Thursday, August 21, 2014

A VHS Glitch In Evil Technology

By James Mann

Man. Machine. Software. The legend of VHS Glitch has been told for several decades. Now, the truth has surfaced with his latest release Evil Technology, and the results will leave any synth lover speechless. New York City, 1980. On a rainy, cold night the most successful technology companies in the world gathered for a meeting of monumental proportions. Their goal, to create one company called Neotech to develop a software so powerful it could control the minds of society. Meanwhile, in Tokyo a clandestine company finished the project to fight the powers of the Neotech corporation.

VHS Glitch was born as a human with a physical disability, and tired of his boring life he decided to donate his body for the project. Maintaining his human characteristics, VHS Glitch is capable of feeling the range of human emotions, from love to hate. The project was recorded in a VCR which was programmed to play at an unknown date.  That day is here, and VHS Glitch has one mission; creating awe inspiring soundscapes of not just machine driven synth warpath, but also wondrous, luscious, regal melodies directly into your headphones for an unequalled experience.

As each track from Evil Technology played on my speakers, several things became apparent. For one, this artist is unbelievably talented. The details in the synth work are astounding. Top notch production value with impressive percussion and bass prove this work of art is in fact a true treat for the ears. Each song evokes many different feelings, which enables the listener to enjoy the album in its entirety with one click. I found myself going down nostalgia alley at the arcade as a kid chomping on Centipede and 8bit Atari with tracks like 'Insert Coin', then tearing down a wet highway at night with high doses of instant adrenaline with tracks like 'Revenge', 'Streets on Fire', and 'Dark Alley'. Switching gears, I turned to pensive, thought provoking melodies that put me in a Jean Michel Jarre/Vangelis head space with tracks like 'The Search' and 'Reset'. Wow. This guy does have it all.

 I had the privilege of talking to the man behind the project, and the range of influences and inspiration behind the Evil Technology album are far reaching and well…impressive. “I get my inspiration from classic synth composers like Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, and Isao Tomita, metal bands like Rhapsody, Dragonforce, and Stratovarius.” All of these synth master’s influences are evident in a seamless blend of variety as he takes you on an epic journey in Evil Technology. I found myself identifying with this inspiration as the tracks played, but VHS Glitch knows how to own his sound and brand it in true signature fashion with a mix of modern and vintage technologies.

The opening track 'The Glitch' opens the journey of Evil Technology and mind control of VHS Glitch. Through a rainy soundscape, the slow and orchestral chord progression (minus any drums or bass) lets you know right away this man knows the keyboard and means business.

'Blood In and Blood Out' starts with a mesmerizing melody that instantly gives chills. It layers its way into a driving, breakbeat accompanied with some tasteful shredding that coaxes your foot just a bit harder on the pedal. But wait. Before you know it the song breaks apart and layers into a refreshed melody that really hits the soul. The guitar makes its way back in, and the percussion steers the rest of your drive. Switching from gear 4 to 5 is easy now, and you are officially under Glitch’s control.

'Can’t Catch Me' throws you one layer deeper in the mind of VHS Glitch. Driving percussion and bass accompany an ornate, detailed melody that builds into perfection. Every layer has a purpose and never becomes too much. It’s full on cruise until the track decrescendos into a filtered kick drum. Then all systems engage for an explosion of synths and guitar that will have you in full on turbo charge mode.

'Insert Coin' will instantly bring a smile to anyone who had the privilege of the NES/8 bit world growing up. Reminiscent of games like Rygar and Section Z (I was a devoted NES kid), this song will fulfill your arcade fix. Does anyone have a quarter?

'Jaw Breaker' starts with a somber melody evoking a cityscape of industrial streets, empty at night after a hard rain. The street fighters are in the alleys donning the brass knuckles and head bands for a Street Fighter showdown. When the guitar kicks in the fight is on. VHS Glitch takes you on a street journey of defending home turf, the good guys always win! One of my favorites on the album.

'Streets on Fire' gives me insight into the true project of VHS Glitch. This guy can theme his way through a track, with each part telling a complex story. The battle of good guys (Tokyo Company) and the bad guys (Neotech) using the powers of Glitch for evil. It all makes sense. I now feel the purpose of Evil Technology. Beautiful melodies from start to finish, this epic song takes you through the unrest on the streets and deep inside the mind of VHS Glitch. A true winner of a track.

'The Search' is a gorgeous track, evoking an isolating feeling of being alone with just your thoughts. The pulsing hiss of steam gives it a slight edge, but the shimmering synths bring a feel of hope and aspiration. One of the most thought provoking and comforting tracks on the album.

