Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Synthetix Telegenic

By James Mann

It’s a synth driven world. One with a never ending stash of electrified, pulsing and well…impressive material. Artists in recent years have pounced on the opportunity to recreate the best in 1980s song compositions; structuring sounds, scores, ballads, duets and overall giving praise to the emotive powerhouse of the decade that is the 80s. These results are nothing short of spectacular.

From synthpop, dreamwave, chillwave and beyond; the dynamic range and momentum is astoundingly real, and so is the pace in the current retrowave movement. With each click, visions of a more colorful nightlife, choice in clothing, products, consumerism and attitude with daringly perfect hair come to life through our speakers with tact and execution.

Like a dancer gracing her way across the floor as that Linndrum kick hits in 4/4 timing, splendor, determination and pure happiness fill the room. But what good is a dancer without her partner? To have such a wealth of rich tunes to offer, there’s just one thing that can compliment the beauty in these works of art. That’s where Synthetix Telegenic comes in.

Determined to dance across floors worldwide, accompanying the music with the best in visual display, Synthetix Telegenic brings the best in 80s retro inspired videos. From fan made pieces to high end productions, the bar is continually raised not just for music in the scene, but also the daring accomplishments of these editors and production specialists who seem to notch up their techniques and visions with every release. With the pairing of music and video, the music comes to life for the ultimate experience, and the viewer is left with a lasting and stunning reminder of how well two can make a memorable dance.

#5. (Glitch Black) Glitch Black - “Badlands Escape Pod”

Glitch Black tears through Tokyo streets with a full on assault for the senses in this custom video for “Badlands Escape Pod.” Immediately the driving tour de force introduces a custom logo created by an artist who not only makes some of the best dark retro-synth inspired tunes out there, but also has a huge talent for graphic design and custom animation. Huge points right there. The high energy track takes the listener down a sonic world of wonder and mystery.

A pulsating beat frenetically hits while splendidly in tandem with dancing claps, massive synth leads, anthemic pads and the stunning visuals of the 1989 anime classic, Angel Cop. Scenes of motorcycles tearing through Tokyo highways engaged in combat not only compliments this arrangement, but also elevates the song’s strengths and animation ten fold. “I enjoy producing faster paced tracks, so I think that lends many of my songs to working well with action scenes. And since there seem to be lots of action anime films with a cyberpunk edge to them, I probably won't have much trouble pairing other movies to my songs in the future if I decide to make more,” Glitch tells Synthetix Telegenic. Smart move Glitch.

With each twist and turn of the motorcycles, the attacking percussive elements and the beautiful intense laden synthphonies, the energy feeds off the driving arrangement to create a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience. Glitch Black pulls out all of the stops in “Badlands Escape Pod.” Exceptional work here.

#4 (Neros77) Level - 1 “Iron to Lust”

For anyone who has either grazed or fully immersed themselves in the synth scene, Neros77 has undoubtedly become a household word. He is by most accounts (if not all) the benchmark of video standards when it comes to editing, pushing the boundaries stylistically, thematically and musically with each of his exceptionally crafted works of art. His ability to weave intricate edits with a host of pre-production work coupled with themes surrounding his found footage couldn’t be any more delightful. Stories are told. Magic is made. A lifetime of memories and beauty unfolds with each Neros77 premier, with a standard that is of the highest caliber. As summer approaches, Neros77 reminds us how sexy and sensuous the 80s could be. With Level -1’s “Iron to Lust”, the master of all things video takes us on a sultry journey through a well thought out edit of 80s commercials found through YouTube, minus the clothes.

The track itself is wonderful. A thick kick and snare crack to begin a tour de force in sound. An arpeggiated bass line and an intense synth lead layers to combine an arrangement so pleasing, and to accompany this track are the undulating and writhing bodies of men and women splayed out in pure 80s fashion. “I didn't know how it would end I just worked on it day by day and had fun. I know they (Level - 1) might have wanted some more cyberpunk-ish footage, but I like to make something that isn't all that normal if you know what I mean. I also know it was a bit more daring but as a music video maker we sometimes need to go for the edge of things and shock people but in a good way and with a smile.” says Neros77.

