Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Second Annual Synthetix.FM Rhythm Vivisection Halloween Mixtape Closing Date Approaches

As a bit of public service announcement, I thought I'd just mention that the cut off date for submissions for the second annual Synthetix.FM Rhythm Vivisection Halloween Mixtape is this weekend. I'll be able to take submissions til the end of the weekend, ie midnight on the 26th.

I've been advertising this on Synthetix Sundays and in the Synthetix Music Facebook group for the last couple of months but figured I'd get one last notice out there for those that weren't aware. Submissions don't have to be new or exclusive, but I do require that they are from 2014 and that they aren't covers. If you're a producer of 80s inspired synth from the darker end of the spectrum and have released something this year that you'd like to submit please just make contact with me via the contact box on the left side of this page.  The rules for this mixtape aren't nearly as stringent as other special event ones I do and I'm going to try to include everyone's submissions, we're already up to thirty tracks so it's definitely going to be monstrous!

The actual mixtape will be going up to soundcloud on the 29th of October, so there's lots of time to get a copy for your Halloween 2014 festivities.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Runaway Into The Neon Overdrive

By Jerry Herrera

One of the basic truths about synth producers, I think, is that they all love a good story.  There are very few producers out there that don’t have a narrative quality to their music, and this is neither good nor bad, it’s just a choice.  But when one considers the roots of synth and retro, films and film scores are the taproot.  A great synth track tells a story or creates a vivid image; it takes us on brief journeys into endless worlds.  LA Based producer, Neon Overdrive has brought us Runaway, an album full of these delicious bites of retro future storylines.

Runaway begins with 'Saturday Night', a midtempo track that has some ominous elements but ultimately evolves into a very ethereal track with soothing vocals that carrying the listener deeper into Neon Overdrive’s story of revenge. A 'Narrow Escape' is one of the strongest tracks on the album;  again Neon Overdrive has a great handle on creating thick, heavy curtains of synth but also creates a breeze on which they ripple and writhe. It makes for a uniquely atmospheric listen.

There is a brief break in the album for some lighter outrun style tracks, 'Baja Escape' and 'Welcome Home', but things get right back to business with 'Last Days' and the album really hits a high point from 'Transfixions' on through to the last track. 'POWERLOADER' and 'Necronomicon' are synth homages to two great movies, and since I’m a xenomorph fan, the former gets my vote for best track on the album.

As an entire experience, Runaway tells a cohesive story with antiheroes and heroines, danger, brief moments of levity and detailed settings and backdrops. There are car chases, violence, love, loss and revenge. Even when sampling other films, Runaway manages to tell its own unique tale and I always appreciate a story where LA is in ruins.

Sometimes I think that the dark, gritty synth sound is becoming a bit overdone but Neon Overdrive manages to bring something refreshing to it.  Not revolutionary; but necessary, maybe something like another shot of whiskey to that drink you were nursing. Perhaps it’s because his sound isn’t overbearing or aggressive, but smoother and fluid like ink in water. Flowing and seductive, but pitch black.

I greatly appreciate that Neon Overdrive incorporates atypical elements into his tracks and isn’t content with following the basic synth track formula. There’s lots of innovation to be had on Runaway and I’m so happy we have another Los Angeles based producer contributing his talents to the genre.

The Neon Overdrive presents the Runaway album on his Bandcamp page here and it comes highly  recommended by Synthetix.FM

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Synthetix Sundays

The red carpet is out and synth glitterati are out to shine as Synthetix Sundays prepares for a star studded LIVE broadcast, with your host Marko Maric. In the guest spot this week Marko sifts through the genius that is Prof. Zonic Zynth, discusses world politics with Ravenh0lm, takes to the streets with a candid conversation with Video Void and manages to track down Jacques le Boulanger (the artist formerly known as James Baker) in a téte-a-téte powwow that is sure to elucidate and educate.

Joining Marko on the couch will be regular guests Paul Dress2Kill Daley and Rick Shithouse with his usual musings and ramblings on the hottest tracks of the week.

This week Synthetix Sundays is offering you the chance to score the kick arse new Robots With Rayguns record Fresh As It Gets. There are three chances to win so tune in LIVE and get ready to rock!

