Thursday, July 24, 2014


Kristine - The Deepest Blue

By Shazeb Bhatti

Kristine’s newest EP, 'The Deepest Blue', is probably one of her finest releases yet. I felt as if she really took her work to the next level with this. The EP consists of essentially one track, 'The Deepest Blue' that was then sub-sequentially remixed by a plethora of quality synth artists.

The original track, mastered by Synthetix favorite Highway Superstar, sounds more 80s than a lot of Kristine’s other work. Perhaps it’s the perfectly done synth sound or maybe even her beautifully raspy vocals, but the track sounds straight out of 1983. 'The Deepest Blue' features uplifting synth schemes, an inspired guitar set, and a wonderful vocal progression- the kind that gives you chills if you listen intently enough.

The Miami Knights 1984 remix of 'The Deepest Blue' is also definitely worth taking a look at. The track, unlike remixes in general today, actually builds upon the original and gives it a deeper twist by emphasizing the feel-good synths. Props to Miami Knights because their remix is legitimately well-crafted, and thought out and therefore deserves to be heard!

Buy The Deepest Blue here on iTunes

Alpha Boy - Beverly Hills

By Sam Häggblad

Alpha Boy is back, stronger then ever with his album Beverly Hills. On this release he iis doing all kinds of styles from funk - to more deep thoughtful pieces.You can really hear the passion for the 80's in his tunes, coming across loud and clear. Beverly Hills is a super gem that is crushing down like a burning comet in the midst of summer and Alpha Boy is giving you a perfect balance between uptempo party rockers and some more ”get into” romantic stuff. I really have to applaud Alpha Boy for the production on this album which is super good. 

'Deadline' kicks off the album with a cozy bassline. A really slick ambient track. Definitely an evening track that gets you in a great mood and then is followed by 'Refreshing', this track is perfect for a day with your boombox at the beach, or if you want to boost your ego a little bit while walking down the strip with your walkman. It has the perfect summer vibe and groove we all love so much. A really rocking drumbeat, with a great bassline and smooth keyboards on top. One of the best summer hits so far this year. The saxophone just makes it top notch.

 Get on your bikes and ride with 'BMX ’83'! This is a really slow, romantic track. Great for relaxation as the lead saxophone works together with the piano and makes for the perfect lobster dinner song! Love it! Now I just want to throw myself out of that stargate! 'Daily News' starts off with a slow keyboard intro but a snare fill takes you right into one of those hopeful ”you can do it” feelings. Love the lead keyboards on this one. Once again, a great bassline that takes you to an arpeggiated climax at the end!

Once again Alpha Boy shows that he can master the funk grand style on track five: 'Talkman'! A real fat bassline with a great groove. That saxophone just makes you fall in love with this track. 'Harbour Transactions' is a really groovy ambient track that puts me in the Axel F mood. Once again superb bass and saxophone, and I can’t help myself falling in love with those lush e-pianos over and over. Super! One of my favorites on the album is 'Department'. As a drummer i can’t help falling in love with the beats and that ”in your face” snare! It has this awesome ”Lets do it!” feel, with really smooth keyboards on top. The final track 'The End' is a good closer that sums up everything thats good on the album, great drums, great lush keyboards on top and some real groovy bass and saxophone.

A favourite aspect of this EP  from my point of view is production, since i think its so accurate and 80s sounding. I think everybody who knows me knows Im a sucker for that true old 80s mixing sound, (as a refference go check every italo track produced beetween 84 -85). And its hard to walk that fine line, not falling in the gimmick or tribute spot when staying true to the sounds we love. Thats why I think its so important to evolve those sounds at the same time. Ill be completely honest with you, it's bloody hard work to get a mix sound fresh and not mouldy and at the same time retro rocking. Thats exactly what Alpha Boy is doing to perfection on this album. 

It's so fresh and the high-end frequencys sounds so good. Usually with some releases like this I get fed up with too much high-end in the mix that's just there to make stuff glossy. Not at all with this release, it's just perfect. The amount of high-end just blends in with the low-end perfectly making those low-edge basses etc come forward and sound really crisp and strong. Alpha Boy has really set a new 
mixing and mastering standard in the scene which I can only hope more producers will take to heart and keep evolving. Great work Alpha Boy!

