much electricity and lead to heart racing moments of sax filled delirium. Guitars swoon and fall under the romantic spell of the piano melodies, completing the warm, impassioned embrace. Harpsichords of eternal damnation usher the fourth chapter of the EP as blackened skies burst and a rain that doesn't cleanse begins to fall. 'Nightmare' is onyx black dark synth, with a threatening bassline and chilling melodies. Choked passages from which there is no escape ensure your nightmare will last long after the dawn.

It's a testament to Azure Crime's talent that all four tracks are hugely different yet all display a great understanding of what makes these genres rock. I do hope we get to hear more from Azure Crime at some stage, but for now we must bid adieu to Azure Crime. Be sure to pick up these totally rockin tracks on his Bandcamp page here and though it's a name-your-own-price point please dig deep to show your appreciation. Our hearts go with you, Azure Crime, you'll never be alone. Keep on rockin, brother!

Robot Outro has been sharing his take on 80s sounds for the last year and his new track, 'The Lost Tape' is a marvellous homage to early 80s euro synth pop. The mechanically discordant intro leads into a pulsing refrain that harkens back to the glory days when these musical vistas were still brand new. I keep expecting to hear a terse female vocal doing some spoken word in German over the top of this track. Great work from Robot Outro!

Palm Highway Chase has been one of my favourite producers in 80s styled synth music since I first discovered it and it gives me great excitement to see a full new album from this visionary producer is due out very soon on Rosso Corsa Records! The teaser for this record is packed with incredible diverse sounds and imaginative compositions, I can't wait for the full experience. And that won't be long with the release date being the 10th of February, which is tomorrow!

The smooth and ambient soundtrack synth music has been really prolific this week, and the latest track from Bluezz Vylez continues the theme. 'Secret Feeling' is ethereally composed with glacially beautiful progressions that are accented by serenely implemented sax magic. This track is currently available for FREE download too. For more Bluezz Vylez rockin check out his hot Flash Over Craters EP that was released last year while Synthetix.FM was on vacation. It's full of atmospheric synth jams that take the Bluezz Vylez sounds into more experimental directions.

Our final piece to start getting you in the mood for Valentine's Day is a great video from Parlous for his track 'Softcore'. Featuring some salaciously sexy synth work and a huge amount of equally arousing video clips this is sure to get your pulse racing. A warning/recommendation: theres lots of nudity!

Softcore from Parlous on Vimeo.

That does us for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, I'll be back during the week with more hot tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nowtro After Dark

Nowtro's been producing music since 2004 and over the last year he's been composing with a penchant for classic 80s sounds with contemporary arrangements with much success. I've been covering his work since mid 2013 on Synthetix.FM and his debut EP, After Dark, has landed recently with a resounding thunderclap of power that demands attention.

This producer's style is lends it's self to the darker end of OutRun in some cases while also exhibiting a great skill in delving into deep exploration of poignant melodies. In a similar style to Lazerhawk, Nowtro manages to create music that is new and old at the same time with vintage 80s emotions working with a production style that puts massive emphasis on the dramatic in both sound and arrangements. There can be a brutish angle to some of his music which is then tempered by delicate melodies with a resulting atmosphere that is heavy and powerful.

I think heavy is a really great descriptor for the Nowtro synthscape. Not just in the sounds either, his skill at creating a heavy and foreboding atmosphere is another well used weapon in his armoury. The opening track to After Dark shares the same name as the ever popular 'Tech Noir' nightclub from Terminator and this is where Nowtro sets his stage and gets his point across in no uncertain terms. Synthister emanations spill from the shadows and throb into life, hungry for power, consuming vast amounts of  voltage in a frenzy of unstoppable menace. The lead melodies are searing to the point of cauterisation as each writhing chord twists in a display one simply can't look away from.

The raucous power of 'Tech Noir' is switched a gear in the machine like 'Seeker'. The unstoppable beat ushers in spiralling melodies that speak of wonder and hope amidst a completely bleak landscape. The desolation is tactile, with darkened, decaying ruins that were once cities becoming humanity's tomb. Sparks of life ignite, and rise, joining together in a refrain the makes the insurmountable seem achievable.