The cavalcade of stars is set to shine LIVE on Radio Pure Gently is at this time wherever you are on planet Earth. And you can catch a the rebroadcast right here on Monday for a fully downloadable digital copy of the live show as well as the Quality Time With Shithouse free and purchasable tracks to make sure you're rockin all the right ways all week long!

Quality Time With Shithouse free and purchasable tracks:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday

Night of the Demons (1988)

Happy Friday once again my fellow Retroholics!  This weeks pick is 1988's Night of the Demons, directed by Kevin Tenney, a classic horror film backed by a powerful synth intro and a rockin' goth metal soundtrack.

It's Halloween night and outcast Angela Franklin and her friend Suzanne are throwing a party at Hull House, an abandoned mortuary suspected of being haunted.  Judy Cassidy's boyfriend Jay asks her to join him at the party with Max and Frannie.  After inviting himself, bully Sal Romero scares them when he jumps from a casket wearing a demons mask.  

Stooge, Roger and Helen show up uninvited but when the batteries go dead in the radio the group decides to play party games and Angela suggests a seance.  By using a mirror they would look at their past life but Helen sees a demon and freaks out.  The mirror smashes on the floor and they all begin hearing noises from the basement when a demon escapes the furnace.  Now with it possessing them will anyone escape Hull House alive?

As I mentioned before the intro song is great, along with intensive shrieking synths throughout the film to set the tone.  If you're looking for some adrenaline inducing horror themed dark synths I highly suggest the extremely possessive sounds of Alessandro Parisi's Le Porte Emertica from Giallo Disco Records.

So if you're looking for a cheesy 80's horror flick this weekend give this one a watch!  Till next week Rockers, have fun and be safe! 

Magnum Crockett

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Like Mowrey & Karter Futur - Advanced Intelligent Civilizaton

by Jazzi Marzcat


If there's one thing about science fiction, it is the ability to give hope.  The world could be in a post-apocalyptic hell, but if there is one good being still alive, there is always hope.  For this EP, Advanced Intelligent Civilization, made by the collaborative efforts of two brilliant producers, Karter Futur from Belgium, and Like Mowrey from France, the future looks very bright.  The music is as colorful, and awe inspiring as the jewel-toned cover artwork, created by the masterful Swedish artist Kilian Eng, (also known for the brilliant work on Future City Records 6th compilation), that shows the scene of an active, and lit up futuristic cityscape.  Karter Futur who is known for his addictive dance beats, (and who I've kept my ear on for several months since he created the groovy dance track 'Lazer Cat'), and Like Mowrey who is known for his heavy hitting science fiction themed synthwave tracks, (and an incredible cover of the Terminator theme),  decided it was time to release an project of this kind.  As Karter Futur put it: "The inspiration comes from just our passion for science fiction in general."  The result is a collections of songs that will have you not only up and dancing, but also bring you on a trans-galactic journey into the future.

Each producer worked on certain songs.  Karter Futur contributed two of the catchiest dance tracks on the EP.  Opening the EP is the title track 'Advanced Intelligent Civilization', with a single horn melody heralds in an introduction to these enlightened beings.  A very cool Italo Disco beat comes in, and creates a catchy, and uplifting dance track.  The delicate melody is very beautiful and gives a transcendental feeling to the song.  The build up of sounds towards the end is very gripping, and is the track that grabbed my attention to this whole adventure.  A lengthy track at almost 7 minutes, but never gets tiring, and will definitely be a song on repeat.

Karter's second contribution is the fourth song, 'Time and Space Travel', and is very much my favorite.  Another italo disco beat, with a light touching bass, and slight arpeggio melody that just makes for a dreamy, and body moving experience.  Or better yet, with time bending sounds at the 2:47 mark, this track gives more of a out of body moving experience as the music moves your senses through space and time!

Like Mowrey brought to the experience his expertise of epic story telling, with tracks such as 'Potential Quasar', 'Stella Eterna', and 'Milky Road'.  As the second song, 'Potential Quasar' has a dignified and serious tone, as a heavy hitting drum keeps a sure footed beat, and a arpeggio melody escalates into a cool spacey bass that makes a listener feel the power of a potential quasar, the energy associated with the birth of galaxies.  This song justifies such powerful energy of the cosmos, and is a very strong and powerful piece.

