Sunday, July 14, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

There is an old adage that's used often in regards to things we enjoy that 'less is more'. This is a very pertinent ideal when it comes to music. To make music important and engaging it needs a time and space to be enjoyed and experienced in. Music is a part of my everyday life, there are maybe only five hours in the day where I don't have music with me, even when I sleep. But music seen as a consumable item is a dangerous and precarious way to view something that should be seen as art.

When I changed the format of Synthetix.FM a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing. I really wanted to cover as much new music as possible but I have found encouraging production rates in the scene does no one any favours. An album, EP or song that I fall in love with needs to be enjoyed over time; days, weeks. Not minutes. Allowing music to be digested and absorbed with patience and attention is what I want to encourage. The new format of having cut the Weekend Updates down by about a third and keeping the posts during the week to one or two have given people that chance (I hope) to take their own time with the releases that, I believe, are especially rockin.

The main reason I'm writing this is for you to look at how you listen to music. How much attention you give it, how much you connect to the music and stare deeply into it's magical creation. Music can be as peripheral or integral to your existence as you want it to be and the art form itself, especially in more popular electronic genres, has devolved into a soulless production line. I've always been of the mind that the 80s genres of electronic music have a much greater emotional context, not just from my own sentimentality, but the overall presence and wonder the vintage styles can achieve. Music that is meant to be felt, and made part of your life; something you look back upon over years, and go back to revisit time and time again.

I like to think of all 80s synth producers as artists. Passionate artists, with a deep love and reverence for classic 80s sounds. When I listen to this music I want to feel that connection and experience the vision their muse has driven them to create. Which brings me to the real point of all this, which is the new Alpha Boy EP entitled Home.

Alpha Boy has released a lot of music over the last year or so. He's one of the most prolific producers in the scene, although his work rate pales in comparison to the likes of LA Dreams, Alpha Boy makes a lot of music. I have 80+ Alpha Boy tracks in my music library, and my collection by no means contains all his music. That's a lot of music and in all honesty I thought I'd already heard the best that Alpha Boy had to offer and found myself tuning out to some of his recent work just a little. With his new EP I've found that this was certainly not the case.

The Home EP distills the Alpha Boy experience down into three pieces of music. All very different in their personalities, but each one is a refinement of Alpha Boy's music styles with his trademark melodies seeming to be of much vaster and greater consequence than ever before. The opening track, 'Come In' is definitely the most beautiful and absolutely inspirational piece of music I've ever heard from Alpha Boy. These three minutes and twenty seconds of minimalist synth sounds and deeply emotive melodies is the pinnacle of what the Alpha Boy sound is all about. I feel like the hundred plus pieces of music he has written before this piece was all a lead up to what 'Come In' realises. I could go on and on about this track but I want you, the listener, to enjoy this yourself with your own perspective.

The EP contains two other tracks in 'Purple' and 'Laser Dance', both of which refine Alpha Boys italo flavoured disco and synth wave soundscapes to all new levels of clarity and personality. The sounds are fresh and engaging and there is a new and lustrous energy about each passage of both tracks.

If you think you've already heard everything Alpha Boy has to offer you are in for a massive surprise with this EP as this producer has, for me, ascended to a new level of understanding and creativity of what his art is about. This is an inspirational release, and one that I encourage everyone to welcome into their hearts and minds.

I'm not passing comment on any producer's work rates, especially the likes of someone such as LA Dreams whom consistently dazzles me with his constant stream of amazing releases. But sometimes less is more and that is something to be considered and regarded in how we as individuals relate to the music in our lives.

Now, let's get rockin' with this week's Weekend Update!

Nowtro is back again this week with a hot new track called 'Neon Triathlon'. This new track has a stunning build the really ramps up exponentially with dramatic chords and thumping percussion. Lead synth melodies soar with beautiful resonance and haunting memories. This is a superbly written and arranged track, easily one of Nowtro's finest thus far.

Keeping the mood rockin is Foreign Blade's new work, 'Relax'. Synth melodies usher in sparkling energies and rise skyward before transitioning into sweeping action packed passages. The narrative told through this track is truly epic as we're taken on a journey full of excitement. This is currently available for FREE download currently.