'Dark Alley' jumps right into a driving beat with a bass line very similar to Kraftwerk’s 'Metropolis', but sped up and altered. Again, Glitch owns the signature on it but the nostalgia and influence is there. The hi hats and driving bass drum coupled with the bass and Sytarian-like synths showcase the complexities of this synthesizer master. Stellar track.

'The Return' is perhaps one of the strongest tracks on the album. A John Carpenter-esque melody cuts the air, and with the build up of angelic chorus and toms jumping in, you know that the build up will be intense. (That’s an understatement) By the time everything comes together at 2:10 the drool needs to be wiped away from your face. Cutting, hard and following through on a slight Castlevania/horror theme the track explodes into its own. Five star track.

'Reset' brings the energy of Evil Technology into a space filled, spectacular work of art that captivates your mind, and in the process becomes a masterpiece of sorts. Lost in space with Vangelis and VHS Glitch. What a perfect combo. I love this track, just gotta go back for another listen! Repeat!

'Revenge' brings the finesse of VHS Glitch behind the keyboards and proves how talented he is. Very reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene album for the first 30 seconds, (and subsequently later in the track as well) the progressions are truly stunning. Then VHS Glitch activates all systems and propels you through his world with a memorable bass drum/snare/hi hat combo that will play in your mind long after the album is over. Recalibrating, Glitch brings it down in his (now) signature fashion and heats up the song again with the drive and Jean Michel Jarre influence. What a treat.

'Final Round' is the true showdown. Where good versus evil and guess who won? With the amazing hero-like melodies dancing all over it’s apparent. VHS Glitch reigns supreme and will live to enact more mind/synth control over the masses. It is the Final Round for Evil Technology and so very fitting. The guitar solo confirms this, and what a good placement for this particular track.

'End of Transmission' is a message from the man himself. I can’t give anything away, so you will just have to listen!

VHS Glitch presents  Evil Technology on his  Bandcamp page here  and this exceptional album is a must have for any fan of the genre, especially those into the darker, horror influenced work. It strikes the perfect balance of tracks that satiate the desire for ethereal, moody, soundtrack inspired compositions as well and comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM.

The journey into the realm of VHS Glitch is an unforgettable one, and I see more incredible work for this talented producer in the near future. He’s currently working on a Kid Flash remix EP and will have a track on the upcoming Aphasia Records compilation which will be released at some point this year. Stay tuned for an EP for Halloween that will be available on his Bandcamp as well!

As VHS Glitch says, 'End Transmission'.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kasia's Secret Diary

By Kasia

Sunday, 6th March, 2014

Kondrath - Time Travel (Brutal Pony Riders Rework)

If it was really possible
If I could really travel back in time
I could achieve the impossible
Like going back to 1988 and go to a Michael Jackson concert at Wembley
To hear "Man In The Mirror" live
Or going back to 1984 and watch for the first time in my life
The first episode of Miami Vice 
Or... Ha! To go for a shopping in The 80's 
And buy 10000's of cool clothes and shoes
I could also go to a hair stylist 
To get that awesome fluffy 80's hair!
I could go back to the greatest memories 
And have them back even just for a moment
I wish I could touch again a particle of happiness
My childhood
The only time when I was truly
And unconditionally happy

Friday, 1st August, 2014

Killstarr - Standing In The Rain

Can you keep a secret? 
Last night
I was waiting for the bus
Drifting in my own thoughts
When suddenly I heard that somebody was getting closer to me
And it was you
All alone.
Mysterious, fascinating with this "thing" in your eyes
You had no idea that I was there 
But I could almost touch you...
At the same moment I saw millions of shining little rain drops 
Falling down from the sky
I felt the rain on my skin..
Hot summer rain... 
Dancing to your amazing music
I don't know if I've lost my mind or was it just a dream?
But whatever it was...
I wish it could last forever
I hope to see you again somewhere..

Sunday, 1st December, 2013

Let Em Riot - Say What You Need To Say

Can we talk for a moment?
There are so many things that I want to tell you
I know you don't expect this
But I must stay true to myself 
And say what I need to say...
Life can be unpredictable
You can't be sure about tomorrow
So better stand behind your feelings
And don't be afraid to say what is on your mind
Especially if you feel that it's the right thing to do
And this can change your life for the better...
... exactly like you have changed my life
Without even knowing about it...
From the very first sound...
I knew there will always be a place for you in my life
Your music told me everything about you 
And said just as much about me
It told me everything I needed to know
Thanks for saying what I really wanted to hear
Thanks that you exist...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plaisance With Thunder In Paradise

By Rick Shithouse

Following musical journeys of producers is one of my favourite things about the new forms of 80s inspired synth music. Hearing their early work and feeling that magical spark, then watching it develop into shimmering embers before it explodes into musical fireworks is such a spectacle. I feel like a passenger going along for the ride on many instances. This time Plaisance pulls up in his new sports car, leans over and pops open the passenger side door and says 'Come on. Let's go for a ride.'