'Stella Eterna' is more light hearted.  With a heavy deep bass, the beat is more uplifting, and the melody is quite catchy, and as beautiful as the stars that it refers to.  A minute into the song, and close to the end, there are breaks in the song that have a simple spacey synth melody, that gives the impression of the vastness and endlessness of space.  The song also has the cool features of what sounds like rocket engines fired up.  Again, this track gives the impression of a strong and powerful universe, even out among the breathtaking beauty of the stars.

'Milky Road', the last song and Like Mowrey's final contribution, begins with a spacey melody, and a cool bass that reminded me of the bass in Micheal Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal'.  Not exact, but still has the oomph to give someone that 80s attitude and swagger to walk down a street with.  A very cool track, and ends with the fiery sounds of rocket engine, that reminds the listener, that this EP is quite out of this world!

A great release that I had to grab as soon as I heard it.  As a fan of science fiction, I found the music to be very positive, uplifting, and very hopeful that one day, the future that is in store for us, is something to truly look forward to. You can pick this awesome EP at Bandcamp here.  

While you listen to it, check out the amazing science fiction artwork of Kilian Eng here. Also check out other works by Karter Futur and Like Mowrey.

The Hunt - Revengers of Darkness EP

By Matthew Neophytou

This is the perfect exercise on how to create a great piece of thematic synth, without sacrificing the energy. Berlin based Giallo Disco Records brings us French duo The Hunt’s latest offering; Revengers of Darkness. I feel this should come with a John Carpenter like trailer.

We begin this quest of revenge with a build up of psychedelic synth enforced by a strong beat ensuring that you are ready to take on anything in your path. That essentially is 'Angoisse'. We get a sort of sequel piece in 'Survivor' but by no means any less or the same, how about we say its psychedelic beats enforced by strong strings of synth. Yeah that’s the stuff. 'The Abomination' ie; the musical equivalent of walking into a mist-flooded alleyway, hits us with pulsating strobes that should include some terminator shades with each listen.

 Giallo Disco Records Presents The Hunt Revengers of Darkness EP, is just the soundtrack you would need for the forthcoming Halloween. Available for digital download and on 12" at their Bandcamp site here this is very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM

Daniel Deluxe’s - Night Stalker EP

by Chris ‘Python Blue’ Day

There was a bit of press beforehand of Daniel Deluxe’s Night Stalker EP, and I finally know what they were talking about. This is a great listen for two reasons. First, while I tend to enjoy dark synth in the first place, Daniel Deluxe has impressed me with how unique his edgy melodies sound. Second, I heard several sounds that are atypical in the synthwave scene, which, in my book, is a good thing for the sake of variety.

This EP brings new meaning to combining past and present: I recognize a few sounds and samples from the 90s onward, as opposed to strictly a retro sound, and there is also excellent sound design for those into soundtracks and experimental music, particularly in the tracks  'Xenogenesis' and 'Underwater Terror'. Overall, a great listen! Pick up your copy of Night Stalker just in time for Halloween 2014 here on Bandcamp.

Ichisan – Extra Ball

By Matthew Neophytou 

What a joy is was to listen to this EP; all the familiar sounds of the genre we all love are here but just served to us in a different dish. Ichisan fuses some nu-disco Italo Disco synth goodness into 'Extra Ball' that will have you boogy-ing (like begging but with boogy) for your own night of Saturday Night Fever.

Did you hear that? Like a signal originating from a far away planet ruled by beings of audio funkdom, Title track 'Extra Ball' makes you wonder what a ride in their spaceship would be like? Bringing back down to Earth we set sail with 'Trans Atlantic' a playful melody of notes guaranteed to pick anyone up.

'20/40' continues the italo vibes as evident throughout the release, this throwback could easily have come from the 70’s, all the classic sounds are here but still kept fresh. If there were any excuse to strut down a street Bee Gees style it would be 'Triglav', as I’m typing this my head cannot stop moving in a back and forth like manner, a hop scotch of groove, funk, beats and synths make it the standout track for this boy

As you can clearly read I cannot recommend Ichisan's  Extra Ball EP enough, a solid craft of the genre that is really a beam of laser light amongst the often-thematic world of electro. Available for digital download aswell 12inch on their bandcamp site here. Very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM