Saturday, February 28, 2015

Synthetix Sundays

It's a synthillating show lined up this week for the return of Synthetix Sundays on Radio Pure Gently!
Marko is rockin the scene like no other with interviews with Vincent Nuit, Jaunter and Vince Riviera!

Also back in action is Paul Dress2Kill Daly, Synthetix Spotlight and Quality Time With Shithouse.

It's also giveaway time once again with five copies of Phantom Ride's killer new Supersonic EP to share with those who can tune in live.

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 will be posted here on Monday, along with the featured tracks from Quality Time With Shithouse.

Quality Time With Shithouse Featured Tracks:

And this month's new Synthetix.FM Mixtape is ready to rock too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Central Control In Block 35

By Rick Shithouse

The love affair with 80s music from peoples of Eastern Europe has existed since the 80s themselves. The end of the Cold War and Communism in the late 80s seems to have freezeframed an era that is associated with much love, celebration and idealism and it never ceases to amaze me how this transcends generations and seems to just be a part of their instilled musical history.

When it comes to some of the most authentic 80s inspired synth music Eastern Europe always seems to be at the top of the heap and the most genuinely in love with sounds of this particular era. With the new release from Block 35 this theory is reinforced as this Romanian producer captures the spirit, energy and emotion of the 80s in his new album Central Control.

Although apparently based around a conceptual narrative I found a great diversity in the feelings and atmospheres present in each track and Central Control provides a real showcase for Block 35's talent and understanding of 80s motifs. The moods swing from bouncy playfulness to deep introspection and   everything in between and among the seven pieces you'll find a wonderful degree of depth and movements in all directions.

The album ignites with favourite track of mine from 2014 from Block 35 in the thoroughly epic 'Skyline'. This really sets a massive scene amid a spectacularly conceived melodic lead. The structures are built purposefully and deeply around the initial passage and delve inquisitively into detailed levels that are entirely hung off that totally platinum lead. 'Skyline' is an exercise in musical exploration and storytelling and done so with much care and craftsmanship.

Shifting into high gear Block 35 rushes into the high energy 'Grid Line' next. Massively frenetic percussion and crunching guitars join in the synth panic as the drama is barely kept under control. The difference in palette and tone to the opening track is vast but both still seem be of the same universe thanks to Block 35's careful attention to the overt details as well as the underlying strata that hold the tracks together.

The universe is expanded even further in next track, which is easily one of my personal highlights on this album. 'Arcades' has an incredibly lively and positive hook that is impossible to resist. The music rises; uplifting and full light as the melody imparts positive vibes to the point of elation. You get to feel a whole new side of Block 35's sound in 'Arcades' with its golden tones ringing throughout the galaxy like an unstoppable chorus chanted by billions of beings at once.

'Dragon's Nest' takes a very interesting turn next as it holds onto some of the threads and base ingredients of 'Arcades' and then re-purposes them into something much more elusive and thoughtful that takes the idea onto new grounds; sung in new voices. This partnering of tracks together, when done as well is this, is deeply rewarding to experience and for all my love for 'Arcades' it would somehow be incomplete without its less verbose but more ethereal cousin 'Dragon's Nest'.

The drama continues down a path of questions and few answers in 'Central Control' as darker colours become dominant but right when you think the atmosphere is getting too close a huge electro synth lead ignites the scene, unleashing a blinding contrasting vibrancy to proceedings. These two elements play off each other beautifully as much back and forth between light and dark completes this part of the story.

In 'Metro' Block 35 takes things to even more new territory as he manages to fuse classic Italo and Electro Rock elements together into an amazing new beast of brilliance. The bassline pulses with the flow of the streets and the synths inspire romance and affection while the percussion some how brings both wolds together in a massively grandiose manner. A thoroughly enrapturing combination of 80s sounds that totally rocks.

The final piece of Central Control is a vast seven minute epic that shows yet another side to Block 35's skills. 'Secret Police' presents a beautifully sparse yet brightly detailed adventure into the mind of Block 35 himself. The slow build of 'Secret Police' is utterly transfixing as the refrain shines new light into realms previously unexplored on the album. Tension is palpable, underpinning many of the sequences but it's the clean, light piano that steals the show with airy, echoing pinpoints of aural light in the darkness. The narrative on this track in particular is immensely deep, you'll be taken in to the world wholly and become one with its superbly crafted details.

Future 80s Records presents Block 35's Central Control album on their Bandcamp page here. I found this album to be a thoroughly enjoyable and often elevating experience. There are so many very strong tracks out of the seven chapters that it never allows you to drop your gaze or lose your concentration on what is happening in the music. The stories presented are diverse and full of life and wonder, something that always brings out those gorgeous 80s colours and makes this release very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


LA Dreams - The Big Door

By Matthew Neophytou

Sellorekt/LA Dreams is up to his old tricks again - just over a month into the New Year and we get slammed with this absolute sunset strip (are you referring to the street in LA? Then Sunset-Strip) of an album. He has definitely got to be the mostconsistent artist on the scene today or the guy with lots of synths and time on his hands, but do we care, no, the answer is no, we don’t.

