Thursday, August 28, 2014

AIRBORNE




TZARR - Dreams Don't Die
By Jazzi Marzcat



Coming from the midwest of the USA, is  the master of the dance floor: TZARR. He is a music  producer, and professional  DJ, who has been producing his own music since 2008 (you can find past songs on YouTube here). Dreams Don't Die is the 3rd release from TZARR, and is one incredible and danceable album, with five songs, (plus a bonus song when you buy it!). The cover shows the knobs of mixing equipment in electrifying bright colors; it reflects the electrifying upbeat, and funky cool songs on this EP that are just a lot of fun to listen to!

For the title song, we're introduced by a flashy synth melody, and an alluring bass, a bit reminiscent to the bass line on the the intro to David Bowie's 80s hit 'Modern Love'. The song continues with a voice sample from the X-Men character Cyclops from the Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter video game, strongly pronouncing that "Dreams Don't Die!". The song is a super groovy disco, with a thumping drum beat and bass, and as the sample is repeated through out the song, I found it very uplifting and empowering.  This feeling is completely driven home with the sample quote at the end of the song, from the cartoon Outlaw Star, that says: "Only one thing can be certain, a boy has the right to dream. . ."

The fun continues, as the voice sample states, "All systems go!". The second song 'Stardust Orchestra' flies you off into the depths of the cosmos for a groovy disco adventure. TZARR felt he saw an epic battle going down in outer space with this track. Synths swirl, and rocking guitar leads join in this fantastic melody! Just one really awesome dance song!

TZARR also has the unique ability to take song and vocal samples, and while manipulating their speeds within a song, still keep a cohesive pace going.  This is achieved with adding awesome dance beats, sweet melodies, and slapping bass lines, that makes it all fits together in the song. It's an element that keeps the songs interesting to listen to and fun dance to.

This is evident in the song 'Casino', where a very familiar song from The Whispers 'Love Thing', is dramatically sped up. It lends to the feeling of the stakes rising and the chips falling!  Quite the speed during which someone has it their stride!  The song 'Style/Class' is at a normal pace for most of the song (and by the way has the most sexiest and most awesome bass lines, and a groovy retro disco melody), but it slows down at the end, which brings the listener right into the  next song. 'Digital Smoke' is for your pure vaporwave enjoyment, or as my English friends would say vapourwave, of which this song seriously does pour out the slowed down beats, deliciously deep bass line,  and sweet savored melodies. And just when you thought it couldn't get any slower, it does just that by the end of the song!! A total chilled out track!

The bonus track '1984 Inner City Prom' was quite the surprise when I opened my download of the album.  With a very cool dance beat, the song's lyrics are repeated with "tonight is our night".   It makes for a very  nice send off for a very enjoyable album!

I asked TZARR the inspiration behind the title song and the album itself and he told me: "I think that music stopped being fun for the sake of it. With Dreams Don't Die, it's a tribute to those goals we had to put down before we got older.  They never stopped being important to us, we just had to pursue other dreams." He also said that one of his goals behind producing this kind of music is to get the chance to play it when he DJ's so that people can have a fun time. It's without doubt just that with the well composed and delightful songs on this EP, TZARR is surely on his path to making his dreams a reality.  You can get this awesome release here on Bandcamp.  




Killstarr - Memories
By Julian Hobson

 

"In 2186, music had been all but forgotten… until Killstarr arrived…"

Hailing from Melbourne, Killstarr burst onto the scene with a Soundcloud track titled 'Summer Drive', a smooth, nostalgic piece that captured the hearts of listeners and hinted at an exciting future for the producer. Fast forward four months and his debut EP, Memories, graces us with the same brand of enchanting synthwave, yet more refined and gleaming aided by the addition of Jon of the Shred’s excellent guitar work on several tracks.