Nowtro cites many 80s films score, including John Carpenter's work, as big inspirations which echoes resolutely in the incredibly compelling third track 'The Long Long Ago'. Whispers grow into resoundingly uplifting melodies that are full of beauty and fragility. Nowtro's heavily contrasted synthscape with it's megaton percussion and merciless basslines constantly fighting for power over the finely detailed melodies is breathtaking. And in this piece it's almost verging on Synth Romance with it's deep passion which is purely delectable.

Energies become more focused in the slow motion OutRun piece 'Midnight Drive'. The pace is kept under control but the synths are allowed to accelerate into explosive and exciting new directions, through tight chicanes and hair raising hairpin turns. Intricately explored passages ensure we don't miss any of the action and instead of becoming a blur the scenery liquefies into a sweeping slow motion panorama. The contemporary arrangements emphasise the action but the soul of the 80s burns deep and bright within.

The titular 'After Dark' completes this EP and brings in a wonderfully introspective opening passage that builds into a crescendo of synthual pleasures. Haunting and emotive, looking back into the past with regret and yearning for a future to build towards. Each note of hope is answered by more voices for the cause. Climbing upward, to the warmth of the sun, out of the abandoned concrete devastation.  Rays of light are met with reaching, outstretched fingers and hope becomes a reality. We're not beaten yet, but the road ahead is long and full of perils...

Telefuture Records presents Nowtro's After Dark EP on their Bandcamp page, here at a name-your-own-price point. This dystopian vision of a future where man has lost is not an uncommon thematic in the 80s inspired synth scene, but rarely has it been explored with such frailty and beauty. Nowtro resists the urge to go overboard with the darker aspects and in doing so adds a dimension of humanity that I found inspirational throughout the five chapters. Synthetix.FM very highly recommends this EP and  I hope you dig deep when purchasing this album to give Nowtro some well deserved appreciation for such a finely constructed release.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Night Talk In Paradise With Phaserland

Phaserland has kind of snuck up out of nowhere and in a short space of time released some beautifully crafted 80s inspired synth music. Towards the end of 2013 Phaserland began sharing his music and each track sparked with individuality and enthralling passages of very original synthscapes. His finely detailed pieces have manifested themselves into his debut album titled Night Talk In Paradise.

This ten track release covers many sounds and emotions but there is a palpable Phaserland atmosphere that emanates throughout all his tracks. The sounds feel lighter than air and electrified with a natural power. Each experience is full to bursting with these charged details and nuances but it's Phaserland's own style which makes the ambiance work brilliantly in a way that never becomes heavily congested or uneasy to listen to. Action and excitement are crisply engineered alongside the jazzier breeziness of other tracks and he moves betwixt these dimensions seamlessly.

The first outing on the album is 'Top Of The Needle' which really sets the clarity and rousing nature of Phaserland's music exceptionally well. Uplifting melodies get brought back to earth and hammered out into newly conceived ideas with a refined eclecticism that adds even more charm to the music. The lead melody is an elation of positivity and it's success is anchored by witty, darting passages of much delight.

'China, Silver & Gold' alludes to a much more grounded, rock steady beat that jams with a colourfully alive palette. I'm not sure if it's the instruments or the arrangements, or perhaps a combination of both that really gives it a synth jazz flavour not unlike the work Japan's Toshiki Kadomatsu and other composers of the 80s that breathed sweet life into electronic sounds. The liveness of the synthscape is completely enthralling and provides the perfect canvas for Phaserland to work his art on.

A more futuristic and science fiction themed passage follows in 'Sky Structure 84 E'. Although it's unmistakably drawing imagery from technologies far beyond our current reach, the piece manages to retain a vibrant human energy via the guitar work and synth solos. These melodic adventures are soulfully performed with great passion. The future-tech sterility and humanised elements play off each other in a dignified and respectful manner that is thoroughly enchanting to partake in.

Phaserland turns the the mood to suave sophistication in track four, 'Magenta Eyes'. The airy melodies that hang on cool evening breezes and echo and dance amid flickering city lights. The listening is easy and relaxing, guitars intimate more energetic possibilities but it's the synths that caress and flow with effortless beauty. The sun drops behind the deep horizon and the night comes alive with sounds and visions, our conversation with the night continues in earnest.

