Saturday, January 31, 2015

Synthetix Sundays

February 2015 begins with another blockbuster episode of Synthetix Sundays, LIVE on Radio Pure Gently!
On this weeks show Marko interviews San Dingo, Killer Instinct and Bronson.

Plus regular segments with Paul Dress2Kill Daly, Synthetix Spotlight and the much awaited return of Quality time with Shithouse. 

All this rockin as well as an exclusive track from longtime synthficionado Action Jackson and Marko will also be airing the exclusive premiere of the entire up and coming EP from Cosmic Angst. from the creative mind that brought you Mild Peril.
All this plus all the best rockin from the last two weeks in the 80s inspired synth scene and all the mayhem and hilarity Marko's famous for.

Tune in to Synthetix Sundays LIVE on Radio Pure Gently here, at 10pm Perth, Australia time. Please click here to find out when this is in your part of the world.

As always the fully downloadable show along with the Quality Time With Shithouse highlight tracks will be posted here on Monday.

Quality Time With Shithouse Highlights:

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Tape Loader - Space Travel

By James Mann

Cosmic energy. Black holes. Energy soaring through galaxies at unimaginable speeds. Traversing layers of space, mystery, and travel, Tape Loader sets ignition interlock sequence to lift off and escort you along a remarkable trip in his galaxy with an astounding sense of depth, mood, and an 80s Euro-esque nostalgia overload that's truly joyous. The debut album Space Travel from this wizard of synths and samples is an impressive one. Unapologetic rhythms and a perfect blend of both heavy and light synthesizers work in unison for a range of sounds I've yet to hear from any artist in the scene. Tape Loader has an ability to vary his sounds from track to track, creating journeys with his exceptional understanding of layering that are addicting and so sweet to any synthficionado.

The first two tracks on this gem of a debut are the aptly titled 'Space Travel' and 'Rogue Comet.' Tape Loader takes a different approach with his tracks, an incredibly satisfying way of layering bass, melodies, samples, and little touches here and there which all work in unison for a momentum which builds and keeps your attention undivided. 'Space Travel' has an incredible Euro style melody that reminds me of the French duo Air. Interspliced with samples and a gradual build, the whole track has touches of simplicity, yet a sophistication that's undeniable.

 "Rogue Comet" is perhaps my favorite on the album. One thing worth mentioning before delving into the beauty of this gorgeous track is that nothing about Tape Loader is formulaic. 'I went full on with samples from this CBS sound library that I found at a garage sale ten years ago (a 3 LP box set - vinyl) from the 70s.' This is just one examples of the many layers of creative depth this artist has, and is able to incorporate into his wide variety of sounds and melodies. 'Rogue Comet' has such a confidence in it, and the arpeggiated melodies and delay on the percussion will send chills up and down. There's is a good deal of inspiration in Tape Loader's tracks, as he told me some of these compositions have been in the works for 'quite some time.'

'Jupiter Jazz' is another stunner of a track that reminds me of watching shows like Belle and Sebastian as a child in the 80s. There is once again that trans European feeling of a theme pertaining to perhaps a show from my childhood? Quite possibly a more current feel of an 80s hit from a French artist? I am meandering a bit, but the feelings evoked are so unique I can't quite put my finger on it. This is a good thing. I absolutely love this.

'The Martian Conflict' was a close second for best track. Shimmering melodies, driving beat and rhythm prompt the listener to do one thing, dance. (or at least gyrate) The buildup once again is evident, and the layers keep coming until, explosion. Now Tape Loader has taken you through his dimensions of the vast array of space he's familiar with, and is no longer an introduction to you. The coordinates are set and turning back is near impossible. These synth laden treats he lays out in trail fashion are too good not to follow.

'Love on a Real Spaceship' is a mesmerizing track, fittingly so since it's an homage to the Tangerine Dream classic from the Risky Business soundtrack. Emulating the depth and dimensions of Tangerine Dream isn't easy, but Tape Loader nails it. This track demonstrates his versatility as an artist, venturing into more soundtrack based themes with dimension, depth, and appeal. Excellent job on this one, it was among my favorites on the album.

