Thursday, October 23, 2014


Liege Viper - Power Of The Interceptor
By Rick Shithouse

Liege Viper is ready to rock with his debut release on Werkstatt Recordings and Power Of The Interceptor is set to explode into a frenetic electro oblivion! The Liege Viper synthscape proves to be an intriguing mix of aggressive electro and OutRun that feels just right and then moves into less threatening movements through the back end of the EP.

The harder edge of the synths that feel raw and ragged at times (in a good way!) is then complimented by compounding percussion. The sound is very early 80s European without drifting too far into EBM territory while retaining a panicked energy throughout the melodies. His more mellow pieces take on a warm charm due to the uncluttered nature of his sound, which takes the listener into safer, calmer waters later in the EP.

The three tracks on the first half of the EP are constantly on the verge of collapse as the synths race up a mountain incline to an unreachable summit while the road behind them crumbles into an abyss below. The energy pushes the music into a frenzy of split second decisions the prolong life for more precious seconds.

The all out red-alert tracks set fire to first half the EP are then tempered by the second half of Power Of Interceptor as Liege Viper dials down the turbulence and explores a delightfully more whimsical style of 80s sounds. The uncomplicated synthscape lends itself beautifully to these pieces and gives the release a marvellous sense balance. I especially enjoyed the final near seven minute epic that really conveyed a sense of accomplishment and completion of the EP's moods and journeys.

Power Of The Interceptor's highlights for me were definitely the title track, 'Eyes Of The Future' and sprawlingly epic 'Last Sundown' but each track on the EP has its own story to tell and does so very well. Liege Viper's debut is definitely strong and has a personality to the sounds that is individual while being able to use his sound in very different ways to create starkly different results. Werkstatt Recordings presents this killer EP on their Bandcamp page here in digital formats (as well as CD digipak and limited edition cassette) and is release that promises and delivers exciting and involving 80s inspired synth action that comes in equal measures from the head and the heart.

Dallas Campbell - Pagoda
By Matthew Neophytou

Straight out of West Virginia, US of A comes Dallas Campbell’s Pagoda an EP musical journey of melodies, synths and stuff. Explained by Dallas as an experiment taking less than a month to complete utilizing only three synths, wait till you see his next feet; the worlds first synth automated space airplane flight mission. The last one is not true, but after Pagoda I really do want to book that flight.

Introducing us to the nature of the EP itself  'Spice' feels like a bowl of mixed sounds kept together with an almost trance bordering sound. 'Parchment' belongs in a trailer for a really surreal video game, something like NiGHTS Into Dreams (remember that?), an uplifting piece of music this one is.

Ending the EP we are given the track 'Gold' to bring on the chill vibes, a retro inspired moog-y introspective fills my head as I fade away deep into the track, really take this one in, it’s a good one.

Dallas Campbell's Pagoda EP is one for those who like variety in their synthwave journey and very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and is available on various digital formats on his Bandcamp page here. Also if you dig the album cover art it was done by Geoff Hoskinsin check out his stuff on his tumblr here.

Oedo - Reaktive
By Rick Shithouse

New rocker on the block Oedo has arrived with his hot new EP: Reaktive. Merging lines betwixt all manner of electronic influences Oedo is always moving into the dramatic and casts all manner arcane spells over his synthual experiences.

Though driven by 80s motives there are tactile elements of hip hop beats and experimental 90s sounds stirred through the synthscape. The structures are often quick glimpses at ideas that flash in and out of visibility but are always punctuated in a way that hits hard.

The four tracks included on Reaktive all are distant cousins from each other as their ideas and textures as heavily individualised. The opening track's bludgeoning bassline and ghostly melodies leads into more inquiring passages with 'Troma'. There are times that the tracks drift out of focus and meander but Reaktive brings things back sharply on most occasions and the stories never become mired or lost.

Standing out from the four pieces are definitely 'Troma' and 'Narly', which are easily the most 80s dominated pieces and is the direction I hope Oedo delves further into.

The Reaktive EP by Oedo actually feels Japanese in many respects and this Cork based producer obviously has a spiritual connection to the East, particularly its early 90s cyberpunk palette which he often wrangles successfully into more traditional 80s ideas. The EP is available on his Bandcamp page here and is definitely worth taking high speed trip down those gangland controlled highways of Neo Tokyo for. Post apocalypse, natch.

Clinton Affair – End of History
By Matthew Neophytou

Clinton Affair – End of History is an awesome love letter of an era gone by, the whole EP is seeping with old school sounds, its as though these tracks could easily be stripped down to be intros for retro tv shows.

We are given the minimum length of music here with the longest track being 'Singularity' which has a cool reggae-ish beat happening. Can you guess where the beat and vocal sample comes from? “Why?” should be a dead give away.

Opener 'Aquamarine' brings the hip thrust straight away, with it’s 90’s mishmash WHAM vocal style. Slowing it down ever so slightly is 'Be Mine' a swoon of a song reminiscent of a Peabo Bryson ballad remixed. Sidebar, How come no one has remixed Peabo, much potential to be had there. I pretty much love 'Birthday' as it could be the music an 80’s South African singer called Brenda Fassie could have made.

Future City Records (yay!) Presents Clinton Affair – End Of History EP and comes highly recommended from Synthetix.FM, only fault I can find is that its over too soon.  Check out this great release on Bandcamp right here where the EP can be downloaded in various digital formats.

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