Saturday, February 8, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

Another week full of rockin action rolls around and it's time for another big Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM.

The more astute readers of the site may notice a new addition to the left hand side bar on the page. This new addition is a PayPal Donate button I've added to the site. Over the last couple of years numerous people have said they'd like to support Synthetix.FM more and would like to help out with the costs. There are very few costs associated with Synthetix.FM besides my own time but I wanted to give people the opportunity to help out with the hosting/domain costs if they'd like to. I'm not begging for money, nor does the future of the site depend on donations, I just thought it'd be an option for those of you out there who'd like to take your support of this site further.

Next week marks Valentines Day's on Friday the 14th and Synthetix.FM is getting into the spirit of this most emotional and passionate holiday with special celebration. It's all being kept under wraps in a heart shaped box, tied up with big satin ribbons right now but come Thursday next week there'll be something special on here to ensure no one misses out on feeling the love this Valentine's Day.

On to this week's Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM!

Let's open up with the hot new EP from Arc Neon: Technicolor Workout. This much anticipated releases from one of my favourite UK purveyors of quality 80s sounds has arrived and is surprising, refreshing and most importantly, rockin to the max! The six tracks (including an intro piece and instrumental version of 'Heat Of The Night') takes much of what we've grown to know and love about the Arc Neon sound and expands it out into all new dimensions.

Technicolor Workout opens with 'Heat Of The Night' which to me feels like an evolutionary next step and also homage to Arc Neon's classic 'Night Heat' track. The vocals from Dana Jean Phoenix are performed with a sultry longing that compliments the mood of the track perfectly and the inclusions of guitar and sax through the different stages really add a huge amount of presence to the Arc Neon sound. Definitely one of the group's most developed and complete experiences.

'Aerobicide' takes a different approach with rocks more guitars and some totally killer 'plinky plonky' synth melodies to take your workout into dangerous levels of exertion. This track is a great exploration of the melodies while make sure the energies are frenetic and vital. Conversely, the next track, titled 'Forbidden Dance' winds things back to a slower pace that allows the guitars to soar instead of shred and the more soundtrack oriented Arc Neon elements to come into focus. Once again, the sax in the final act of this composition elevates it beautifully.

The title track is another collaborative work, this time with Abbey Bretts performing the vocals. Melodically this adds an Italo Disco flavour to Arc Neon's sound and the repeated vocal refrain adds just enough modernity to the atmosphere. The songwriting of Arc Neon has most definitely been refined and the structures keep the hooks rockin and the moods intimate. The final piece of the EP is an inclusion of 'Heat Of The Night' as an instrumental, I personally prefer the vocal version, but this affords the listener to fully realise the the lustrous synthscapes.

Technicolor Workout displays a marked growth in all facets of the Arc Neon experience and Synthetix.FM very highly recommends this release. You can pick up a copy via their Bandcamp page here.

Let's keep the rockin rollin with great new piece from ForeignBlade. Although made last year, he's just released this gem while still working on a new EP. 'Extraordinary Circumstances' is a marvellously structured soundtrack styled affair that enthrals from beginning to end. This is currently available for FREE download too.

New Spacious Sweep next with his latest 'Backtrack'. The mood of this track is laid back and mellow yet the melodic layers add beautiful Italo flavoured details. Haunting elements through the midsection complete the experience. This is intended to be included on his upcoming new EP.

Pyramid Aeon is a new rocker on the 80s inspired synth scene and his latest track really grabbed my attention. 'Stay' contains a wonderfully vivid vitality that drives the lead melody and is backed by dreamy haze delightful 80s nuance. Though he's still finding his sound, Pyramid Aeon is definitely a producer to watch for, be sure you grab a copy of 'Stay' while it's up for FREE download. Many thanks to John Littlefield for enlightening me to this producer's existence.

Cut from a similar cloth to some of my favourite work by Starcadian is the rockin new retro styled funk jam from Atrey: 'Guilty Pleasure'. The horns and vocals create a spectacular 80s homage to the modern chopped up melodies while the mid point breakdown provides some stellar expositions between passages. You can pick up a copy of 'Guilty Pleasure' via Atrey's Bandcamp page here, I hope that you do and rock this track loud and often!

Germany's Blokkmonsta continues to explore his 80s passions, this time featuring Italy's favourite synthsation Vincenzo Salvia. 'Human Destiny' is yet another wonderfully realised soundtrack piece that summons all kinds of wonderful visions and possibilities. Also of note, on Blokkmonsta's soundcloud bio it mentions he has the record for being Germany's Rapper & Producer with the highest count of banned CD's nationwide. After witnessing such beauty and sensitivity in his recent pieces I can't wait to see what he comes up with when he really lets fly!

