Saturday, August 17, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

I do believe 2013 will be remembered in the 80s inspired synth scene as the Year Of The Compilation. In the mid 90s I became a devotee of jungle music and the real 'gateway' releases for me where compilations such as the Jungle Massive and Jungle Tekno releases of the time. Each new volume would introduce me to kick arse new artists and provide for exciting new developments in sounds and styles. Back then, of course, the internet wasn't the go-to resource it is these days, which I think a lof of us today take for granted.

The compilation releases, in most music scenes, serve as an introduction for those just finding their way into the music, offering diversity in sounds and artists. Indeed, my first real introduction to the wealth of talent in the 80s synth genres were the MOTU2 and Valeries compilations,  that are both now regarded as being instrumental in initialising the scene we have today.

Each new compilation that is released gives another opportunity for producers to expand their fanbases and hopefully gain exposure through other avenues. This is why every compilation that comes is permanently linked on the right hand column on here. I like to think that people just getting interested in the music can then experience a smorgasbord of what is on offer in the scene, as this is what I wished I could've had access to when I was first discovering 80s inspired synth music.

On to the latest compilation for 2013 which is a monster release from Future City Records. Compilation Vol. III contains twenty five tracks from some of the most rockin producers in the scene. The diversity of styles is a spectacular cross section of all the 80s synth sub genres from soundtrack, to pop synth, to italo and electro and everything in between. There are some huge tracks on this release, and more than a few tracks are sure to be included in the next Synthetix Mixtape.

Congratulations to Future City Records on this magnificent cross section of what is on offer in the scene in 2013, it's a great time to be a devotee of 80s styles and without labels like FCR we the fans would be finding it a great deal more difficult to find the music we love. Keep on rockin, FCR!!

Now the mood has been set and the rad meter is peaking into the red zone, lets get this Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM kicked into high gear!

First up is a hot new rocker coming out of Ireland going by the name of Aysyne. I believe this is his first foray into the golden realms of 80s sounds but he sure as hell hit it out of the park with 'Out Of Time'. The melodies and sounds intimate a deep story and the supporting cast of orchestral stabs and pounding rhythms make for a hugely exciting adventure. Synthetix.FM will be keeping a close eye on this new producer and I hope you do too, so please give him some love on his soundcloud here.

For some reason, unknown to me, there has a been a huge amount of italo disco releases in the scene, which is totally kick arse. I think this is one of the most under represented styles in the scene, so it's great to get so many rockin italo track in one week. The first one,  although it did come out a couple of weeks ago is a killer new tune from Spacious Sweep. 'Shadow Moon' adds some eastern elements but pumps with a heart of pure italo as grooving basslines and nifty handclaps are expounded en masse.

Developing his own self confessed brand of ninja italo is Henrique Kuba Kubinski with his latest track 'Katana'. I really applaude the aesthetic he's going for in combining ninja synth magic and italo gold as the results are totally rock hard. I hope Henrique is working towards as full length release of this denomination as it's a totally killer combination.

Launching into the cosmos with some italo space disco is Hyboid with his new epic 'Utopia'. The build on this experience is more akin to something much more soundtrack based and it adds a new layer to the synthscape before the disco sets the cosmic void ablaze. The hypnotic vocal and sparkling melodies really create a wonderful atmosphere that resonates deeply.

Taking the disco sounds into more modern styles is Hologram with his new track, the beautifully titled 'The Aspens Turning Gold'. More huge builds and dancing synth melodies layer in over a totally rockin bassline while the exploration of exciting soundscapes continues unabated. It's another epic adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Sady K has released a totally killer new preview teaser for his next release which is due out on the 9th of September. I'm not sure if this constitutes a full length album or an extended EP, but either way this is some absolutely kick arse music that channels a whole mess of quality 80s inspirations. Many thanks to Vincenzo Salvia for the heads up on this one.

Released on hours ago is the debut EP from Fantastisizer: The Dark Sun. Fantastisizer has been a favourite on Synthetix.FM over the last few months and it's marvellous to be able to experience all four chapters of The Dark Sun story in one complete package. The soundscapes on this EP tend towards the ambient and space synth dimensions with delicately written melodies allowed to gestate and bask in their own cosmic radiance.

The two opening tracks with their vast atmospheres lead into the much more action oriented 'The Chase' which takes the story into much more dangerous zones powered with  panic driven rhythm section while being coloured with fragile synth melodies that waver and oscillate in the alien winds.
The EP closes out with 'Before Dawn', which takes a more pointed and deliberate melodic adventure that remains much more focussed and determined. There is still a majestic ambiance and dream like quality to the synthscapes but with more purpose this time around, making for an exciting conclusion to the EP.

The Dark Sun is a classic example of how to do a four track concept record that engages with a deep narrative without meandering or losing the initial vision. It's a superb EP and one that I encourage everyone to pick up. Fantastisizer's Dark Sun EP is presented by Werkstatt Recordings on their Bandcamp page here.

Palm Highway Chase keeps on rockin and his sounds are still some of the most exciting in the scene. Each new track this producer shares has a new elemental idea behind that always sounds fresh and full of possibilities. In his latest track 'Holy Days' we get to experience beautifully shimmering synth melodies that take on a glorious life all their own. The music is pure synth romance created with the imaginative vision that could only be done by Palm Highway Chase.

Speaking of synth romance we have another totally kick arse track from the modern master of the genre, the irrepressible LA Dreams with 'Lipstick Blush'. Synths are set to maximum crush level throughout this glossy journey into the hearts and minds of every 80s teenager. The production on this piece is so dazzlingly polished you most certainly need to put on a pair sunglasses before pressing the play button. Totally rockin.

Seipa's kicking massive amounts of arse in his new electro rocker 'Florida Weather Report'. Shades of library enter into the soundscape but the truly punishing drum track and a bassline that funks harder than a melonfarmer pushes this track into a class of it's own. The groove is deep and the sizzling synthscape is set to ignite passions state wide.

Taking the electro funk under the cover of darkness after a sun drenched day is the rock hard Pumping Body with his new track 'Don't Touch Me Man'. Scintillating synths keep time with a totally rockin guitar track and join forces to make for an experience sure to make you want to pump your body in all the right ways.

Easing back into more ambiant pastures we find Ed Harbinger using his synth alchemy skills to create a sprawling journey over time and space called 'Logan's Epiphany'. The languid nature of this piece allows a full and detailed exploration of the melodic passages in a timely manner that engages the listener in a transfixed state of wonder. Beautifully sounds are only the beginning of the story, allow Mr Harbinger to take you deep into his creative process via 'Logan's Epiphany'.

A new synth pop force to be reckoned with in the scene is the three piece group going by the name of X Priest X. This very interesting combination of talents has resulted in their first single, to my knowledge, titled 'Samurai'. The sweetly sung vocals add a layer of beauty to the bass driven synth melodies. I can hear a lot of my favourite early 80s UK synth pop based bands in this track,  while the vocal track adds a modern flavour that gives it a more timeless  quality. I'll definitely be looking forward to hearing more from the promising new band and I thank Mike Goosens for enlightening me to their existence.

Our final track this week comes from Russia's PinWizz and his absolutely k-rad to the max track 'FM Synth AM  Station (Secret Password)'. The grooving bassline ushers in lightly coloured synth melodies before the chorus kicks in and takes no prisoners in an explosion of golden 80s magic. Plus, this single has some of the best art I've seen in recent times, hands down! Be sure to follow the PinWizz experience on his soundcloud here, too.

That does us for another rockin Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have and I'll be back next week for more good times and great rock'n'roll.

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

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