Space Travel is an exceptional debut album from Tape Loader. Gorgeous sounds and percussion take you through the spacial realm of this artist's vision and convey a deep interpretation of the unknown and beyond. There were moments I felt almost lost in the sound, a trance like feeling that put me in a warm, comfortable place. When asked about future or current projects, Tape Loader confirmed that he is in fact working on another themed project at the moment. Expect some collaborations from him as well.

Tape Loader presents 'Space Travel' and it is available here and it comes very, very highly recommended from SynthetixFM. "Are you so nostalgic that you might go insane? Have a Tape Loader, it will make it all better!" Well put, Tape Loader.

Cosmo Cocktail - Endless Waves

By JamesTheSuperGeek

Endless Wave is the debut EP from producer Cosmo Cocktail. Cosmo creates an immersive dreamscape. Filled with lush synth lines and catchy melodies this EP portrays the feeling of 'the perfect summer' and an 80s Miami beach, and also has quite a strong early 80s new wave vibe to it. Standout tracks on this EP would have to be 'Sail Through The Storm', 'Endless Wave' and 'Passing Cape Horn' but it's certainly a great whole experience.

The EP opens with 'Sail Through The Storm' which is driven by solid melodies and a nice bassline with some shimmering arpeggios on top to glisten it up a bit and a solid way to kick off the EP. Next is the title track 'Endless Wave' which slows things down a bit and incorporates a more dreamy, romantic vibe. 'The Unknown Route' brings the pace up a bit and is a really neat track which fills me with an uncontrollable urge to get up and dance.

The EP takes a somewhat dark turn with 'Passing Cape Horn' which departs from the romantic vibes of the earlier tracks and creates a much more sinister vibe. This track really does stand out from the others and I really like it. When listening to this EP I created a small story in my head of summer romance and this track is the part of the movie that makes a complete 180 where a serial killer shows up looking for some victims (of course i doubt this was part of Cosmo's original intentions, especially considering the nautical theme of the track titles). 'Wind's Direction' is a very chilled out track with some very nice Lead synth melodies. The final track 'The Seventh Sea' is quite a relaxing track which serves as a fitting outro to this EP.

Cosmo Cocktail implements a warm, minimalist style for his Debut EP Endless Wave which is very dreamy, romantic and immersive EP. 30th Floor Records presents Cosmo Cocktail's EP on Bandcamp here and he is definitely artist worth following and I recall hearing somewhere that he's working on a new album, so stay tuned.

Gamer - Moon Base Europa

By Andrew B. White

Before we head to Moon Base Europa, here's little pre-game Gamer background. Anyone who has seen the pixel art music video for Mitch Murder's 'Interceptor' video will be familiar with Gamer's visual work. Gamer hail from New Zealand, the land of the two lords (Lorde and Lord of the Rings) and formed in 2012. Calling themselves a "Synth + Pixel Art project" and creating "visual sequences of a dystopian future", the duo is Phil Shaw (music production) and James Rowsell (artwork and animation). 

The two started working together after Phil had finished the debut Gamer track ‘Shaping Staff’ and asked James to animate a music video for it. Fired up with the results they decided to continue as a duo, incorporating pixel art projections into their occassional live shows. 

Phil moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2013 but Gamer continued to work together, releasing the animated pixel art music video 'Turbo' and the EP "Smoke Signals" in 2013. The two music videos for 'Turbo', 'Shaping Staff' the promo for 'Smoke Signals' and 'Ancient Cosmos' gained a lot of interest in the pixel art and synth communities, leading to the eventual hook up with Mitch Murder. Gamer's videos really are works of art and obviously compliment the music like nothing else could. I would suspect they field dozens of requests a day from budding synthwave artists for music videos!