'Standing in the Rain' opens with a singular chord reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks theme. Chilled and gentle, the track just settles in before an ecstatic guitar solo rips through the air, elevating the track to new heights. Elsewhere the synths and guitars shine, Killstarrs’ youthful touch highlighted on the updated 'Summer Drive', now complete with a killer guitar part and 'Memories' a driving blast of pure bliss. Opener, ‘Feels like Heaven’s wispy beginnings soon fade into a easy groove accompanied by dreamy vocoder vocals and a saxophone solo that is perfectly implemented while 'Dark City' changes the mood up with its fast paced drums and layered synth tracks making it one to dance to.

Another excellent release from Future 80s Records, Memories is a diverse and spellbinding listen presented with beautiful artwork from scene legend Basil Murad. A must have addition to any synthwave collection, you can pick up a copy on Bandcamp here.




Warrior III - Star Maps
By Rick Shithouse

The latest release from We Are The Fure Records is the debut EP for Warrior III entitle Star Maps. Spread across four very separate creative ideas I find this EP to be a great homage to the earlier work of 80s inspired electronic music from the late 2000s and although there is much experimentation and inspirations running through each track there is also soulful understanding of the music too.

Opening with 'Mulholland Drive' the tones and colours of work by scene pioneers like College and Futurecop! spring to mind. The subtlety of the structures and haunting presence of the melody illicit a completely bittersweet  emotional  reaction. Simplicity is kept at the forefront and this genuinely ramps up the intimacy in a wonderfully nostalgic manner. 'Wrath' on the other hand takes a darker turn with the most devilish use of handclaps I'm yet to hear as the rhythmic applause rocks along like participants of a black mass watching all manner of macabre imagery distort their perception via synthesized melodies from beyond.

A bit of a curveball occurs with the third piece, which really eschews anything remotely 80s for something like a trip-hop homage to Chaplin's Great Dictator speech. It resonates deeply with the conviction of the speech's hugely powerful imagery. It's poignantly done with a very honest investment in the swelling string sections that guide the piece's journey.

Star Maps finishes with another kick arse 80s themed track in 'OMG wut?'. The passages are dripping with synths that have a predilection for chip-tuned aesthetics but it's the deep exploration of the hugely catchy lead melody that really rocks the hardest. Again this brings back many fond memories of the sounds of 2009 and that's no bad thing at all.

You can pick up a copy of Warrior III's Star Maps on iTunes here, which I highly recommend, especially for those of us who were rockin those early days of the scenes sounds in the late 2000s, as well as for those just discovering the modern take on 80s synth music.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kasia's Secret Diary

By Kasia


Saturday, 12th July, 2014

hello meteor - I'll Come Back For You



It's time for me

I gotta go now
World is calling me
I don't know what it wants from me 
But I have to find out
I'm ready to take the risk
And you will be my secret company
Please don't let me get lost
No matter how far away I am
You will always be in my heart
And don't be afraid
I'll come back for you one day
You can be sure about that
Your music will show me the way back home



Friday, 4th April, 2014

Vincenzo Salvia - Together



People say

That it is always better not to be alone
But is it the truth?
Somebody smart once said 
That first you must learn how to be alone
How to be happy with yourself
So that you could really be happy with another person
I think I am ready to give it a try
Because I feel simply happy when you're next to me
I love the feeling
When your melody plays inside my head
When every single note of your music touches my heart
Because of you 
Everything shines brighter than millions of stars
It's always better when we are together...



Monday, 5th August, 2013

Karl X Johan - Do You Remember (Mitch Murder Remix)



Sure I remember the past
I remember every single moment
But...
Let's not talk about it this time
Let's talk about the future
Let's concentrate on something that we can create
What we can change
What we can build, the way we want
It is a mystery but 
why not to find out if there is something we can do to make it better?

Does it cost anything?
Yes... it does
It costs us our courage, risk and energy
But we don't have anything to lose
We have to make the choice
We have to make the change
In the end we are fighting for ourselves
No one can do this for us





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Game Over For Lazerpunk!

By Jeremy Olson

Get rude, crude and in a first person shooter mood with Lazerpunk!'s debut release Game Over.