The edits are intense, determined and highly sexual. The buzzing energy of the track with your eyes darting in all unclothed directions leads to an R-rated Neros77 affair. But, then again these were in fact pulled from commercials that ran on prime time television throughout our favorite decade. Innocent right? From soap to phones and even braziers, I forgot just how racy and sexual those sweet 80s commercials were! The song winds down and builds back up for a truly beautiful explosion of the finest synths and curves, a unparalleled combination. Spectacular work from the “King of Videos.” Once again, Neros77 has done it again, but this time he has teased and tantalized our senses to the edge while managing to deliver on all fronts. How is that even possible? Of course, it’s Neros77. Now where’s that towel?

#3 Irving Force - “The Violence Supressor”

Irving Force has taken creative control and delivered something that is astounding, a full on visual masterpiece to accompany his track “Violence Suppressor”. Through his blend of determined and punishing synthwave, tinged with cyberpunk edges, this renegade brings to us a top quality, triumphant and bloody saga; produced, written, scored, and directed by Irving Force himself. The track takes us to 2015, where the world has been taken over by rogue gangs who thrive off torture, pillaging and rule by fear. Crooked politicians hold office, and civilization has never been in such dire straights. The opening scenes of the video immediately captivate. The digital world coupled with the lighting, sequencing and music confirm that this is going to be quite the ride. We meet out hero Force who is driving through the streets listening to the Crime Scanner. He is picking up radio traffic of gangs (through his Commodore tape player no less) murdering, attacking and antagonizing citizens. Let me remind you these scenes are hyper real and depict very strong violence.

The level of production is incredible, so for those uncomfortable with such subject matter, heck…keep watching. Force unleashes his arsenal of not just guns but suaveness onto these criminals, engaging in bloody battle where our victor claims the throne and restores order. Not before delivering memorable and righteous monolog bits reminiscent of Kung Fury, to make our savior that much more appealing. Through his shades and trademarked long beard, the Force’s screen presence is overtly strong. His enemies fall and lie in a bloody heap. The quality of storytelling, edits, and special effects makes you wonder how this video didn’t get picked up and released through a huge video production collective or company. It’s seriously that good. I actually enjoy the details and edits in this as compared to Kung Fury. Obviously this production was a labor of love which I can’t imagine took any less than months to make.

Coming straight out of left field and through the screen in hyperdrive, this blazing track and video compliments a pulsating piece of work that not only showcases the proficiency of this incredible artist, but also one who has innumerable talents that involve other types of production including sound design. Do yourself a favor and save this one. It’s without a doubt one of the greatest retrowave productions I have ever seen. It’s nice to know The Force is right around the corner to back me up when I need him.

#2 Perturbator “Sentient (f. Haley Stewart)”

Perturbator stuns us with one of his most memorable and emotional tracks to date, “Sentient,” which features Haley Stewart from Dead Astronauts. The pairing makes for a momentous occasion, as the duo works seamlessly to take the listener through a ballad full of darkness, thought, wonder, and sadness. The dark and paced out beat is enveloped with spacious and haunting vocals, coupled with a cyber world filled with tastefully selected synthesizers. Fortunately for us, Perturbator decided to make a video paired with an artist who is quickly gaining the recognition of making the best in pixel based animation.

Full of detail, thought, and ground breaking edits, enter Valenberg. (The master behind Gunship productions) The video begins on a stormy night, where our heroine stands motionless represented with the finest in pixel perfection. She seems captivated, beckoned by the call of The Benevolent Church through her empty eyes. She is on a mission. The world has been overrun by androids who are threatening the safety of the entire population. She drives through the rain soaked streets while the glorious, symphonic track weaves through the edits. Valenberg manages to capture such incredible beauty through his scenes. I have never seen anything like this before. As pixel art is known for being relatively flat and two dimensional, Valenberg crushes all notions of the past with his expertise. Flawlessly detailed scenes give the viewer a real sense of depth and feeling through a craft that I imagine was painstakingly thorough and extensive to build from scratch. It’s more than evident and the result is glorious.