Tell me, just tell me you do not want to break into full on montage-opening-credit-scene-mode when you hear the first cords of 'HeartStruck', like Tropical Heat or if you’re more family-oriented Full House. Its got an upbeat melody and a groove to make you move (sorry) and that makes this a stellar opener.

'If You Stay' keeps the beat going but changes gear, serving just the right mix of cool stutter-y beats that soften you up for what I feel is the standout moment of the album, 'Mystic Corner Blues'. It’s a memory, laced with guitar-singed breaths of synth, that will whisk you down the smoky alleyways of blue hues in high tops.

Title track 'The Big Door' hits the ground running with the usual outrunner vibes but not at the expense of making it feel generic, which spills over to 'Feels so Real'. Okay, say you’ve reached the level of a video game where you are the dude! You got your moves aced and enough power ups to face the danger, that’s about the time to put 'Made of Stone' on the deck. Trust me.

The literal skip-filled 'Hourglass' leads us to the coolest SFX in a track I could possibly hope for. 'I’m Taking The Day Off” (a wish mantra for all employed these days) has synths that are playfully warped and result in a cheerful closer to the album.

An album that will add shades to your sun-kissed days or, for those on the opposite end of the planet, induce envy. LA Dreams' The Big Door gets a very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM, get it here. Like, now.

Hello Meteor - At Night

By Michael CA L

Out of the damp, forested, coastal regions of Washington state, USA comes a synth-laden mini-album that is as organic and rain-soaked as the environment in which its creator resides. Hello Meteor's latest EP At Night drenches its listener with a blend of synthesized textures, overdriven synth melodies and down-tempo rhythms that is at once murky, raw and lo-fi and at the same time as luminously bright and crystal-clear as sunrise frost glistening on the coniferous forest-beds of the West Coast.

The EP begins with the eponymous 'At Night', which delivers a down-tempo, wintry and haunting synth pad that is subsequently sheared in two by a ripping, overdriven synth melody. A delay effect on the melody is hypnotic and mournful, like a trace memory of violence that comes back to haunt after the act is already over. Complimenting this theme of recurrence, the snare hits are like the crash of a wave, with gated effects creating a right-to-left surge and pull across the sonic platform like the crash of a wave echoing from the point of impact to a distant, isolated coastal cliff. All the while, the smooth synth pad creates the feel of cold Pacific water and surges up towards the shore before retreating. The combination of soothing and solitary synth pad and harsh, foreboding overdriven synth melody creates a beautiful, exquisitely oppositional and truly haunting soundscape; one that is further explored in the second track 'Long Before Morning'.

'Long Before Morning'

If you live in the Northern hemisphere like I do and have experienced genuinely ice-cold weather, you might be familiar with the feeling of being so bitterly frozen that you almost feel warm. This visceral sensation comes to mind as the synth pads strike up at the start of the EP's second track 'Long Before Morning'. The mood is sombre and there's a frozen element to the sound that reminds me of the blackest winter nights, but in contrast there is also a warm caress within the core of the sound that is like blood moving slowly but with defiant heat from behind frozen skin. After several moments, a mid-to-fast tempo beat and a jogging, heat-creating arpeggio breaks the spell, allowing friction-induced warmth to take over the mood of the song for a time. Similar to the previous song, a violent, overdriven synth melody enters, and further added to this blend of blood-warmth and winter-death is a stunning and beautiful arpeggio at 1:54. Soon enough, that echoing shred of distorted synth drops out and we're left with those haunting and cold synth pads and that beautiful synth arpeggio. The song draws itself upward as if climbing a steep Pacific-coast cliff; it teases for a few moments before the slicing synth plunges back into the mix like the cold steel of a blade.

'Brightdown', the EP's third and final track, takes things in a different direction structurally while maintaining thematic and atmospheric similarities. Opening with a repeating loop of what might be natural harmonics on a guitar or perhaps the chiming, plucked, nearly percussive-sounding hits of a stringed instrument, the song is ancient-sounding while at the same time progressive and contemporary, continuing with the theme of contrasting sounds and textures. This dynamic sonic platform is moved forward by the introduction of a synth bass, a steady, mid-tempo drum beat, and the pulse of a warm string synth that emits heat as if it were white hot and on the brink of losing its form in the volatile environment of a Rocky Mountain mining foundry. The changes taking place in this track aren't abrupt, but the directions are unanticipated, which makes for a wonderfully alert listen, where the ears are tuned right in and fully devoted to the experience of absorbing the sounds and the directions Hello Meteor pulls them in.