In December of 2014 Gamer released their first full length LP Moon Base Europa. Consisting of ten instrumental tracks the album continues the Gamer sound which fits into OutRun territory. Despite the pixel graphics Gamer doesn't do chip tune music. Neither is this the overly-compressed type of outrun where all levels are pushing to melting point - rather a version that allows for space and dynamics to come through. None of the tracks are overly busy with instruments to muddy things up. Synth lines are melodic and there is a mix of plug-ins and real synths, which are mainly used for the key melody lines. The playing is right on and helps to add an air authenticity to the music - I sometimes feel like this could be something from the 80s with the synth sounds on show here. The song titles also seem to fit each song well - 'Planzers  Club', an uptempo number ,sets the scene for our space travelers stopping at some intergalactic dive bar en route to Moon Base Europa. Others give sensations of cruising the outer reaches of space ('Flame Out', 'Magentic Fields') and the up-tempo 'Get Away' is an equally good a fit for your car on earth as it is for your space cruiser. "Moon Base Europa" is an excellent album and really worth cranking up loud. If you have seen Gamer's videos (and make sure you seek them out if you haven't) you'll be creating your own Gamer-style pixel movies in your head when listing to "Moon Base Europa".

Moon Base Europa and the Smoke Signals EP are available on Bandcamp here.

Check out the Gamer videos at on their YouTube page here and follow their creative progress on Facebook here

Postscript: Phil from Gamer says 2015 will see a focus on live performances with the addition of an extra synth player along with collaborations, remixes and new music.

Irving Force - Undercover

By Jerry Herrera

Irving Force’s Undercover EP is one of the first real gems of 2015.  Not relying on his themes to carry the music, Irving has a great grasp on what makes darkness creep and what gives the music teeth.  This EP is like an action/horror Daft Punk.  It’s got the punch and the atmosphere of a great synthwave/electro album but also the thumping mid tempo kicks, snares and little stylistic touches that make our favorite robots so likeable.  

By far my favorite track is the first, 'Meat Grinder City'.  It’s an extremely intense and atmosphere heavy track but doesn’t overwhelm.  There’s a lot to digest because Irving Force knows how to layer a track, shift textures, throw in hooks and stabs and bring everything back to a relevant point.  The song travels, but never gets lost.  It just lets the listener wander in this sonic metropolis of villainy and brutality.

The rest of the EP doesn’t quite reach the intensity of 'Meat Grinder City', at least for me personally, but that certainly doesn’t mean that Irving Force doesn’t create a believable and grimly beautiful world.  'Stakeout' and 'Devoured by the Sunrise' are notable tracks as well, that demonstrate that Irving Force is in control of a thousand elements, great and small and they all have a home in the music.  Undercover is an enjoyable and nuanced journey from start to finish. Pick up a copy on his Bandcamp page here, turn it up and hold on for the ride!

SUNG -  Overizer

By Michael CA L

One of the best EPs to come out of the synthwave scene in 2014 was also one of the year's last. December 9, 2014 marked the release of SUNG's Overizer EP, a huge-sounding mini-album with all the attributes of a future (and futuristic) classic. The cover art is beautifully dark; reminiscent of Tron: Legacy's dark vision of cyberspace or perhaps the electronic netherworld that William Gibson's keyboard cowboys dare to dwell in the author's legendary Sprawl Trilogy. Beyond this enticing visual aesthetic, the EP contains five beautifully-realized tracks that range from being the musical equivelent of rocket fuel to mercury-smooth romance synth.

The EP starts with 'Neon Artery', a song with a thudding pulse like blood surging through the vessels of an adrenaline junkie in the middle of a high-risk stunt. A beautiful introduction to an album that's full of big moments, 'Neon Artery' brings to mind visions of too-fast travel through a vicious and volatile futuristic urban landscape, moving ever closer to the distant, glowing lights that radiate from the signage outside a neon nightclub outpost.

The second track, 'Skylane', begins with the sounds of rain pouring down, the drone of traffic rushing by, and the crash of thunder in a sky polluted with surveillance machinery and thick with contaminants. Solemn synth chords expand and build on themselves as they gather gritty, distorted sonic particles that are swirling around in the unclean air. With a marching, arpeggiated bass acting as guiding torchlight in the gathering storm, the pressure rises until the track explodes into a pounding onslaught of drums, bass synth and crashing drums. It's the march of heavy weather as it rains down from the skylanes above. It's the soundtrack of the survivors caught within the storm, beaten down and forever hunted in a city that is as corrupted socially as it is environmentally. It's a beautifully dark, mid-tempo track and one of several highlights on the album.

