Thursday, August 14, 2014


VHS Dreams - The EP 
By Julian Hobson

With a detailed backstory and a sound to match it, VHS Dream’s first EP delivers a style of synth work similar to the likes of Flash Arnold, yet is as fully original as anything coming out of the scene. The melodies soar and bass lines pulse but it is the subtleties of the tracks that make it a unique and gratifying listen. The rustic saxophone line in suitably titled 'Sandino Nights', a track that eludes to the sleazy side of a city that never sleeps, blasts its way through the ambient synths and out of the shadows.

The EPs opener 'Miami’s Finest' is a similar experience combining a beautifully formed melody with a driving cowbell and tom heavy drum part but by the time “Bodywork” comes around the soundscapes have done a full three-sixty exhibiting a more MUSCLE like tone and feel. Workout vibes ooze out of this track aiding the sudden urge to jump out of one's seat and hit the gym. The final two tracks are a dreamy, nostalgic trip, fading the listener out to awaken from the impressive aural journey.

Hailing from Berlin, VHS Dreams is a producer on the rise. With fantastic production techniques and an eye for detail more tracks will surely find there way into the hands of listeners in no time. Available on Future 80s Records Bandcamp page be sure to add this superb EP to your collection.

Klipsy Panda - Miłość, Pokój, Klipsy, Panda

By Rick Shithouse

The more indie end of the 80s synth spectrum is one seldom explored on Synthetix.FM. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but maybe these just isn't a lot of this kind of music around. The sounds of the 80s that existed outside of the Top 40 pop charts and only occasionally brushed with any kind of mainstream fame is a bastion of hidden gems and quality experiences and this is exactly the brand of 80s inspired synth music Klipsy Panda rock hard.

The heavily native European synth pop sounds in equal parts of art and drama are brought back with a vengeance as Klipsy Panda's synth laden gems. I personally love that this EP is entirely performed in Polish vocally, not that I understand it, but the character it gives brings to mind many classic early 80s Euro synth music, and particularly for me the work Krzysztof Duda did with Jola Rados. The Klipsy Panda aesthetic of austere female vocals that demand your attention and an uncomplicated synrhscape is totally tantalising.

On Miłość, Pokój, Klipsy, Panda we're given six excursions through a range of synth styles that channel many early 80s synth acts and mixes them up into a vital sound that is fresh and daring. The sounds bring to mind darkened corners of 80s European clubs that once hosted cabaret and are now a mix of new romantics and and S&M devotees, all united under the synthesized sounds of a bleak modern existence.

The group know their sounds and arrangements and the songwriting is beautifully in sync with the really befitting vocals. The drama of 'Brudna Ziemia' with its haunting delivery and pulsating synths is intriguing and full of depth which is taken to dizzying heights in the poignancy 'Normalna Dziewczyna' (Normal Girl). Tempos are cranked with the follow up piece 'Disco Bóg' that brings high energy melodies and Missing Persons-esque vocal nuances that totally rock together into a rapid fire synth blast. Darker sensualities bow down to their master in 'Sexi Anoreksi' with the vocals channelling Diamanda Galas with their disturbing powers while the synths dirge ahead in complete nocturnal obeisance. The EP finishes with 'Love My Zero' which switches into english language and ramps up the funk exponentially and explores further darker synth worlds in a wonderfully sleaze driven piece of synth art.

This EP really brings a lot to the table in regards to the classic 80s sounds in a modern context and the native Polish vocals just add even more authenticity to the experience. I'm hoping to hear much more from Klipsy Panda in the future as much of the Eastern European synth work I normally hear ventures far more into EBM territories whereas this a direct inspiration from 80s sounds that keeps the pop sensibilities and melodies rockin as the focus, making for a wonderfully fresh experience.

The Rockets - Love Like Mine EP

By Rick Shithouse

The Rockets are certainly aptly named as rock is something this EP does on a seismic scale. This three track debut is short but oh so very sweet with a sound that continues where De La Cruz left off in the opening track while venturing forth into other 80s sounds. From the ChipTune driven diversions in 'Pause' The Rockets then get rockin some serious pop chops in the anthemic and heartfelt 'Love Like Mine'. The music is full of stirring emotional context with restrained elements shining brightly in front of a robust power pop chorus; and you've just gotta love the sax towards the back end that makes sure you know how serious this love is.

The real star of the release is the opening track 'Razors Edge Anthem' featuring Caleb. This gets down to dirty rockin action with cues from Motley Crue and Def Leppard lovingly layered into a fist pumping crescendo. The song would've benefited from a tad more exploration and structure, but what is here is very promising and I hope The Rockets continue on their 80s love affair earnestly

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