At Night is an odyssey into the place where song meets soundscape and complex, ambient, audio-experimentalism meets instantaneous appeal. It's a concise package of music that explores new ground through contrasting elements such as the naturally organic and the mechanically constructed, and it comes very, very highly recommended by Synthetix FM.

Hello Meteor presents At Night, available through Bandcamp in various file formats for free/name your price here.

Miracle Cat - Chasing The Sunset EP

By Jerry Herrera

Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to very heavy, theme driven synthwave lately but hearing Miracle Cat’s Chasing The Sunset EP really had an impact on me.  This is brilliant OutRun synth that doesn’t really reinvent the whole concept of “Miami racing/cruising” but does it in a way that makes it newly enjoyable.

First are the bright snares and tempo that are reminiscent of my favorite new wave dance tracks.  I really wish more producers would take a more lighthearted approach to their synthwave because it works spectacularly here and, let’s face it, upbeat and fun dance tracks are just as important to our beloved retro revival as sci-fi/horror soundscapes.  Another thing I enjoyed were Miracle Cat’s appropriately high energy vocals that are appropriately ‘80s without crossing the cheese line.

The third thing to complete this EP’s retro trifecta is righteous shred.  Both tracks feature clean, fun guitar work that accents the music, giving it added dimension and authenticity.  There really isn’t too much variation between 'Break Through To The Other Side' and 'The Hard Road' but in this case, I didn’t mind because I didn’t want the momentum to stop.  Miracle Cat is definitely an act to watch in 2015, and I definitely recommend picking this EP on their Bandcamp page here.

Waveshaper - Solar Drifter

By Rick Shithouse

Waveshaper returns with his kick arse new Solar Drifter EP. Bringing things back to basics with vitriolic OutRun being the order of the day across four pumping tracks. There's an uncomplicated brashness to Waveshaper's sound on Solar Drifter that harkens back 2010 era 80s inspired synth music and unabashedly recreates those moods brilliantly though out. It's actually refreshing to hear something so completely genre-focussed and unapologetic about where it's coming from.

All the trappings of classic OutRun are here. Climbing melodies. Guile drenched basslines. Hypnotising arrangements. Percussion that is unstoppable. All topped if with cool evening air rushing past in a daze of nostalgic brilliance. You know you're in for a good time seconds in to 'Stellar Jupiter' as Waveshaper twists you around every high speed turn and displays his complete contempt to anything but high energy thrills.

The journey adds dash of space themed atmosphere and a sprinkling of Discovery era Daft Punk in 'Distant Projections'; complimenting the raucous bassline magnificently well. The midway point elevates the melodies even further and a sense of gravity disappearing at some ludicrous top speed is thoroughly invigorating sets in as the track completes.

'Fight Against Time' moves into more spatially aware segments, in wonderful homage to Tommy-esque progressions while keeping a gritty, revving engine roaring behind the melodically synthual melody. Finishing off Solar Drifter is much more contemplative piece in 'System Failure'. Belying some kind of catastrophic break down, warped melodies stagger in a haze of ruins with heat searing from the scorched earth. The mood is definitely less frantic, but also no less direct as this score to an aftermath of sorts describes a tragically beautiful scene.

Rad Rush Records presents Wave Shaper's Solar Drifter EP on their Bandcamp page here in the usual array of digital formats as well as being up for preorder (currently) on white vinyl! I for one really enjoyed this edition of Waveshaper's musical journey and can't wait to get the full vinyl experience courtesy of Rad Rush Records. The opportunities are few to rock these kinds of sounds on this format and if that wasn't enough incentive there's also an exclusive track only on the record release. I highly encourage everyone to pick up a copy and make those 80s inspired synth vinyl dreams come true.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Voltage Controlled Communiques

Dan Terminus' Wrath of Code launches March 10!

Following the same dark path as Perturbator and GOST we now find Dan Terminus signing up with Blood Music for the release of his new kick arse new record, The Wrath of Code on March 10. As stated on his Facebook, if all goes well physical copies on CD and vinyl are a real possibility too. Synthetix.FM finds this very exciting news and bows down and sacrifices a chicken at the crossroads at midnight for the wonderful support Blood Music is giving to the darker and slash electro rockers of the 80s inspired synth scene. Get caught up on the hype on Blood Music's Facebook page here.

Carpenter Brut's Trilogy

Keeping things brutal, Carpenter Brut's released his phenomenal triple shot of EP's as a Trilogy now on his Bandcamp page here. Those wanting to keep their Carpenter Brut extra chill should check out the shirts he's offering there as well. And even more exciting Brut news is that coming in March Trilogy will be available on CD and vinyl through Neuropa Records and No Quarter Records.

Timecop Some Gear
The merchandise just keeps on rockin with Timecop1983 offering a range shirts on his Artist Gap page here. It's always a great idea to support producers and flaunt your love for their publicly via t-shirt wearing.

