By Rick Shithouse
I made absolutely no bones about Sebastian Gampl being my favourite new talent of 2014. His City Hunter record is still one of the genuine highlights of the 80s inspired synth scene and created such a lofty position for a debut record I wondered what would be next for him.
With all his previous training and experience in other musical genres I had always kept in the back of my mind that maybe City Hunter was a one-off and he'd move on to other styles. That may still happen in the future but it sure isn't close to happening yet with his totally kick arse new EP: Winner.
The Gampl sound is such a clean and authentic production and there's such a sublime polish given to every instrument on every track that you're instantly bathed in a glow of cyan and pink 80s reverence that is refined to the nth degree. It's impossible to isolate what makes the Gampl Experience so pure, as more than any other producer I can name the music sounds whole in its essence and performance.
The fullness of the synthscape and care given to every single sound is uncommon and the songwriting is right there in step with it to make the magic trick completely convincing. Opening with the title track the atmosphere of uncluttered and warmly nuanced sounds leads into a smooth vocal that matches the music 1000%. The strength of the song is in how relaxed and naturally flowing all the parts groove together; with pacing and emotion given equal importance. You just can't resist the energy of 'Winner', it's like musical silk you can drink that warms your soul.
Racing up the inside straight comes track two with its driving energy just rockin like a melonfarmer from the first nanosecond. Every beat is a quickening pulse that yearns and longs for that powerful 80s love. 'Without You' launches into hyperdrive and is the musical soundtrack to the ultimate uncontrollable spiral into love like a ten megaton G force crush. The effortless vocals of Tommy Reeve once again deliver velvet lined lyrical machine gun fire straight to the heart. The music is unbelievably tight yet again feels natural and full of wonder that is as enriching as it is exciting.
Track three brings in one of my favourite vocal talents in recent times as Miranda Carey brings her wonderful vocal talents into the Gampl universe. Landing somewhere between mid and late 80s pop and R&B Carey's voice hits all the the sweetest notes against a hugely dramatic synthscape. Possibly Gampl's most ambitious track musically, this suites that make up 'Save You' crossover some massive amounts of territory yet coalesce into one seamless work of nostalgic brilliance.
Making a reappearance from Gampl's City Hunter record on this release is 'Under Control', which is such a strong track (only second to 'One On One' in this devotees eyes/ears/heart) that is deserves to be revisited and celebrated. In the context of this four track release it does create a sense of completion to the EP's narrative and proves the perfect partner in crime to 'Save You'. It's just pure Gampl magic.
To say I loved this EP is a huge understatement and of course the best part is that this being a Rad Rush Records release it also purchaseable on glorious vinyl. Rad Rush Records are really doing a stellar job in giving the scene's most iconic producers the perfect venue to showcase their work. With Waveshaper, Dynatron, LA Dreams and now Sebastian Gampl in their back catalogue, who can guess who'll be next? Either way, this is such a great part of being in the 80s inspired synth scene in 2015 and I encourage everyone to support Rad Rush Records' efforts. Pick up a copy of Sebastian Gampl's phenomenal 'Winner' EP on their Bandcamp page here and get this record rockin like it should.