Slotted into the dead center of the EP and having the honour of being the album's titular track, 'Overizer' is the power-generating reactor core of the release. It's as tightly constructed as the rest of the tracks and has a similar tempo to the EP's opening song, but it has a rise-and-fall aspect to it that generates that special kind of response in listeners akin to being plugged into a wall jack that's simmering with electric current. 'Overizer' has it all: momentum, power-house build-ups, raw-sounding distortion and an eye-of-the-storm, temporary lull that gives the listener that classic, electro-esque sense of impending doom, right before said doom is unleashed in the form of a final, cumulated surge. One doesn't need to ask what it means to be "overized" after listening to this song. It all becomes readily apparent around the one minute mark.

As the power of 'Overizer' wanes into silence, the EP introduces its final two tracks: 'Night Cruisin'' and 'Sunset Drive'. These songs are the album's most gentle selections, with the first one being a subtle come-down and the final track being the absolute sweet-dreams finisher. The aptly-titled 'Night Cruisin'' opens with a propulsive bassline that rises up like a high-tech concept car pulling out of an underground parking garage. With its down-tempo rhythm centered around deep bass thuds and tense snare hits, it's a smouldering, slow-burning affair indeed. An elegant piano melody blossoms out of this, followed shortly by a gorgeous descending arpeggio at the 52 second mark. Accompanied 15 seconds later by string pads, this moment becomes a centerpiece within a centerpiece, inducing a near-euphoric state. The combination of sounds up until this point are riveting, yet there's more to see on this midnight odyssey. At 3:04 an overdriven guitar fades in to deliver a solo that's haunting, subtle, sensual, atmospheric, perfectly suited and among the best I heard in a year that saw plenty of rock-solid guitar performances in 80's-inspired music. All of the aforementioned elements contribute to making "Night Cruisin'" an album high-point and one of my favourite songs of 2014.

Whereas in the mundane world the sun must set before the night can arrive, in the world of SUNG's Overizer, sunset joyrides follow night cruises. The EP's final track, 'Sunset Drive', is a good closer that seems to contain all the warmth, beauty and sentimentality that could possibly be held within those fleeting moments before the sun slips beneath the horizon. An uplifting track, it radiates a calmness and tranquility all but absent from the EP's other, more darkly lit and heavy-toned tracks.

Despite repeating some synthwave themes that are well-worn (including the sound of waves lapping gently against the shore, cyberpunk imagery and a focus on night driving), there isn't a moment on this EP where I wasn't thoroughly impressed by SUNG's compositional skills or his ability to realize musical and thematic concepts beautifully using production skills that rival the genre's best. At under 20 minutes in length, it's a concise piece of work, and SUNG does a fantastic job of making the most of each second within this timeframe. Having come out late in the year, at a time when critics and fans alike may have already written up, sent off or otherwise made up their minds regarding their favourite music to come out in 2014, I'd hate to see this EP get overlooked. As mentioned at the start of this review, SUNG's Overizer  is one of the most engaging releases of 2014, and it's deserving of exposure as broad as the album is dense.

SUNG presents Overizer, which is available at his Bandcamp page here. The EP comes very, very highly recommended by Synthetix.FM

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kasia's Secret Diary

By Kasia

Saturday, 3rd January, 2015

Mowelan - The Last Hour

We are living in a lonely world
Where all these broken promises lie
The world of broken dreams
A lonely road to nowhere
Seems to be the price of you and me
And the time that we once spent together
Price of the memories that live inside of me
I am searching for my own happiness
But everytime I am close 
And I think I've finally found it
They are somewhere around
Building an invisible wall 
Impossible to tear down...
Are you the one who can help me?
The one who is strong enough?
Maybe it is time to say goodbye to my own memories
The last hour to dry my eyes
And let you at least try
Good luck...