DJ Spaz's Outscape Becomes Part Of The RPG Family

If your unfamiliar with DJ Spaz's totally kick arse weekly synthwave spectacular, Outscape, allow the man himself to illuminate you:

Hey Guys and Gals!  Radio Pure Gently has become home to NYC's live synthwave broadcast program, Outscape!

Of all the DJs that have come from New York City,DJ Spaz has taken his skills and pushed them into the virtual world. Night clubs may have been one of the foundations for his humble beginnings, but now the cyber world is the place where he hosts and plays his sets for the 80's inspired Synthwave music lovers of the world at Outscape.

Outscape has moved to the Internet radio station, Radio Pure Gently and it is here that he presents the latest & new Synthwave music. If his time slot on Thursday is too hard for you to catch, he is now placing his shows on Soundcloud for you to hear and download!

Outscape is always open for synthwave music submissions from synthwave artists and synthwave record labels. He can be found on Facebook, Soundcloud, Mixcloud & Twitter:

Soiree 80s - Coming Soon

With March shaping up to be another massive month already, I'm also elated to announce a new show that brings together the minds that currently bring you the aforementioned Outscape, Synthetix Sundays and Synthetix.FM. Yes, DJ Spaz, Marko Maric and myself will be doing a monthly radio programme feature an hour of our favourite 80s tracks. I'll be focusing on Italo Classic, Extended 12" mixes and one hit wonders for my hour, DJ Spaz will be programming his tunes aimed at the dancefloor and as for Marko, well, who knows what he'll come up with! Soiree 80s will debut on Radio Pure Gently towards the end of March and Synthetix.FM will be sure keep you informed of this kick arse new project; one that I'm very proud to be part of indeed.

Future City Records Compilation Volume VII

I remember when Future City Records began, oh so many moons ago, and Mr Peter Andersen chatted to me about his dreams of creating a record label to focus on the best in 80s inspired synth music. Now, years later, we're up to the seventh volume in Future City Records compilation series and the rockin is turned up to maximum yet again! Across THIRTY TWO tracks you're treated to the likes of Maxthor, Beat Plastic, Botnit, Hevioso, Preqwal and Vince Riviera amongst other stars, shining bright with 80s brilliance against that neon edged skyline. A huge amount of diversity in sounds is presented on this compilation and you're sure to find some great new talent.

Future City Records Volume VII is presented on their Bandcamp page here and is a must-have compilation release from one of the true leading labels in the 80s inspired synth scene.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Synthetix Sundays

The Valentine's Day weekend love keeps on rockin on Synthetix Sundays this week!

The love song requests and submissions add the cherry on top of a sweet, pink lover's dessert of interviews with with Protector 101 and also Bryan and Mike creators of a live new synthwave event coming up in Tempe Arizona on March the 28th and a sensually intimate and extended interview with Botnit.

Also loaded up in Cupid's quiver are arrows from Paul Dress2Kill/Love2Death Daly and Synthetix Spotlight plus a very special Valentine's Day edition of Quality Time With Shithouse.

Plus even more extra juicy and lasciviously special exclusive treats for your listening pleasure from
- Botnit
- Phantom Ride
- Action Jackson
- Diamond Field feat. Jazzi Marzcat, Lucy Black and Christopher J. Ward
- 2 super electrifying exclusive tracks from Tommy '86

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 and be sure to wish Synthetix Sundays Happy Birthday!

As always the fully downloadable show will be posted here on Monday.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day From Synthetix.FM!

To celebrate Valentine's Day I'm very pleased to share with you the 2015 edition of the Synthual Rendezvous Mixtape!!

This year's edition is packed with the 80s inspired synth scene's most emotionally bare and intimate pleasures of the synth. Make this the soundtrack this special day and you'll be sure to feel that warm, 80s love.


1, About Us - Vincenzo Salvia & Powder Slut
2, Valentine's Day 1987 - Zerbinator
3, Love Theme - OGRE
4, Aimless - Kondrath
5, Midnight - Lachi James
6, Reminiscence - iamMANOLIS
7, Far Away - Timecop1983 (featuring Dead Astronauts)
8, Inbox My Heart - Amplitude Problem
9, Sunrise - Sagittarius V
10, After These Messages - Bishop Of Battle
11, I Want This To Be Real - Stilz
12, Standing In The Rain - Killstarr (featuring Who Ha and Jon Of The Shred)
13, Heartbeats - Syntax
14, '86 Love Affair - Cobra Copter
15, Start Button Wasteland - Lapses
16, Sexy Time - Mythical Vigilante
17, Digital Fantasy - RF Extreme
18, Motorbike Michelle - Tape Loader (featuring Lucy Black)
19, Inhalator II Love Theme - NIGHTSATAN
20, On The Line - KFDDA (featuring Kyle Brauch)
21, Cromatique - Superflight
22, Meteor - The Vern Purple

Many thanks to all the producers who submitted tracks this year, already looking forward to next year's Synthual Rendezvous!