Ever since reviewing Regatta in 2012 I've felt on the same wavelength as Plaisance. He puts feelings into music that work exceedingly well, capturing one's imagination and the connection to the music feels intimate and familiar. Over the last couple of years I've shared much love on Synthetix.FM for Plaisance and his own brand 80s sounds and once again we get to jump in his car and take another ride into the past, this time with a stormy, sultry atmosphere that permeates through each delightful track.

Plaisance's muse works in a very direct manner and his releases are always conceptually based; from the coastal love affairs of Regatta and Boat People through to his youthful recollections in Children Of The 80s each release is focused and kept on a tangible storyboard with all manner of avenues and tangents being explored within the theme. I find, personally, that Plaisance goes deeply into these concept releases and lives the context of the music vicariously. In Thunder In Paradise we're taken on a new coastal trip to once sun drenched islands that are now overcast and heavy with atmosphere. The humidity and steaminess of the surrounds is what is embedded in each track and the refreshing nature of the pieces ride a storm that awakens the senses deliriously.

'Diving Board' begins the seasonal changes as we dive in to waters warmed by the sun; only to resurface to a blanketed cloud. The clarity of the sounds is like crystal with rivulets of water streaming down melodic passages, an energy of anticipation looms and each refrain heightens the intensity. The use of space in this piece is exceptionally well orchestrated as the resonance of the instruments is so gleamingly clean and the subtlety of the changes and nuances never lose importance or direction.

The storm breaks overhead as thunder rolls in and seeking refuge where one can enjoy nature's spectacle in relative safely opens up the title track. Snapping percussion and a climbing melody escort us into the beachside abode where rain begins to hit the glass of the windows with melodic timing and the song of the storm is begun. The humidity rises higher as the saxophone's inherent sultriness brings a new kind of sensual anticipation into play.

The storm sets in 'Under The Gentle Rain' and Plaisance summons elemental synth forces into a musical storm of tropical sounds that then break out at full gallop into the monsoon. The melodies in this track absolutely wonderful, rising on gusts of wind, charged with electricity and dancing like cumulus stallions across the tropical skyline. Utterly entrancing and capturing the essence of the 80s in that classic Plaisance way.

A meeting of glances and a sideways look during the frolics of the storm make passions begin to rise as the barometer drops. Plaisance turns down the lights and dials up the funk with a bedroom anthem that sets off a passionate embrace against flashes of lightning on the horizon. Flashes of light highlight the wanton desires hidden beneath saturated clothing, 'Blinded By The Shine' of that smile that you know means something else is brewing, something sure to be just as explosive as the storm itself.

Gyrations of bodies begin a dance as timeless as the storm with them moving closer, into space where Italo Disco begins weaving its magical charms through the thunder and rain. 'Dusty Dancing' is the command with an irresistible bassline bringing two beings together with steel drums and melodies turning up the heat by the second. Closer and closer each new chapter of the piece ushers in new pleasures of touch and arousal with melodic fingers igniting with electric magic.

Plaisance keeps the lust in focus for the final piece of the EP, 'Sweaty Beauty'. The details of the sounds trace the curves of heavenly bodies in delicate lines, using the dampness of the skin as a conduit to realms of new pleasures. It all happens in slow motion, graceful and seductive, sax and synth working as one melody; fading out gently. The storm has passed,.. and we were having such a wonderful time we forgot it was even there.

Plaisance presents the Thunder In Paradise EP on his Bandcamp page here. This stop off on Plaisance's musical journey is definitely his most intimate yet with the music feeling as close as the atmosphere. He has made a delectably formed experience that is detailed yet succinct and through his musical magic has weaved an experience that exists for only a short period of time but leaves lasting memories. Memories that every crack of thunder punctuated with light, falling raindrops summons a smile and the remembrance of that torrid affair set against a background of another one nature's wonders. Synthetix.FM very, very highly recommends Plaisance's new EP and hopes that you too feel the heat and moisture of those tropical climes, when the clouds and passions burst to an equally enthralling soundtrack; courtesy of Plaisance.