Wednesday, 13th June, 2012

STARFORCE & Perturbator - Retrofutures

I think I am finally ready for this conversation
I was so afraid to talk to you before
Because It is so hard to talk about something indescribable
Something that I don't understand but still love it
How can we be so close and so far away
How many times in my life I've heard
You don't know what you've got till it's gone...
But the truth is I exactly knew what I had
It's just I thought I'd never lose it
Right now when I am traveling through all these moments together
The only thing I am sure of
is that I am happy to have you around
I hope that things will never change
You will stay the same...
Like your music
I hope they will last forever
No matter what, where and when
Please... just be...
Somewhere there in this magic world full of sounds
In a place where we can always find each other
Thank you for being my FRIEND

Monday, 15th January, 2015

Phaserland (featuring Nikki Dodds) - Straight To You

Why couldn't I show what is inside my heart earlier...
Maybe because you make me feel totally weak
You seem to be the answer for all my questions
Can you tell me what is behind these notes?
A map thanks to which I will find my own destiny?
Just whisper my name and I will be there...
I will find you somewhere
Maybe you are even closer than I think
I can see this magic running through your soul
I wanna steal a piece of time and make it our own
I wanna run...
Straight to you...
No matter where you are...
You got it all

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Synthetix.FM Returns With Carpenter Brut's EP III!

Welcome to 2015 on Synthetix.FM! What a better way to return than with a blockbuster release of monstrous magnitude with the brand new Carpenter Brut EP. Before we get down the the nitty gritty of  EP III I thought I'd make mention of the upcoming edition of the Valentine's Day Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape. For this year's I'm taking submissions of Synth Romance tracks from producers. Last year I did all the selections myself but this time I wanted to open it up more. What's Synth Romance you say? Well the best way to describe Synth Romance is with last year's Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape, which you can check out here. All submissions can be sent by initially messaging via the contact form on the left hand side of this page. Tracks don't need to be exclusive but if there comes to be a cut-off point exclusive tracks will be given preference, but I doubt it'll come to that. Submissions need to be in by the 10th of February so feel that glossy, irresistible 80s love this Valentine's Day and get rockin on the Synthetix.FM Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape!

Carpenter Brut's EP III: The Bar Is Raised, Whilst It's Cracked Repeatedly Over Your Head

By Rick Shithouse

Synthetix.FM has been feeling the love and rockin the scene with Carpenter Brut's debut EP and his sophomore release in 2013. With the completion of the trilogy EP III ushers in new sounds, new ideas, new attitudes and six freshly sharpened, chrome dripping creations that are sure to have you thrashing in an electrofrenzy. A distinct progression can be heard through all three EP's as Brut becomes more adventurous and broadens his palette beyond your daily colours. New golds and blacks ring with vivid intensity; coming together in a cacophonous madness you can't dare look away from.

Adventure and intensity seem to be the two most prolific traits in Carpenter Brut's aesthetic. Over the course of the three EP's these two qualities redefined our perceived notions of their limitations, thoroughly exploded further in successive releases. Much like the mind altering progression from EP I to EP II; we're presented with another high voltage dose that pushes the sounds beyond their safe zones and into levels so searingly hot one can barely hazard a glance into the aural apocalypse presented.

Opening with peak levels exploding into fragmented dimensions 'Division Ruins' smacks in you in the bass with its open palmed brutality. The intensity is hot and thunderous, time to adjust is minimal before you pass out but this is where Brut's masterful balance of light and dark comes into play. Much like a professional torturer, Brut knows the limits of human endurance and tempers the molten aural magma with lightly dancing sparks of emotive melody. The beauty and beast combination of synthscapes is thoroughly satisfying and full of rich, deep bodied flavour. Each breath pulls back deeper and each step closer to oblivion becomes a tantalising experience. Synths are robust, full or passion, taking on 70s progressive tones when needed and loading up on kilograms of C4 when required to. The build up is extreme, the wind up spectacular. You're barely able to breathe and then Brut pulls out the needle-nose pliers. You can't help but laugh in sheer, insane terror.