High res artwork available here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bronson On Bronson

By James Mann

Spatial sequences. Colors. Numbers. There are some of those in the world who possess a highly unusual quality, the power of synesthesia. This is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. It's likely that these individuals experience and see a myriad of colors coinciding with music, that notes have a particular tone and hue they connect with. While I certainly do not have any these exceptional abilities, I feel it is possible to experience a connection between color and music. The range of melodies and moods evoked on Bronson's self titled release (not to be confused with BronSon from France) carry strong feelings of nostalgia, contentment, and color. Bright, cheerful and layered melodies dot this EP with touches of grace and control, while driving, confident beats and some darker tones are evident as well.

One of the first things I noticed about the release was the album artwork. A delicately vector like composed facial image of the one and only Charles Bronson, the vigilante we all know from Deathwish. Nice touch there and a fitting homage to the nighttime crime fighter.

'Miami Spice' opens the color stream with a cinematic start, and quickly carries you into a sonic filled journey of exploding synths. Compressed, expansive bass drums and driving bass build a track that is a perfect opener. The quick down beat of the bass drum reminded me of a new wave track, one that's quick and danceable. Side ponytails and nikes scootching at right angles on the floor. Ah…80's are there. The use of layering and building is quite effective, as the sounds of Bronson are quite powerful. I might add the production value is flawless, crisp and clean.

'Spring Heir' perhaps is an homage to College, either that or the group is heavily influenced by him. An opening pulsing bass with the signature gorgeous melody on top reminds me of a Valerie Collective tune, but Bronson adds a bit of a touch with their powerful synths and a beat claiming the sound for their own. Quick and pleasing, the track seems more of a "sonnet," or an interlude that could easily fit the soundtrack to a movie.

'Future Tits' starts with a punk like baseline, one reminiscent of the Dead Kennedy's or Exploited. Eerie yet beautiful synths fill in the bass and the retro 80s direction take off into a futuristic world full of smeared color and moods. The track builds nicely, layering into a driving force that maintains melody and keeps a cold edge, not an easy balance to achieve. The mastery of these brothers are evident and impressive. I really enjoyed this one.

'Good Intentions' winds through a synth filled scape of wonder and slowed down breakbeat for a truly enjoyable ride. Bronson seems to nail those notes just right and builds into space for vocals to accompany the journey. The inspiration behind this track is clear when the singing begins, a Joy Division/Ian Curtis feel winds through an effort of moodiness and sadness. Very impressive! It's like these guys know how to pull the best parts of the 80s while keeping it synth driven.

Have you ever felt as if a soundtrack could play in the background of your life? One signifying love…change…joy? '8T3' brings the best of Bronson in one phenomenal track, representing all facets of this Vancouver duo. Shimmering synths and hopeful melodies deliver an incredible feeling of joy and contentment through a confident arrangement. This is a keeper that shines as perhaps the best track on the EP. Beautiful work guaranteed to grab you as a listener and keep you in the fan base.

The phone isn't ringing. You're home without plans. You can't stop thinking about the love and adoration you once had from her. 'Lonely Nights' is another exceptional track from Bronson that transports you to those nights, but it's it seems more than manageable, almost…comforting. Knowing you will wake up to another day of opportunity to make things right once again. Bronson really did save the best for last! Upon the opening notes, I feel transported to memories of those lonely nights. Beautiful progressions build into a orchestral bloom of reds and yellows textured with orange hues. Ah, well I never professed to seeing the colors one would have from synesthesia, but this track really topped of my sensors for a spectrum of colors and a ride I felt was too short. This track could truly last forever.

I can't say that many musicians I've listened to kindle visuals, streams of color and moods with each note and progression. Some are born with such a gift. This journey into 80s familiarities through a range of genres expressed so elegantly by this artist prove I do have the sensibility to see and feel this. I'm not quite claiming to see colors in sequences or in notes, but I'm one step closer after experiencing the full and inspiring sound(scapes) of Bronson.

Volunteer Media presents Bronson's self titled release on their Bandcamp page here and it comes very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kasia's Secret Diary: Valentine's Edition

Getting in the spirit of Valentine's Day we've got a special Valentine's edition of Kasia's Secret Diary!