'The Dangers Of Android Love' is the next chapter with robotic structures and positively progressive passages that get funkier and funkier as the inquisitive artificial intelligence develops deeper affections. The instrumentation on this track is a cavalcade of sounds that are very inventively crafted and give a great insight into Phaserland's songwriting talents. Each new moment is welcomed and explored, inviting you in to it's world and then taking you deeper into the narrative. 'The Dangers Of Android Love' gets the perfect balance of hooky refrains and surprising new twists and turns.

Moving to a more desolate location we find 'Dark Streets'; a situation in which Phaserland explores things in a more introverted way with stunningly transfixing guitars driving the piece. Atmospheric synths set a scene of slight malaise and trepidation until the instruments all join up in unison to cast brilliant light on the subject. The way Phaserland plays the sounds off each other is just wonderful as he not only creates a new chapter in the story with each passage but retains the thematic most lucidly.

I do believe that 'Alone In Paradise' is my personal favourite track on this record. Coming out the 'Dark Streets' this piece introduces more frenetic energy into things. Melodies are vibrant and pulsating with rainbows of colour that the guitars then soar upon into the stratosphere. This piece really encapsulates the Phaserland aesthetic as all his individual hallmarks are present while adding just that bit more rockin  to proceedings courtesy of a guitar track that is allowed to be more wild and untamed.

A sensually passionate energy flows into view in 'Night Talk', as the conversation slinks into the boudoir and the animal instincts become uncontrollable. The music meanders in sultry dimensions, between the sheets, moonlit and completely insatiable. Phaserland manages to keep things tasteful and doesn't work too blue, instead opting for a jazz rendezvous that lets our imaginations do all the dirty work.

'She's A Hologram Tonight' gets things moving in the direction of the dancefloor as gyrating basslines and disco guitars groove as one into a rhythmic vision one can't help but be transfixed by. The artist adds layer upon layer of lovingly performed details and yet still retains a completely weightless aesthetic to the synthscape. The dancing sounds move like celestial lights,  unaffected by gravity and driven by sparkling energies.

The album is completed with the enthralling 'Stagelight Dusk' which introduces a naturally performed vocal track for the first time on the record. By using vocals Phaserland's synthscape is given a more human face that gestures fancifully at being Synth Pop, but the vocals are merely hinted at and are used as haunting refrain and don't get to play a more powerful role.

This may be a bit of experimentation on Phaserland's behalf and I can appreciate how getting the right balance between vocal and instrumental work must be difficult due to it's less regimented and free form nature. Nevertheless this final piece piques my interest for even more possibilities from Phaserland's imagination and is a marvellous example of his musical prowess. 'Stagelight Dusk' finishes the conversation of 'Night Talk In Paradise' rather succinctly, capping off a wonderful experience in quality synthual delights.

This record is a massively impressive debut, and that deserves much love and respect as Phaserland's sounds contain a beautiful individuality that is rare in the 80s inspired synth scene. With his jazzy, progressive movements; punctuated with catchy refrains and detailed explorations it's impossible not to recognise a Phaserland track almost instantly. His use of guitars bridges so many worlds too, as the emotional context he implements them in shows a great understanding of the instrument. The Phaserland sound is classy and dignified, it's thoughtful and invigorating and most importantly it creates a new dimension of 80s inspired synthscapes that rock to the max.

Waverunner Records presents Phaserland's Night Talk In Paradise album on their Bandcamp page here. This producer's journey into 80s sounds is just beginning and it's already providing new experiences with a musical style that is thoroughly engaging. This album is very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and solidifies Phaserland's position as one of the most exciting new producers in the scene with a record that is as fresh as it is rockin.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Synthetix Second Anniversary Weekend Update

The 3rd of February marks the second birthday for Synthetix.FM. Two years ago I started this venture and it pleases me greatly to witness such a marked growth in the scene I write about. Music, by it's nature, is evolutionary. New influences and inspirations shape the music and these new muses take things into new directions. When I began this journey the concept of Carpenter Brut/Perturbator/Gost's Slash Electro was unheard of. The amount of music coming out now with guitar and saxophone tracks figuring prominently were almost non-existant, in 2014 this no longer the case. Now vocals are finally becoming a staple to many 80s inspired genres as opposed to only being a novelty. And most importantly the numbers of fans and producers is growing every day.

So I'd like to thank every single fan and producer in the scene for making it what it is today. Synthetix.FM is merely a reflection of the people that make all the magic happen and to every producer and devotee of 80s inspired synth sounds I raise a glass and toast you all for making my favourite music into a sustainable movement, and here's to many more years of rockin the raddest tunes.

The third year ahead for Synthetix.FM is going to be an evolutionary one too, I hope, as the audience grows I hope to always remain relevant and in step with all the most rockin happenings in the scene. 

Just as bit of a plug before we get into this week's Weekend Update I was interviewed this past week on Atomic Leg Drop Zine. This was a lot of fun and goes through some of the history of Synthetix.FM and the scene in general. I hope it provides some insight, especially for those new the music. Many thanks to Salvador at Atomic Leg Drop for affording me this opportunity.

Time get down to the business end of things now with the three hundred and forty fourth post on Synthetix.FM; the second anniversary Weekend Update!

Where a better place to start a special Weekend Update than with a kick arse new tune from one of my favourite producers: LA Dreams. 'Ready To Rumble' is a high speed thrill ride into synthtastic excitement. Perfectly written and positively shining in LA Dreams gloss brilliance.

The UK's Arc Neon are back in action with a kick arse new track from their upcoming Technicolor Workout EP due out February 15th. 'The Heat Of The Night' features the vocals of Dana Jean Phoenix and some absolutely sleazed out guitars amid sensually caressing synths and a warm, basking afterglow of sultry sax. This is a very promising new synthscape for Arc Neon and I'm really looking forward to the full EP release later in the month. For now you can get your own copy of 'Heat Of The Night' for FREE via Arc Neon's Bandcamp page here.

I always find Cougar Synth's music deeply emotionally, beyond the chords and arrangements there is always an underlying affection that seems to power each of their musical love letters. 'A Somewhere Place' is classic Cougar Synth with vastly spatial synthscapes contrasted with intimate beauty. This is currently available for FREE download, but I don't see a Download button on the new Soundcloud player, so you may have to view the track on soundcloud to get the Download button rockin.

Obliterating the atmosphere in a nanosecond is the high voltage new track from Perturbator aptly titled 'She Moves Like A Knife'. If the high speed drum track wasn't enough to get your pulse racing the then stabbing synth melodies will be sure to open an artery. The Perturbator ferocity is rockin to the max throughout this piece, but the beauty of the melodies provide that glorious 80s homage. This track is currently available for FREE download.

A rockin new collaboration between Robert Parker and Waveshaper is up next. 'Modern Technology' is a smoothly constructed odyssey into synth dimensions of the raddest rockin. This track is available for purchase off Bandcamp here, and also check out the killer photo shoot done for this project by Joakim Reimer on Facebook here.

Python Blue keeps rockin all the right ways as his musical journeys into 80s pleasures continues. His latest piece entitled 'Clouds' takes this producer into the stratosphere with a lightness to the synthscape not usually present in his work. As always the narrative is beautifully constructed and explored, one of Python Blue's hallmarks of quality. You can pick up your own copy of 'Clouds' via the link in the player, which I highly encourage.

After a great teaser campaign through Facebook, Plaisance has just released his new two track EP and it delivers on every level. This time around Plaisance has added the vocal talents of Claudia Ortolani and Patrick 'Shio-Z' Rizzi to the mix and the two resulting songs are rockin the Italo Synth magic from beginning to end. This project, delightfully titled Elle & Lui, is all about the feminine and the masculine, working in a balance and partnership. The vocals of Claudia Ortolani channel a little bit of Stevie Nicks and a whole a tonne of 80s Italo in a wonderful performance. The music on 'Same Road, Different Ways' definitely shows Plaisance's song writing is evolving rather majestically.

This evolution continues into the second track 'The Three Elements'. Patrick Rizzi's deep and tortured vocals are spectacular while Plaisance's music takes on a more dramatic turn also. The marching drums and passionate melodies are arranged majestically and the chorus is an explosion of synthual desires. Both sides of Elle & Lui are rockin to the max and the EP is available at name-your-own-price point via the link in the player.