Manolis continues to be one of my favourite new producers in the 80s inspired synth scene and his melodies and productions always have an air of perfect 80s understanding. His 'Escape Vacations' piece ventures into a bit of Library territory with its catchy hooks and explosive percussion. He also released another great track this week in 'My Future Girlfriend' which is a sumptuously smooth track that builds to an absolutely stunning melodic adventure. Both are available for FREE download so please give this producer some love and appreciation.

Speaking of sumptuous synth, 'The Seven Sunset Ride' by Olivier P.G. via The Music Is Vast is an incredibly authentic soundtrack love theme that does everything absolutely right. The languid pace, the heartfelt melodies, the synths, the guitars, the sax, it's all here and it's all 100% magical. Stunning work. Thanks to Sunglasses Kid for letting me know of this totally rockin producer.

Mitch Murder's really ramping up the releases of late and his new track shared this week is one of his most exciting in recent times in my opinion. 'The Final Stretch' is built on a selection of melodies that are both triumphant and catchy as hell. Mitch Murder works magical elements into his trademark styles as more of a secondary concern this time around so that melodic power always retains it's focus. Solid gold rockin and rich in all my favourite aspects that make this artist so very, very rad.

Our next piece is one I review with a heavy heart, but still with hope for the future. The Azure Crime project is unfortunately over before it really began. Citing major health issues this producer has taken his leave of music production after releasing a handful of tracks that are truly kick arse. For now though, we have to wish Azure Crime all the best and a speedy recovery so he can keep on rockin. His farewell release, The End Of Crime is four previously unreleased tracks that span many 80s inspirations and are full of emotional investment and much musical prowess.

Opening up with 'Particles' we're greeted by an expanding vista of city lights and slow burning melodies introduced like clouded phantoms into the mix. The spectral melodies rise and fall in the night sky and each new chapter carries them higher and further. 'Polvo De Angel' then turn the scene into more passionate arrangements, energised with pounding drums and dramatic chords. Azure Crime verges on OutRun in this piece with it's twists and turns, but he retains an intimacy through the synthscape that prevents the high speed chase from going off the rails. By the time the guitars crunch into view the path ahead becomes a minefield of dangerous curves and high risk maneuvers.

The redlining melodies are exchanged for a romantic interlude in the home room affair 'Highschool Love'. Aurally delicate feelings create much electricity and lead to heart racing moments of sax filled delirium. Guitars swoon and fall under the romantic spell of the piano melodies, completing the warm, impassioned embrace. Harpsichords of eternal damnation usher the fourth chapter of the EP as blackened skies burst and a rain that doesn't cleanse begins to fall. 'Nightmare' is onyx black dark synth, with a threatening bassline and chilling melodies. Choked passages from which there is no escape ensure your nightmare will last long after the dawn.

It's a testament to Azure Crime's talent that all four tracks are hugely different yet all display a great understanding of what makes these genres rock. I do hope we get to hear more from Azure Crime at some stage, but for now we must bid adieu to Azure Crime. Be sure to pick up these totally rockin tracks on his Bandcamp page here and though it's a name-your-own-price point please dig deep to show your appreciation. Our hearts go with you, Azure Crime, you'll never be alone. Keep on rockin, brother!

Robot Outro has been sharing his take on 80s sounds for the last year and his new track, 'The Lost Tape' is a marvellous homage to early 80s euro synth pop. The mechanically discordant intro leads into a pulsing refrain that harkens back to the glory days when these musical vistas were still brand new. I keep expecting to hear a terse female vocal doing some spoken word in German over the top of this track. Great work from Robot Outro!

Palm Highway Chase has been one of my favourite producers in 80s styled synth music since I first discovered it and it gives me great excitement to see a full new album from this visionary producer is due out very soon on Rosso Corsa Records! The teaser for this record is packed with incredible diverse sounds and imaginative compositions, I can't wait for the full experience. And that won't be long with the release date being the 10th of February, which is tomorrow!

The smooth and ambient soundtrack synth music has been really prolific this week, and the latest track from Bluezz Vylez continues the theme. 'Secret Feeling' is ethereally composed with glacially beautiful progressions that are accented by serenely implemented sax magic. This track is currently available for FREE download too. For more Bluezz Vylez rockin check out his hot Flash Over Craters EP that was released last year while Synthetix.FM was on vacation. It's full of atmospheric synth jams that take the Bluezz Vylez sounds into more experimental directions.

Our final piece to start getting you in the mood for Valentine's Day is a great video from Parlous for his track 'Softcore'. Featuring some salaciously sexy synth work and a huge amount of equally arousing video clips this is sure to get your pulse racing. A warning/recommendation: theres lots of nudity!

Softcore from Parlous on Vimeo.

That does us for another Weekend Update on Synthetix.FM, I'll be back during the week with more hot tunes from the 80s inspired synth scene. 'Til then, stay 80s and keep on rockin.

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