The picture changes view with the second track 'Paradise Warfare'. One can't help but be awed by the selection and implementation of instruments used in this piece. The last song you heard with saxophone solos and steel drums that felt like it could kill you is this song. Decidedly smooth in it's jazzy, lounge laced opening moods Brut makes for an adventure into nihilistic escapism that you'll be completely entranced by. The experience of 'Paradise Warfare' is as diverse as it is rewarding with Brut's thirst for adventure and commanding of the emotional side of 80s melodies melding into a bloodbath in the palm filled tree line.

Following up 'Paradise Warfare' with 'Run, Sally, Run' Brut is taken off the leash entirely and given a license to speed into armageddon as stereo synth melodies intoxicate the mind under rolling death machine of bass and drums. The pursuit is treacherous and the singleminded thirst for intensity that Brut  explores crashes, tumbles and explodes over and over and over again in a tirade of Slash Electro carnage. The choirs of angels offer no solace amongst the fervent onslaught Brut exacts, but they sure are pretty.

The pursuit ends in recapture with Brut slamming you back into your captive chair and the volume of terrifying vehemence in 'Turbo Killer' rises like the beast itself from the depths of Carpenter Brut's blackest nightmares. The enormity of the sound is beyond comprehension. The chainsaw basslines tear deep gashes in your emotional psyche only to be contrasted by the warmth and positivity of the lead melody. Brut whispers electric promises to you, in tones barely distinguishable as voice. You try to make them out; only to be brutalised by the pounding, assault from the Carpenter's bludgeoning tools of torture.

EP III takes on a new angle in the adventure with 'Anarchy Road', which is also the lead single off the release. By using traditional vocals the Carpenter Brut aesthetic suddenly takes on a much more humanistic quality that is sure to surprise many. The track is a slow burn of lightly dancing sparks that grow into a flaming whirlwind of devastation, rising and falling before launching head long into oblivion in the final act.

The clean, sweet phrasing of the vocal track is something that surprised me mainly because of how accessible and non-confrontational it is; which seems at odds to the tone of the track. That said, the vocal does offer a fragile humanity to the experience and perhaps this contrast is indeed a stroke of genius that has been lost on me. Including the human voice as a focus and delving more into songwriting is something that I hope Brut pursues further, but I'm left wondering how much more anarchy could've been in 'Anarchy Road' with a different approach to the vocals by using a style more befitting the intensity and power of the sound Brut creates.

The final track of EPIII reduces the brawny intensity of previous experiences and instead takes on a thoughtfully constructed atmospheric masterpiece. 'Invasion AD' takes dials the terror back to menace and then escalates to DEFCON1 and drops atomic cavalcades of synth sadism from the sky in barrage after barrage that scorches the earth and reduces life to ash. The final act finds Brut reaching to the heavens amid the complete destruction of all he surveys. A rapturous armageddon brings the cold embrace of finality as last vestiges of sound decay to zero.

In this final piece of the EP trilogy Carpenter Brut has created something that doesn't just demand your attention, it craves your focus and rewards you with a concentrated, merciless intensity while still being able to deliver emotive melodies that hook deeply amid the vicious elements. The vintage sounds resonate deeply within the chaotic constructs bringing a balance that seems impossible amid the levels that fly off the scale from second one of track one. The progression in songwriting, production and identity has brought Carpenter Brut a long way from EP I and one can only imagine where the future of Carpenter Brut lies. As of writing this he's just completed his first live shows and with news that he's recruited more members into the Brut family one can barely fathom where the sound will venture next.

Carpenter Brut's EPIII is presented on his Bandcamp page here, in digital downloadable formats as well as CD. In the coming months the trilogy of EP's will be packaged and sold as a compendium, so keep an eye out on his Facebook page for updates. As with the previous two EP's in the series this is an absolute Synthetix Reference Experience as it redefines, once again, what Carpenter Brut is capable of. Over the six tracks brand new ideas and sublime implementations of existing ones are given new life, light and colour and even where some elements fall flat for me personally one must still applaude Carpenter Brut's ability to adapt and create new experiences well out of his comfort zone. The undeniable intensity of the Carpenter Brut experience is even more rewarding and enriching this time; I can only hope that Brut's creativity and inventiveness spread their wings even wider in the future.