Saturday, April 5, 2014

Synthetix Weekend Update

I'm back with another big Weekend Update to make your 80s neon glow that little bit brighter.

The first order of business on the agenda is the fantastic new compilation release from Retro Promenade, AKA Who Ha and his marvellous new multimedia edition of Class Action Volume 2. This not only has a spectacular range of the scene's most rockin producers but also the second issue of the Retro Promenade magazine. The magazine itself is full of kick arse interviews and reviews as well as panel discussion on 'The State of Synthwave' in which I was lucky enough to partake in. This comes as a FREE .pdf when you pick up the compilation or can be purchased as a physical edition too.

Your entertainment value with this package (that also has the compilation available on cassette!) is astronomical, so get on it and rock it hard.  Many kudos to Mike Who Ha for making this project happen. You can pick up a copy of the compilation/magazine/artwork/cassette in all manner of combinations via Retro Promenade's Bandcamp page here.

Let's put our seats into the take off position, buckle the seat belts tight and prepare to hurtle into the wide blue yonder with this week's Airborne releases!

Kalax - Outlands - Kalax's second EP finds the producer expanding on the soundscape created in his first EP, Journey, and constructing a wonderfully involving conceptual soundtrack theme. Outlands is a cautionary tale set in a dark future consisting of fast action-oriented cuts and also mellower pieces that allow for Kalax's melody's to soar beautifully. The structures are built solidly and make for expansive synthscapes and deliver a cohesive narrative, complete with vocals on two of the tracks performed by Dana Jean Phoenix and electrifying duet with Blokkmonsta that transcends genres, languages and decades.

Waveshaper - Sounds That Kill - Another concept EP, this time from Waveshaper and his super rockin new creation Sounds That Kill. In all honesty, one of the lines from the EP's description sums this up perfectly: "This is a story of a man whose only weapons are his synthesizers and a woman who fights by his side". The tracks are all beautifully written and create massive amounts of atmosphere and even contains a superb collaborative piece with Robert Parker. Waveshaper just keeps on continuing to impress and this EP sure does exactly that.

LA Dreams - Light Speed  - LA Dreams keeps on rockin like the 80s synth juggernaut we know and love in his new album Light Speed. Easily one of his most accomplished records yet, there is a marked improvement in his arrangements and his breadth of instrumentations. Each track is absolutely glowing with pure 80s love and is a genuine delight to experience. This will be LA Dreams last album for a while as he stated he is spending some time working on collaborations in the near future. I'm hugely looking forward to what this will entail, and will be sure to share these works on Synthetix.FM when they happen.


Phaserland's rockin some smoothly cool synth pop sounds with Nikki on his great new song 'Hot Stunner'. This is one of the great tracks on the new compilation from Wave Runner Records called Running All Night. This features a tonne of Synthetix.FM favourites and some rockin new pieces like this great track. You can pick up your copy of 'Hot Stunner' with a plethora of other synthwave gems on the Running All Night compilation available on Bandcamp here fore FREE.

A different kind of smooth next with the massively atmospheric soundtrack piece 'Border Control' by DATAstream. The depth of narrative in this track is absolutely immense and really creates a totally immersive synthscape. Many thanks to respected synthficionado Alexandre Lemoing for enlightening me to this producer.

Flash Arnold's riding atmospheric waves of soundtrack synth beauty too of late and with his hot new rocker 'Deserted Streets'. The build is huge and packed with excitement as synths from the bowels of the earth open up with caustic vigour and unquestionable power. This is currently available for FREE via the download button in the player.

An new EP is coming soon from Killstarr and 'Summer Drive' has been released as the promotional track for it. This sweetly orchestrated experience of soft pink Synth Romance is beautifully gentle with emotive progressions and sumptuous melodies. 'Summer Drive' is available for FREE download via the player too.

Short but sweet, any hot new track from Miami Nights 1984 is going to get your pulse racing and your appetite hungering for more. This snippet was shared recently and is rife with MN84 magic. I'm assuming I'm hoping 'Reflex Training' marks the start of a journey to a new album from this veteran of the scene.

Keeping things 'definitely Miami' is the hot new track from Miami Beach Force: 'Robotic Assassin'. The combination of rockin Italo vibe synth melodies and crushing guitar riffs makes for a very interesting combination of sounds that is rather captivating and almost hypnotic in its power.

Python Blue certainly knows how to rock with his new track 'Welcome To The Club'. Marching drums lead into rifftastic guitars and synths add the final layer of melodic brilliance. Though usually working on the more atmospheric side of soundtrack synth this track is full of raucous energy and beautiful 80s colours. Currently available for FREE download via the link in the player.

I simply can't stress enough how much I love guitars in 80s inspired synth music and with Sayak Striker's new track 'Hot Run' we get even more love for rockin guitars and synths duelling in a rhythmic ballet of high emotional excitement. Totally k-rad to the max.

One of the best names I've come across in the scene in recent times has to be Repomancer and his hot new soundtrack themed piece Midnight Special certainly makes you sit up and pay attention. The opening builds to an epic synth lead that is then taken in very cool new directions throughout the composition's chapters.

Riddlis shared two tracks over the last couple of weeks I really enjoyed but 'Clouds' is definitely something  special. The melodies in this remind me of classic early 80s synth experiences. The intentional distortion in the piece does take me, personally, out the experience a tad but the strength of the lead melody carries the magic on beautifully. You can also pick this up currently for FREE via the download button in the player. Also check out Riddlis' rockin 'Children' track which came out recently too here, and is also up for FREE download.

One of my favourite tracks of the last week is definitely Kid Quasar's 'Disco Radio Action'. The energy is absolutely kick arse and I love his modern take on the Electro Breakin' styles with  some very imaginative arrangements and superb sample work. Get on this ASAP as it's currently available for FREE download.

The new track from Batch Sound is another gem I just can't get enough of this week. 'The Cheesy Alternative' is another grand jam packed with hot synths and on point 80s percussive details. This is available as a single release on Bandcamp here with an edited version and also a piece they did for Beyond Synth. Totally rockin.

Dialling things back to a more contemplative ambience is the delightful new track from Pulse 80 entitled 'V I C E'. The atmosphere on this gets bigger and bigger as huge synth leads rise and fall with machine gun hip hop percussion igniting the combustible elements into a searing synth fireball. Currently available for FREE download also.

Trevor Something's moody and suave synth pop experiences keep evolving and achieving glorious new heights with each track. In 'SEGA Genesis' the airy synth melodies and haunting vocals are moulded into alluring new shapes and forms, using one of gaming's greatest consoles as the inspiration.

Pure Secks have been on my radar for a couple of months now and their odd mix of sounds and styles is something I've found very engaging. In 'Science Friction' the Pure Secks sound becomes are tad more crystallised as the sample laden synthscape gets tied together in a totally rockin piece of classic 80s eclecticism. Available currently for FREE download via the player also.

The final piece I'd like to share with you for this week's Weekend Update is something I found both totally rockin and very special. My love affair with Sternrekorder's wonderful music has been well documented on Synthetix.FM over the last couple of years but I have no real idea about him as a composer or producer outside of experiencing his music directly. Although I knew Sternrekorder has been a part of the scene since the early days in the late 2000's I had no idea how far back his music went. I've now found out a little bit more about his history courtesy a new track this week that is an unreleased track from 2002. This piece veritably comes alive with delightful 80s colours and it brings me much joy to discover Sternrekorder's definitely one of the modern synth artists that will be around for the duration.

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

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