One producer who always has the magic touch for making melodies bounce and emotions climb skywards is Rain Sword and his latest track is another beautifully uplifting composition. 'Dance All Night' is rife with catchy hooks and buttery smooth 80s love. Solid gold from beginning to end. This is currently available for FREE download also.

Marshall Bravestar is a new producer on the scene who's direct inspiration is, unsurprisingly, the wondrous world of 80s saturday morning cartoons. The synthscape on 'Speed Of A Puma' certainly has a flair for the dramatic and each layer adds more presence and depth to the narrative. I think this producer is still finding his way but this track is definitely kicking much arse. You can pick up a copy of this piece on his Bandcamp page here at a name-your-own-price point.

Another producer new to Synthetix.FM is Mosaik. Hailing from Sweden and also heavily influenced by Sweden's own Mitch Murder; Mosaik is definitely rockin hard in his new track 'Sky Fighter'. The production is as slick an F-14A Tomcat and cuts through the air with equal grace and dexterity. Mosaik explores the narrative extremely well and keeps the excitement levels at fever pitch through out. Many thanks to Project Friday for enlightening me to the Mosaik magic.

A new piece of beautiful music next from RF Extreme with his new experience 'A Time To Remember'. This is yet another soulful piece of extraordinary Synth Romance from this talented producer. Melodies shine like diamonds and each passage intimates deeper and deeper emotional investment.

Replacing love with vengeance is 'Filthy Streets' the powerhouse new jam from Bixby Snyder. Building like a tsunami and crushing with devastating force each chapter of this Slash Electro diatribe is punctuated by some totally brutal percussion. The extreme swell of the music is likely to cause the bends for those uninitiated to such synthscapes but it's the beauty of the melodies that are intoxicatingly irresistible.

Alpha Boy's new album came out while Synthetix.FM was on holidays and due to time constraints I don't have the opportunity to review properly but as Alpha Boy recently shared the magnificent 'Electric Popping' off Laser Vision I thought it was a prime opportunity to give it some love. This Eletro Breakin gem is full of hot rockin action and befits Alpha Boys 'call and response' natured melodies perfectly. Be sure to check out the full album on Bandcamp here. It's yet another strong release from this scene legend and displays some very interesting new ideas for the composer particularly on the beautifully elegant 'Carnegie Hall' and 'Vision' tracks and the sumptuously sparse early 80s electro synth of 'Collision'.

Rockin the purest of Italo Disco Synth gold is Mario Moretti with his hot new rocker 'Spaziotempo'. Pitch perfect basslines and magical melodies are woven into radical dancefloor anthem. The layering is sublimely implemented as each new element melds likes coloured molten glass to the existing structures. You can purchase this track on the full release by Bordello A Parigi's site here.

Taking things back to the depths of the shadows is Flash Arnold with his brand new epic 'The Outbreak'. This is a pure Dark Synth adventure full twists and turns of terror. with fear and excitement going hand in hand. The production accentuates the passages exceedingly well and the story is explored to it's final gory end delightfully well. You can pick up a copy of this off Flash Arnold's Bandcamp here, at a name-your-own-price point.

Another producer who released a great record while Synthetix.FM was on holiday was Dan Terminus. His debut album,  The Darkest Benthic Division LP was released on Werkstatt Recording in numerous formats and is a totally kick arse experience in the darker arts of Soundtrack Synth. The entire album tells a riveting story and creates a vice like grip that is impossible to escape from. Be sure to pick up a copy here, if you can handle the intensity! For those of weaker constitutions perhaps only one track is all you can bear of Dan Terminus's catastrophic creations? 'Tokamak' is the new one from Dan Terminus and continues down the path of no return with sinister symphonies and morose movements guiding you into a living nightmare.

Our final piece on this anniversary Weekend Update is the brilliant new promo video for the new Nightcrawler album. Welcome To Metropolis: The Last City On Earth is a very impressive visual piece that sets my anticipation levels to fever pitch. Due out February 10, we don't have too long to wait!

Nightcrawler Metropolis (Official Trailer) from Nightcrawler on Vimeo.

That does us for the anniversary Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, thanks for supporting Synthetix.FM over the last two years, let's make the next one even radder. I'll be back during the week with more action from the 80s inspired synth scene. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.