By Kasia

Thursday, 14th February, 2013

Nightboat - Silent Hearts

You think it is another day 
Nothing special is about to happen
And suddenly this one moment can change everything
Sometimes words are unnecessary
You know that your life has changed forever
Nothing will ever be the same
From this moment
The sun will shine brighter
The music will be louder
Feelings stronger
And you will see more stars in the sky than ever before
You are no longer alone in this world
You love

Tuesday, 14th February, 2012

Rain Sword - Visions

Some people wait all their lives to feel what I feel for you
Just to have these feelings for a short moment
And some will never find out how it feels
To be unconditionally happy
To feel your presence
To hear your voice
I try to catch every single note that you are sending to me
And I will never let anybody take them away from me
You are too perfect to be true
But somehow you are with me
I am lucky
Thank you

Friday, 14th February, 2014

Timecop1983 - Waiting For You

Good Morning my love

Where are you ?
I'm here within the walls of my room
I can hear you but I can't see you
I know you are somewhere there
And I know you will come to me
So I am waiting...
and waiting...
and waiting...
This is my fate
Because I'm hopelessly yours
Know that there is nothing better 
Than waking up with you in mind
Even after having spent the night thinking about you
So I'm still waiting for you
And I'll wait forever..

Monday, 14th February, 2011

Mosaik (featuring Hunz) - Icarus

And I...
And I will survive it...

And I...
And I ... will survive

Because of you
Every single day you give me strength to go further
Like an invisible hand showing where to go
Which direction to choose
Your voice in a wonderful way is pushing me forward
I don't feel the fear
I'm just curious, because I don't know where you want to bring me
I know you have a plan
But I wish I could know what is at the end of this road
I hope that I'll find my own happiness
And I hope that you will be there waiting for me

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vercetti Technicolor's Black September

By Rick Shithouse

Some of the darkest and consistently most chilling soundtrack synth work created in homage to the classic 70s and 80s original work comes from Vercetti Technicolor. This producer and co-founder of Giallo Disco Records is always pushing deeper into the black and crafting intensely disturbing and engaging music.

This long awaited follow up to 2013's Bay Of Blood EP has been teased throughout 2014 and now it has finally been unleashed upon an unsuspecting audience. The premise for Black September is a fantasy soundtrack to the horrific events that occurred during the 1972 Munich Olympics (you can get your history lesson here) and by using these real world events to inspire this soundtrack makes things even more disturbing than the usual horror-inspired fare.

Basing anything on real-events is going to cut too close to home for many, and a question of taste may be brought into question for some. I'd like to think that the Synthetix.FM audience can take the music as art at its face value and not feel the need to question Vercetti Technicolor's motives for creating this any further. There is no glorifying or political agenda here; just a soundtrack to events that have obviously effected the producer deeply.

One's creative muse rarely has a self-censor and Vercetti Technicolor's has definitely been let entirely off the chain for the duration of Black September. The morose, bleakness of the atmosphere combined with the ragged melodies and gritty percussion make for an experience that you'll not soon forget.

Across six original tracks, one extended mix of the incredible title track and two remixes; Black September will crush you into an uncertain future that smacks wholly of Cold War era Eastern Europe. The tracks don't give an inch of tension away, building with complete single-mindedness and crunching down with sonic violence that will make you flinch every time.

The opening theme, 'Operation Munich', is unmistakable in its completely enveloping tension. The melodies sit uncomfortably at opposite ends of the spectrum with broodingly evil deep basslines contrasted by frighteningly harsh bright flourishes. The off kilter nature of this opening track will put you on edge entirely, and it's on that edge you will stay for the duration of the release.

As the second piece begins even darker clouds gather overhead. Synths reverberate with diabolical intent and the percussion is hell bent on violence. 'Ambassadors Of Death' draws you into its dark lair with a hypnotising refrain you can't look away from and then batters you into submission with its raw and jagged final act.

The sheer intensity of the synthscape used by Vercetti Technicolor is hard to take in. A coursing power of unconscionable, strident synths create a world where there is no comfort, solace or hope. 'Olympic Village Hotel 4:30AM' is utterly unforgiving in its delivery. The manner in which Technicolor controls the synthesized violence is daring, uncompromising, and so utterly unapologetic in it's vintage colours and flavours.

There really is tangible feel to this work, an age and a time, it brings to mind elements of Vangelis, Jarre, Oldfield, Tangerine Dream as well as early soundtrack work by Moroder. Vercetti Technicolor knows his canvas and his medium; using his tools to exact every single last drop of frightening terror.  However, there are elements of hope that appear, fleetingly through 'The GSG9 Theme' which offer an unbelievably rare moment of positivity amid the rest of the albums cruelty.

The final track goes back to Hell for the 'Bank Heist Finale' as snapping rim shots are played off against kettle drum fills and a beating heart bass drum with the synths slowly moving into place as the piece evolves. Technicolor's use of humanistic synth choir voices in many of the tracks adds a reverence to the coldly bitter synthscape and on this final piece the voices cry out hauntingly before being finally extinguished.

The last three pieces are all revisions of the opening track, 'Operation Munich', with some interesting takes on it provided by PLAYTONTO and Francesco Clemente but I definitely found the extended mix by Technicolor himself to be the most rewarding and complete vision of the idea.

Black September is hard to listen to, it gives the listener an unsettling and brutal window through which to view events of the past that are still in living memory for many. The honesty and completely grim manner in which the music plays out is never compromised in any of the tracks and via the sounds used and the arrangements implemented one gets a feeling of dread and hopelessness that few other musical excursions can provide.

