Saturday, December 7, 2013

Synthetix Weekend Update

I think 2013 will be remembered for a couple of things particularly in the 80s inspired synth scene. First, for the completely rockin return of copious amounts of Italo Synth and second for the amount of amazing compilations released. The next of these is the epic Volume IVfrom Future City Records.

Once again FCR have packed their compilation to bursting point with a stellar range of producers and styles to really display the diversity of the label. Lots of scene favourite as well as new rockers round out the roster with twenty five cuts of golden 80s loving.

Grab your copy of Volume IV from FCR's Bandcamp page here and experience a celebration in the diversity and passion of the 80s inspired synth scene.

OK! Let's get rockin with second last Synthetix Weekend Update for 2013!

First up it's my pleasure to be able to share the triumphant return to music production for Discoballistic AKA Twilight Racing AKA Vaillante AKA Playmaker's Playground AKA 80s inspired synth scene legend Jurgen Desmet. This rocker's been rockin around the scene before it even was a scene and in his new track, 'Dickinson's Misery' we get to hear the darker side of Jurgen's inspirations realised as  a thumping dark synth juggernaut.

Continuing the nightmare is the new dark synth opus from 'Dan Terminus' entitled 'Shoggoths Stampede'. The narrative is bold and intense while the instrumentations are coloured with vibrancy and clarity. Dan Terminus's debut release is due out in Spring 2014 and is certainly promising to be the goods at this early stage.

Electric Dissection's new moniker is Strike Force 88 and in his latest piece we're presented with a wonderfully rich atmospheric piece that is stunningly realised. 'Anita' is beautiful in melody and emotion, with each passage expanding further on the refrain; exploring the elements with gentleness and then moving into a dramatic final act. Superb work from Strike Force 88.

Some more gorgeous melodies, this time from Midnight Driver and his new piece 'Cosmic Reflections'. A brightly fashioned melody drives a layered build up of synthtacular spaces and times. There's a great alien nature to this piece, it feels like a story from distant galaxies and the journey between our worlds is vast and awe inspiring.

Another new rocker for Synthetix.FM is Andrioux with his hot new track 'The Road To Santa Mira'. The first thing that hits you is the presence of the sound, this has a big, robust synthscape that really packs a mighty wallop. The piece is full of exploration of 80s motifs and keeps itself rockin at an easy cruising speed that allows the instruments to get into super solid grooves.

Upping the brutality is Vector Hold with his new experience in nightmare fuelled OutRun called 'Cobalt 60'. Action and drama are conveyed intensely with an unrelenting pace and a thunderous percussive track. The energy is frenetic, intense and totally k-rad to the max. You can currently pick up a copy of this for FREE via the download link in the player.

One of my personal favourite aspects of 2013 has been the return of Palm Highway Chase to the scene. Each track he's shared has been really special and his defining of his own sound has been a journey I'm very pleased to have witnessed thus far. In 'Saturday Night' we get to experience a loving dose of Synth Romance injected into the PHC experience. It's beautiful and rockin to the max. Be sure to check out the other track he shared this week too, 'White Tower', for more 80s romance vibes.

Speaking of triumphant returns, how about a totally kick arse new Act Razer track? I know, it took me by massive surprise too, but Christmas time is the season of surprises and miracles. Act Razer is the 'other side' of Miami Nights 1984, which is generally for the darker aspects of his music production. In 'The Return' we have a new role for Act Razer it would seem as more experimental synthscapes begin to form and evolve. There are shadowy elements at play too, but one can't help but be energised and inspired by the melodies and builds. The piano track has to get a special mention too. Totally rockin.

One of my favourite acts of 2013 has been Cougar Synth and this duo continue to impress me massively with their 80s synthsperiences. In their new piece we're treated to a more atmospheric exposition with beautiful cascading melodies that flow and rise and fall throughout the composition. 'Ricky Business' is currently available for FREE download also.

One track I can't possibly get enough of this week is RF Extreme new rocker 'You Win'. The lead melody is so completely infectious that it's impossible not to submit to it's magical embrace. This is then crafted into an intriguing story, full of twists and turns and finishing on the perfect high note. Wonderful work once again from RF Extreme.

Kicking the speed up and setting a course for interplanetary horizons is Android Automatic and his latest tune 'Starset'. The lightness and energy of this piece is a great deal of it's charm as the uplifting bassline and gentle melodies create a buoyant and charming journey into the cosmic 'Starset'. You can pick up a copy of this on iTunes through the link in the player.

The Farfletched experience is always one I'm champing at the bit to get a piece of. You really never know where each new piece he releases will take you and on his new track the journey is vivid and exciting from beginning to end. 'Etherneck' builds with dramatic passages with intriguing elements and sublime melodies before putting the pedal to the metal in all out high speed chase through the second act. The third act ups the ante on the action and leads to a fantastic conclusion. A really marvellous exponent of absolute perfection in crafting arrangements.

Injecting some funk into this week's Weekend Update is Shiro Schwarz with their totally rockin new synth jam 'Cotton Candy'. There are also hints of Library Synth in some passages as the authenticity is really kept as the focus throughout. The melodies are so full of 80s imagination and wonder it becomes entrancing in it's beauty. You can pick up a copy of this great track on iTunes through the link in the player.

I've been surprised by the lack of collaborations between producers in general in 2013 as opposed to 2012. I'm not sure if this is a truth or my perception but there appears to be a lot less of them on the whole this year. Breaking that rule is hot new track from KFDDA featuring Dress-2-Kill called 'Time, the Illusionary'. Their joined forces have conjured up a cinematic narrative that is full of 80s wonder and draws you in to it's magical synth vistas.

 Next up is a fantastic new video for Alessandro Parisi's 'Athanor'. The EP is up for pre-order on Bandcamp here and promises to be another epic Giallo Disco experience in the darker and more bizarre dimensions of 80s inspires synth music. The promo video for 'Athanor' certainly does a stupendous job of setting the scene of uneasiness with visuals from 'The Holy Mountain' blending unnerving well with the synthesized demons summoned by Parisi. Get your pre-order in for one of the physical releases of this EP now!!

A final note for this week's Weekend Update is to check out the hot new game project Sferro is involved in. Master Spy is a 'stealth based precision platform game' due out next year but the demo is available to play in your browser right now. The art and sound are fused into a spectacular homage to classic 80s dystopian sci-fi with a Blade Runner-esque feel. Needless to say, Sferro's music is the perfect fit for this experience. I'm definitely looking forward to the full version when it hits in 2014.

That does it for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM. Next week's Weekend Update will be the final traditional one for 2013,  the following weekend I'll be posting the second annual Synthetix Year End Synthstravaganza in which I'll be going through all my favourite records from the year before I take a vacation for a few weeks.

I'll be back during the week with more from the 80s inspired synth scene. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

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