Our hero reaches her destination, gun in hand set to destroy the android producing factory full of seduction and sin. Her mission is derailed, as she is captivated by the environment. Full of darkness and sex, she succumbs to the rush of the androids. After the sexiest pixel scene of intercourse (did I just say that?), she is sliced with a scalpel to reveal her true identity. She is now an android. The power of appeal, seduction and promise has taken over and our once determined heroine is now part of the android masses. Sublime work from both Perturbator and Velenberg. This is a pairing for the ages. The story is told with depth, and is without reservation one of the finest visual treats I’ve ever seen. The emotion and intensity is unapologetically honest, and we couldn’t ask for more.

#1 Carpenter Brut - “Turbo Killer”

I will admit, it’s challenging to think about how to approach discussing this video from Carpenter Brut. Primarily through the notion that my words would not do this pinnacle in video making achievement justice. So I’ll start a bit about the music. Synth lovers have come to admire and behold the intensity in which Carpenter Brut approaches his music. The wonderful thing about this artist is he is able to inject thoughtful melodies, arrangements and synthesizers detailing feeling and emotion over his beds of grit and storm. Orchestral, cinematic and powerful; each song has it’s own personality while maintaining unmistakable cohesion. What a fine balance and ability to possess, apart from impeccable and impressive production value. “Turbo Killer” is no exception.

The track is a stunner, driving the beats per minute along with your heart rate as the piece elevates you to a state of pure bliss. Now the video. I’ll admit when I first saw “Turbo Killer” I was dazed. After experiencing the breathtaking visuals and special effects (which parallel productions seen only the big screen), I had to gather my thoughts and pinch myself to see if this was actually real or just a dream. Director Seth Ickerman proves this is no dream, and that we are witness to the most exceptional video ever created in the retrowave scene. (I am doubtful I will ever be able to state this in again in the future.) We are introduced to a surreal environment in space, where a floating cross bound towards earth houses Turbo Killer and his muse. Together they are introduced through other worldly visuals, production worthy of Hollywood special effects. Donning a cloak with yellow eyes, we see what is presumed to be Turbo Killer.

Far away, a scared and cowering woman is housed in an electrified triangle, surrounded by a bevy of cars and a man enthralled with her captivity. Turbo Killer and the queen join hands and the then scared woman is transformed into a writing, sexually charged figure. She teases, dances, and tantalizes while the driving music of Brut accentuates each bounce and turn of her waist, chest and head. Toggling between her moves is Turbo Killer, zipping through a fantasy land and racing towards her. The visuals are unbelievable. It’s over the top in the best way imaginable. The intensity and electricity of the pairing of images and music is nearly overwhelming. Quick edits and pristine shot choices keep the momentum unlike any video seen before.

As Turbo Killer approaches he is confronted by the man, who has now falling for the damsel. Shotgun in hand, the mysterious stranger fires the trigger towards the speeding car. But Turbo is quick. He propels his vehicle in the air and right through the triangle, taking with him the woman. A chase ensues with breakneck frenzy, and the man (in addition to the other cars now in pursuit) fly off a cliff into the waiting maze of the cross. The car with our damsel is ahead of the rest, while the yellow eyed master of sex and dreams propels it towards the epicenter of the cross. The light is blinding, and Turbo Killer has claimed his victim. The muse is satisfied and she can continue her reign with him beside her. Sexual, intense, breathtaking, this video has it all. It’s like a speedball through your speakers and screen, coupling and claiming the first place prize in Synthetix Telegenic.

If you'd like to submit a video for possible inclusion in Synthetix Telegenic please contact me via the Facebook Synthetix Telegenic page here.

(Synthetix Telegenic will be back in two weeks with more the best music video productions from the 80s inspired synth scene! Many, many thanks to James Mann for his unwavering passion and eloquence in creating this superb content for Synthetix.FM - RS)

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