This is about as dark as vintage synth music can get, and in that respect it may alienate many listeners to retro sounds; however one can not fault the dedication and artistry Vercetti Technicolor has portrayed through the entirety of the album. Giallo Disco Records presents Vercetti Technicolor's Black September album on their Bandcamp here in digital formats and also on vinyl here. This release comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and as uncomfortable as the subject matter may be for some, the music itself has a voice that is undeniably spellbinding from beginning to end.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Voltage Controlled Communiques

The Next Peak

This week's seen the release of the second volume of The Next Peak tribute to Twin Peaks compilation and the rockin' ain't stoppin'! These compilations have allowed producers to really channel their love for the stellar TV series and bring to life their own visions from the other side of the portal in Ghostwood Forest.

So much talent has been involved in this project, and continues to do so, that it really displays how much Twin Peaks has touched us as a whole. And although the series aired in 1990, the events taking place in Twin Peaks were set in 1989, so tenuous as it may be, i always think of it as the final piece of event television from the 80s. The imagery of the series is indelibly linked to the classic Badalamenti synth powered soundtrack and with a third volume already in the pipeline, The Next Peak is sure to keep you meandering through the Black Lodge for the foreseeable future. Pick up a copy on Retro Promenade's Bandcamp here.

Mitch Murder Scores Impact Winter

80s inspired synth scene favourite Mitch Murder is being invited to spread his musical wings across the desolate new adventure game from Mojo Bones: Impact Winter. The game has just been Green Lit on Steam and is definitely going to offer some very atmospheric experiences.

You can check out all the game's detail on their Steam page for Impact Winter here and we can but hope a separate release of the soundtrack is being planned.

Radio Cosmos Records' Synthetic Memento

From Radio Cosmos Records comes a spectacular new space synth themed compilation titled Synthetic Memento. These rockers have assembled a hugely talented crew to take you into the void of space in synth powered rockets to explore its vastness and wonder.

The sounds are definitely catering to the late 70s vibe with passages illuminating the listener to all manner of spatial possibilities and awakening the space traveller in all of us. I've not had the pleasure of experiencing a compilation with this specific thematic before and it certainly makes for a very rewarding experience as one's imagination is taken deeper and deeper into the endless cosmos. Pick up a copy of this killer compilation on Radio Cosmos Records Bandcamp page here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Synthetix Sundays

It's that special time of the week again and Synthetix Sundays is here to make those special feelings rock even harder. Coinciding with this week's third birthday of Synthetix is the first birthday for Synthetix Sundays! Tune in and join the birthday celebrations as Marko chats with AudioblivionSynaptyx and synth producer and head of Rad Rush Records Dana's Vision.

This week also has our regularly scheduled programming of  Quality Time With Shithouse, Synthetix Spotlight and Paul Dress 2 Kill Daly.

Also featured this week is a super exclusive to air from STARFORCE included in 4 hours of the best synth this side of Uranus!

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 and be sure to wish Synthetix Sundays Happy Birthday!

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 highlight tracks:

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Plaisance - Leaving Room

By Rick Shithouse

Plaisance has returned with another EP, this one is titled Leaving Room, which finds the producer in a more mellow and contemplative mood, dedicating this release to the loss of a close friend. The Plaisance style has always been an intense experience, be they the high speed adventure of Havasu, the sweltering sensual explosion of Thunder In Paradise or his earlier coastal themed work. The bright and sparkling Plaisance aesthetic is foregone in this release for moodier tones and and muted synthscapes. A more mechanical feel manifests in the tracks through grayer shades. Even that unbridled quintessence of the Plaisance saxophone is given a more solemn tone.

This is a very welcome change of pace and pallet from this producer as it channels new emotional inspirations that whilst being less intense in presence and colour are no less rich in personal investment. The tracks become more and more deliberately melancholy as each track goes deeper into the Leaving Room aesthetic. 'June 79' plays out like a fondly remembered memory that now takes on a saddened reflection, 'Questions' has a feeling of hopelessness in the situation while 'Empty Spaces' delivers exactly that; quiet passages of thoughtful recollections.

It's a very intriguing side of Plaisance that exposes a deeper and soulful side to his sounds. As a devoted fan of Plaisance's work I found this very rewarding to listen to and encourage you to check this out as an interesting diversion from the usual avenues explored in 80s inspired synth music. There's much reward to be experienced amid the three suites. Pick up a copy of Leaving Room on Plaisance's Bandcamp page here.

Syntax - Sunrise

By Jason Taylor

James Mann could be described as a enigma, but there in lies the appeal in not knowing too much about the man behind Syntax. His debut 'Sunrise' falls easily under the standard genres of ambient and chill electronica, but it's so much more than that. You wont find pop structures or harmonic key changes here, instead it's a wonderful journey through floating sonic territories. Filled with lots of tumbling, driving textures and waves upon waves of lovely wavetable synthesis, 'Sunrise' reminds me heavily of a fantastic scene in Life of Pi where stranded out in open water at night, Pi is surrounded by a myriad of glowing Phytoplankton.

