Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Never Say Never To Sam Häggblad

The past few months has witnessed a huge increase in the amount of quality, authentic italo based 80s synth music releases. One of the most refined and authentic, thus far, is the totally kick arse new three track EP from Sam Häggblad.

Italo has a defined personality to it that is instantly identifiable and the italo synth pop denominations that have been drawn from the early days of this musical style create some of my most favourite 80s experiences. The passion and drama that permeates classic italo is always complemented beautifully by the right vocal track and the finest exponents always contained a delightful naiveté about the lyrics and personality that I always find even more endearing.

The classic period of pop italo from 1984-87 generated hundreds of incredible anthems that are all but forgotten by many, these days, which is a shame as this window of musical creativity typified the idealism and vibrancy of the 80s and has become a true hallmark of this decade's soundtrack. It's a shame very little of this music made it out of Europe at the time and it was only by the late 80s that the Stock, Aitken and Waterman version of italo became more widely accepted and chart friendly. But the golden period in the mid 80s was the true high water mark for this genre.

Which brings us to the fantastic new EP from Sam Häggblad. Two of the three tracks on this EP are purely spun italo gold and third piece is an atmospheric instrumental number that displays more dimensions this producers is capable of mastering. From the outset, the Sam Häggblad sound creates a vision of what quality italo is all about and the authentic vocals and beautifully orchestrated music drive home just how magical this genre really is.

As 'Never Say Never' begins the catchy synth melodies, orchestral stabs and sweet vocals combine into an italo maelstrom that is without any reservation 100% authentic to the classic mid 80s period. The lead melody is full of the that wondrous euromance that is delivered to the listener like aural candy, wrapped in a big red satin ribbon, adorned with heart balloons and a dozen red roses thrown into a soft focus night time rendezvous with glittering stars and shimmering waters. The lead vocals promises worlds of untold pleasures and unimaginable joys, sung in a warm embrace of youthful honesty and sultriness courtesy of Johanna Liljegren

I mentioned earlier that much of the classic italo had a drama to it that created an atmosphere of longing that the torture of unrequited affection can bring. This is examined brilliantly in the second song 'No Time To Loose (In The Night)' where bright and bouncing synths steer to darker waters through the wonderful vocals talents, again, of Johanna Liljegren. The music tells a story of passions running out of control and the exuberance of young lust becoming a dangerous game. The combination of music and vocal are perfection, dancing with and around each other in a perfect partnership of plushly patterned pop prestidigitation.

Our final chapter in the this three track affair is the enigmatically titled 'Sam's Theme 12inch Megamix'. This supremely atmospheric piece of soundtrack inspired synth work is not without it's italo charms as crashing orchestral stabs and melancholic lead melodies create an atmosphere riddled with darker emotions and passages of awesome grandeur. This track completes the experience perfectly as we're left wondering where Sam Häggblad will be taking us next time in his musical journeys. 'Never Say Never' has me champing at the bit for more of this producer's work; and with a full length album release  coming out in the near future we won't have too wait long for more rocking good times courtesy of the Häggblad italo disco machine.

'Never Say Never' is presented on Sam Häggblad's Bandcamp page here and Synthetix.FM very, very highly recommends this release to all lovers of classic italo disco pop soundscapes. The authenticity of the music contained on this EP to the original italo sounds is some of the most accurate I've ever heard. Combined with the totally pop sensibilities of the melodies and vocal work this is indeed the full package and every fan of what makes 80s italo great should be picking this up as soon as possible.

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