Daxyl are a duo from Germany who's latest track is something very special. 'Travail A L'Usine' takes a slow wander into the cosmos with space synth sounds and dramatic percussion guiding the navigation. The soundscape captures the empty feelings of the cosmos while delicate melodies ponder deeper questions. Many thanks to Lothar Poeller for enlightening me to the wonders of Daxyl.

With the epic brutality of Blood Sport 2092 behind them, Arc Neon are now looking to brighter, dare I say sexier, climes with their new track 'Work It Out'. Synth romance is the order of the day with bright and colourful melodies glistening like jewels in the sun. Theres a glorious naivety to the instrumentations that is thoroughly endearing and totally rockin to the max. This is currently available for FREE download, so get on it!

Python Blue's new work in progress, 'Electric Dreams' takes the producer on a new journey away from his more dramatic soundtrack work into a more action oriented territory. The soundscape is full of classic elements that work together beautifully and create and inspirational synthscape that should make it's way into everyone's training montage mixtapes this week so download it now for FREE.

New music from 80s Stallone next! 'Break' takes the 80s Stallone italo flavoured disco into hyper overdrive with rockin basslines and exorbitant cowbell layered into sweetly written melodies. The recurrent vocal refrains add huge amounts of personality to proceedings while the lasers cut through the smoky haze of the dancefloor before ricochetting off the spinning mirror balls.

Making sure the excitement keeps on rockin is the new track from Seipa. 'Stossel' is a superb homage to the notorious ABC reporter who waged war against Nintendo in the late 80s. The music is kept frenetic and engaging while the samples from Stossel's 20/20 'report' as used sparingly throughout. The synthscape is peppered with some very nicely executed ChipTune sounds, adding even more to the narrative.

Steering a course for danger and terror,  we let the Vestron Vulture take control of the wheel and careen headlong into the synth horror of 'Blood Lust'. Panic and distress take hold and right at the epicentre of the brutality saxophones of doom illicit an alluring Siren's song that is inescapable. The track seems to finish a tad sooner than expected, but perhaps this is an intentional truncation.

Spoiling us with yet another totally kick arse tune this week is Palm Highway Chase. The exhaustingly titled  'Bertone Salt Lake 1980 Studio Channel' is yet another work of magic from this 80s synth scene legend. Melodically exciting and full of authentic instrumentations the music is stunning with a presence all it's own. Passages are deep and full of wonder with swirling synths and rockin percussion.

Time to rock some synth pop with the new Diana Kay song 'Platonic Bride'. The 80s soul glows brightly within this vocally driven track that pays homage to early and late 80s euro synth pop while retaining a rockin original sound. The vocal performance really stands out and adds massive amounts of drama through the chorus and verses. Many thanks to the always k-rad rock Denovomutans for introducing me to Diana Kay. Pick this up for FREE download through the button in the player.

Another great synthpop track out this week is Yannis Rianta's new smoothly sensual song 'Wicked Words'. The minimalist soundscape really lets the vocals intimate beautifully, providing great contrast to the Naomi Campbell samples peppered throughout the track. The flavours are cool and austere, full of 80s love and delivered in a very Tesla Boy-like manner. Currently available for FREE download.

The Energizer Bunny of the 80s inspired synth scene, LA Dreams, released two totally k-rad tracks this week. 'Age Of Innocence' is a absolutely stellar piece of trademark LA Dreams synth romance that is completely entrancing from beginning to end with it's glorious melodies and production. His other track released this week, 'Boys And Girls' is something new for this producer as he dives head first into a pool of cool and refreshing italo disco. LA Dreams knows his 80s and pulls this off with aplomb. Check out 'Boys And Girls' here.

Theres been much love for RF Extreme on Synthetix.FM of late and his latest track is going into full on crush mode as this producer tries his hand at synth romance and totally rocks it. 'Fury Of The Flame' is coursing with emotional melodies and delicate details. The instrumentations are enrapturing to behold with slow moving synths punctuated by the heart beat percussion. The restrain in this piece and overall aesthetic is masterfully done. Be sure to buy your own copy of this track through the link in the player.

A final note for this week's Weekend Update, Palisded has released her VHS Dreams EP (which I reviewed in the June 15 Weekend Update here) on iTunes this week. Click here to pick up a copy of this totally killer EP.

That does us for another hot rockin Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. I hope you've found some great new tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene here and I look forward to sharing more with you during the week. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin!

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