Saturday, July 6, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

The Synthetix.FM Experience keeps on evolving and rockin and the latest addition to the great ways you can enjoy 80s inspired synth music is a bran new soundcloud group! The Synthetix.FM official soundcloud group is now available for further adventures in retro synth goodness in the link box on the right hand side of this page permanently, or by clicking here.

I'm always ready to encourage and evaluate new and useful ways for people to find and be informed of the music we love, so if you have any suggestions for this I'm very receptive to new ideas. There will eventually be a Synthetix.FM Twitter feed, but as I'm not a user of Twitter this will take some time to get rockin.

Let's get down to the hot rockin business of all the kick arse tunes from this past week in the scene with the Synthetix Weekend Update!

We're getting dangerously close to the promised full length album release from Dance With The Dead (formerly Jaypeau and Toe Knee). I do believe a July/August release is in the offing, meaning our long wait is nearly over. These two rockers have made some absolutely stunning experiences in epic synth suites that cross over numerous genres but always have a deeply emotive and polished presence about them. Their latest track, which is a demo of 'Sunset', personifies the Dance With The Dead sound in every way. I, personally, am expecting this full length album to be a spectacle of dazzling proportions as the longer format seems like the perfect option for their vast soundscapes.

There's definitely an interesting trend going on at the moment in the scene with numerous producers delving more into the Library goldmine of 80s music for inspiration. Thought to be 'too cheesy' for many I think the classic Library music is one of the purest forms of the 80s synth experience and I applaud all the current producers taking inspiration from it. The latest is a killer piece of hard rockin good times from  Vector Hold.  'Last Day Of School' is triumphant and joyous in it's personality with the warm days of freedom and summer beckoning. Beautifully orchestrated and hugely uplifting.

Synthetix.FM favourite Chaconne is back with a delicately delightful new track 'Interqualude'. Taking a departure from his usual high drama synthscapes, this introspective piece smoothly dances in soft resonance, intimating melodic refrains with nimble dexterity. Definitely full of that rockin Chaconne magic, and currently available for FREE download.

Rocking into the future at breakneck speed is the latest EP from Neo Neo. The Last Dance EP is presented by Future City Records and consists of the title track plus two remixes. The title track is an explosion of OutRun synth set to dangerously high speeds. The way this track is arranged with a more modern flavour adds even more acceleration and drama, reaching life threatening top speeds. The two remixes are provided by Tero and MegaDrive, who both take to the tarmac in a race against the clock. I quite enjoyed MegaDrive's darker take on 'Last Dance', but I think Tero's loses a bit too much of the 80s soul in his version. You can buy your own copy of this rockin release by clicking the 'Buy' button on the player below.

Nowtro is definitely evolving and fine tuning his sounds and his new track is definitely one that grabbed my attention and didn't let go. 'Space Race' has a marvellous slow-burn build that then ignites into a synthscape of sparkling wonder. This track feels like it's arranged with a view to a vocal mix as the structures are very song-like in their delivery. As an instrumental the music shines brightly and the narrative is wonderful, the synth solo towards the back end being a real highlight.

Miles Prower's new EP is due for release soon and his latest video teaser for the song 'Outatime' is sure to build much excitement. This darker, EBM styled affair makes the drama level high while a superb vocal track performed by Colleen Quinn adds heavy doses of emotional discord. Another, this time instrumental track from the EP is up on Miles' soundcloud page here which is totally kick arse as well.

More promises of exciting things to come, this time from MoweLan and his unnamed teaser for his full length album due out towards the end of northern hemisphere's summer. Initially this didn't grab me, but the build leads to a totally rad final segment that is sounding very encouraging. Alas just as the rockin kicks in the, the fade out does too, leaving us hanging. I hope MoweLan shares some more of these teasers soon.

A producer going by the name of Hawker introduced himself to me this week and enlightened me to his own work and latest release. Dark Lines is a sumptuously created six track EP of beautiful synth soundtrack work coloured with a pronounced 80s palette. Opening salvos are epic in wonder and massively orchestrated with stunning melodies. Tracks vary greatly in their emotive qualities, often with rich stories and deep passages that have been fabricated with much care. Other more frenetic energies are explored on tracks like 'Siege' but all six chapters feel like the parts of one complete narrative. If you're a fan of soundtrack synth experiences I encourage you to take in the Dark Lines adventure in it's entirety in your own time for the full effect.

It warms my heart when the pioneers of the early days of the 80s inspired synth movement release new tracks, and even more so when they're of such incredible quality. Palm Highway Chase is one of these such producers, his Escape From New York album from 2009 is one of the early high points in the resurgence of 80s synths. His new track 'Shoreline OutRun' ushers in new soundscapes and very interesting details while still glowing with classic Palm Highway Chase melodies. I adore the evolution of this track, it's riveting and totally k-rad to the max in every respect.

Alpha Boy is definitely one of the most prolific producers in the 80s inspired synth scene and his work since his collaborative album with JF Conrad last year has definitely found his music take on new and exciting dimensions.  This short preview for his next EP (due out tomorrow!) gives a hint and some very interesting new Alpha Boy soundscapes. The opening track, 'Come In' is something that instantly made me fall in love with it. Over it's scant twenty seconds of preview this piece alone has me champing at the bit for the 'Home' EP. I'll be sure to give it an attentive listen as soon as it's released.

Another rockin new act that contacted me this week was the Cassual Leopards, their latest EP entitled Close Encounters provides a rich mix of disco and 80s synths with leanings to modern arrangements, while still retaining much vintage love. The five tracks are very individual in their presentation and bring to mind much of the crossover nu-disco/french house music that was so vital a few years ago. The balancing act of old and new elements is very well performed, with some interesting twists. 'Fractal Love' for example walks a very traditional 80s synth path with dramatic melodies and minimalistic synthscape. Conversely the out and out disco rockin 'Don't Stop' provides a funkified counter point with it's catch loops and much more modern story.  The Close Encounters EP is full of good times and kick arse music, it really traverses a lot of ground but retains a warm honesty and love of quality 80s sounds throughout. The EP is available for FREE download of the individual tracks through the player below.

I always look forward to hearing new music from Farfletched. His individualised brand of 80s inspired electronic music always manages to include varied elements and his writing is always delightfully eclectic. 'Karate Follow' is by his own definition 'arcade synth pop' and it's a wonderful track full of incredibly rad melodies and entertaining details. The music bounces verily with ChipTune elements going hand in hand with some Steve Winwood-esque synth work. This is definitely the Synthetix.FM feel good tune of the week.

Our final excursion in the the electric world of 80s synth for this week's Weekend Update comes courtesy of the totally tubular Professor Zonic Zynth. His latest work, 'Sensation' finds the Professor experimenting in some kick arse Library sounds and working on a 'sports event' thematic that conjures up a great deal of exciting possibilities. Once again this producers melodies shine like beacons amidst the camera flashes and roars of the crowd while the athletes take to the field in a battle for glory and a place in history's pages. Totally epic and totally k-rad to the max.

That does us for this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, I'll be back during the week with more hot rockin 80s inspired synth music and I hope I get to see you again then.

'Till then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

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