To sum it all up, a must have for all you fans of summer-party, vice styled synthpop! Go check it out, and you will be in for a long hot summer this year, top notch stuff.

Wizard Lady Bros - Stay Sexy EP

By Rick Shithouse

A really kick arse surprise I discovered recently was the auspiciously titled The Wizard Lady Bros and their Stay Sexy EP. This combination of vintage and modern sounds combined with really rockin songwriting and arrangements have made for a great little EP that goes into the quirky sides of 80s sounds with relish. The synth pop stylings have driving funk behind them courtesy of the guitars and basslines with the opening track 'Human Jeans' being smooth as silk. The falsetto vocals are delicate and characterised beautifully throughout the EP and take on a vastly entertaining aspect in the epicly catchy anthem 'The Bros'.

The title track, 'Stay Sexy' bring in more drama and night moods as synths become sultrier and the temperatures rise totally rockin guitars reminiscent of an 80s classic that is on the tip of my tongue but refuses to come to mind. Definitely the highlight of the EP, this track is gentle when it needs to be and a sexual powerhouse at just the right times for maximum enjoyment when the chorus brings on sequential climaxes. The final track is the galloping synth beauty of 'Foxy Mulder' that creates tension and intrigue in a heartfelt homage to the X-Files.

I'm really taken by The Wizard Lady Bros reinvention of 80s sounds and the instruments used. The songs a arranged magnificently well, which makes me think they (or he) has been writing musical for quite a while and this is not their/his first release. I hope the journey into 80s sounds continues for The Wizard Lady Bros as this EP is totally rad and leaves the door open for all kinds of 80s destinations in the future.

Robert Parker - Modern Moves EP

By Edward Kidd

I think Robert Parker’s mind inhabits the same 80s world as mine; a place where everyone is lounging on a beach in a white linen suit and pink pastel t-shirt, smoking a cigar, sipping a mojito and enjoying the smooth sound of a DX7 electric piano.

80s inspired Swedish producer, Robert Parker’s new 5 track EP, Modern Moves, takes you just that bit closer to this world, inviting you to sit back and let the synth waves wash over you.

Released on the effortlessly cool Future City Records, Modern Moves opens with a mid-tempo driving track, cryptically titled Velour Virtues. Apparently ‘velour’ is a kind of knitted fabric? Was velour big in the 80s? Is Parker some kind of 80s knit-wear aficionado?

'Velour Virtues' opens with a big bass-line pushing it forward, and a funky picking guitar gluing it together. Cool hand-claps, disco toms and a silky DX7 electric piano breakdown take this track home to a big synth-lead solo finale.

'Velour Virtues' is a strong opening track that establishes a palette of sounds and production values Parker keeps consistent with the next cool instrumental, 'Bayside Boogie'. The groove gets going with a nice quick-paced picking muted guitar, synth pads and thick bass. A sweet saxophone riffs over the top with a very catchy melody, proving Parker’s skills as a composer, as well as producer.

Next up, sharing its title with the EP, is 'Modern Moves'. Again, Parker uses discoey drums and Nile Rodgers-esque synth guitars to underpin big synth-lead solos that demand attention. This is very much travelling music in my mind. There’s a real sense of journey and adventure in this track, and Parker knows how to keep things moving, evolving and driving forward harmonically and structurally.

The penultimate track, 'Phaser Peril', introduces an arpeggiating synth, and more lush leads. Using bass to create suspense, this track concludes with a synth brass melody that again, evokes a late disco feel.

Parker brings Modern Moves to a close with a slow-jam that happens to be the highlight of the EP for me. Sunset Stroll opens with a silky beat and warm synth pads that blend with funky palm guitars, synth strings and a jazzy electric piano that’s so smooth and relaxing, you might be in danger of falling asleep at the wheel of your Ferrari.

The late disco sounds and authentic early 80s grooves in Modern Moves, make this a highly recommended summer must for boys and babes looking to blast their boom-boxes on the beach.

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