If there ever was a ideal way to listen to James work, it would be floating in the open water gazing up into the universe. The highlight track for me would have to be 'Cygnus' with it's overlays of sample and hold oscillations, dark trance percolated melodies and support from delicate cushioned beats. However this release is specifically designed to be enjoyed as a complete piece, you can tell the placement of each track has a purpose to allow cohesion, and more importantly enjoy the odyssey from beginning to end. 'Sunrise' is highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and you can pick up a copy via the Syntax bandcamp page for free here.

Kalax - Kalaxy

By Matthew Neophytou

Taking us on a pre-flight instruction process, before releasing Guardian later this year, the otherworldly synthwave rider Kalax drops Kalaxy, the appetizer of stellar proportions.

We begin with what could be taken off an 80’s Spielberg Soundtrack, 'Intro' with enough strings that will transform you into a kid daydreaming of adventures of things to come. Speaking of adventures 'Journey' (remastered) is just that, dream wave at it’s best, the musical arrangement of shimmering synths and cosmic beats blast you into the void of wonder and awe.

'Year Ends' has orchestral melodies and cascading waves pull towards an almost cerebral event horizon, in like a low key 2001 Space Odyssey way, not the 1997 film Event Horizon route (eek no!). 'Nebula' adds more energy to the warp drive fueling with more active beats and a sharper symphony. At the crest of the EP comes 'Acceleration' and boy doesn’t it just shout, “It’s not over, not by a long shot”.

Wave Runner Records presents Kalax's Kalaxy but it is but just a taste of what’s to come from the UK based producer, which deserves a very high recommendation from Synthetix.FM. Available for download here and also up for grabs is the limited edition Kalax t-shirts here, the uniform for the ride ahead. Keep this frequency clear for future transmissions!  

YXO - MIRAGE しんきろう

By Rick Shithouse

Presenting itself almost as if it was a vaporwave release from the artwork and EP title, YXO's MIRAGE ● しんきろう was quite the surprise upon listening to it. The minimalist synthscape YXO creates is something cool and clear while his ability to summon clean and crisp 80s flavours from the melodies makes for a delightfully refreshing experience.

The four tracks get better and better the deeper you get into the EP, slowly painting pictures in hazy lines the pictures get more lucid and develop lovingly crafted details the more you listen. Without the trappings of much 80s inspired synth standards the melodies are able to rise delicately and float in wistfully imaginative ways and the narratives are sweet and bright.

My two favourite tracks are definitely CONTINENT ● 大陸 and WAVE ● 波, with their glass smoothness cut to a sparkling edge that is wholly relaxing and entrancing. It is beautiful music that one definitely needs to be in a chill mood for to get the full benefit, but it certainly takes the listener away on cool breezes of wonderful synth magic. Pick up a copy of this great little EP on YXO's Bandcamp page here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Neon-Bathed and Synth-Saturated Valentine's Day

By Michael CA L

With Valentine's Day around the corner, there's a specific category of song within the 80's-influenced spectrum that deserves all the tender loving care and devotion that our eardrums can give. The category falls under several names, but is most often described as Synth Romance or the Synthwave Slow Jam. The many 80's-influenced music genres that exist are diverse in their sonic qualities, broad in their effects on the listener, and are not required to adhere to any structure more rigid than the need to contain some foundational elements that pervade music from that golden era of the synthesizer. A Synth Romance track, however, invariably provides the listener with a song that is slower in pace, sensual and atmospheric in character, and romantic in tone and feel.

Here's a list of ten of my favourite hand picked, neon-bathed, synth-saturated and passion-infused Synthwave Slow Jams to come out over the last several years. They are by no means in any particular order, and I have to add that narrowing this list down to just ten items was one of the more excruciating endeavours of this retro synth-lover's writing career. But what remains here on this list are some of my absolute favourite experiences. Dim the neon lights, light some candles, gaze lovingly into the eyes of your special someone, and press play.

Mitch Murder
Glass Cities (2012) [EP]

"Last Call"

Mr. Maen
Slow Love (2014) [EP]

"Slow Love"

Le Cassette
Left to Our Own Devices (2014)

"This is All We Know"

Waves (2014) [EP]


Sellorekt/LA Dreams
Nostalgia (2012) [EP]

"Westbound on the Train"

The Dust Collective
Synthia (2014)


Touch (2014) [Single]


Electric Atlantic (2014)

"Kissing in Berlin"

Robert Parker
Modern Moves (2014) [EP]

"Sunset Stroll"

Mitch Murder
Interceptor (2014)

"Traces to Nowhere"