I have to be honest this release is one I was specifically watching out for as Lazerpunk's style is very original and reminds me of a lot of classic video games which hold a special place in my heart.  Especially fast action first person shooters and intense fighters such as the original Unreal Tournament and Killer Instinct, both of which I still play to this day. But after a few listens I'm even more excited as to me it offers a deeper message of how easily reality and fantasy tends to be blurred in the views of not only today's younger generations, but scarily enough many in my own which are quickly approaching mid life.



The LP starts out fittingly enough the title track which sets the mood and gets things flowing quickly. A crowd of teen voices not unlike what you would hear in a junior high cafeteria (obviously dying  to get the hell out of school)  gives way to crunchy kicks and arp'ed bass lines which drives it from beginning to until, well, 'Game Over'!

The number two track I feel is a good choice for flow of the album, which is 'Protector's of the Universe'. Big, industrial drums and soft pad like churns give way to vocoders and sounds of video game power ups and big beefy kicks. Not quite as intense as 'Game Over', but more structurally sound, which levels the playing field between the two and fits in nicely.

'Death of a Hero' is perhaps the most generally (and I say this loosely) accessible track on the album, it begins with a familiar pulsating bass line, but soon pours into soaring  melodic chord progressions that really stand out, making this my favorite of the album. You can almost sense the urgency in Optimus Prime's voice in the beginning which adds a very nice touch.

'Retro Future Disco' is like a cross between Castlevania and a well timed trip (interpret that how you see fit) to the old, closed down "Option" club in my home town.  This one puts me right back into place where the people with the coolest colored hair were also obviously the coolest people in the world. Simon Belmont and that hot chick at the club with the purple hair and mesh shirt that I could never talk to would be proud.

Next up is 'The Devil' which I would consider the "vocal track" of the album. I personally feel  is important to include vocals on at least a track or two on any modern release. It's nice to see an artist take a chance and in this case it definitely works quite excellently.

'Night of Terror' starts off with some classic 80's synth cheese brass but quickly levitates into a huge beast. The driving rhythm and bombed out effects are counter-parted nicely with well placed creepy vocal sampling. This all builds out to a fantastic finish that is no-holds-barred chaotic, yet well thought out.

Another surprise to Game Over is 'King of the Wasteland' which rocks a hip hop style beat before pausing for a bit so a couple of punks can vocalize their distorted dreams. I'd have to say I have a whole new view on the film Bellflower when put into this context. Nice sub bass and a classic 80s synth riff finish out this rocker superbly.

'3 AM' is well.. something I would either want to, or not want to listen to at 3 am..if that makes sense. Heavy percussion and more vocal cuts get this thing rolling into a twisted up nightmare and then is combined with chip-bit like synths;  very reminiscent to me as something off an obscure 80's Skinny Puppy B -side.

The finale, 'Secret of Saturn', is certainly worthy as a finale track and really wraps up the album well as it pulls bits and pieces from all the previous tracks and rolls together as a dance type track that I would, personally, love to hear in a club.

Lazerpunk's style reminds me of all the great video games I've encountered in my life and takes me right back to those experiences as if I was living them again. Whether it's running a flag in UT Instagib, or getting wiped by Lady Vox in the original Everquest, it puts me right there. Moreover, there's a certain attitude throughout the album that you just can't fake and could even be interpreted as a warning sign of just how easy it can be to confuse fiction with actuality. In fact, when you downright think about, most of what is pushed on the general populace from the powers that be is based entirely off of fantasy, lies, or dreams, rather than what is what is actually going around us.


Werkstatt Recordings presents Lazerpunk's Game Over album on their Bandcamp page here and it's  available for purchase in digital formats as well as limited edition physical runs on CD and cassette. In short, If you are (or ever were) into any sort of gaming, and would like to explore similar and expanded sounds to all of those classic soundtracks with the added bonus of pondering underlying themes deeper than you might have before, this is definitely the album for you and it comes very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM.