Music Reviews



FAKE THE ENVY: Blind

 Posted by Marc Tater   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 10 2007
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Artist: FAKE THE ENVY
Title: Blind
Format: CD
Label: Idle Works / Section 44 (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
After the release of their 8-track debut "...As They Fall" this Danish Synthpop duo returns with a new full-length CD entitled "Blind". Again originally released on their very own Idle Works label, they could now also starting a license agreement with the US-based Section 44 (www.section44.com), which will take care on all North-American business actions. What they could remain from their debut is without doubt their strong song-writing and compositional abilities. It is still the well-done and catchy Synthpop sound featuring some traditionally 80ies-like elements accomplished by smooth and authentic male vocals. Against to "...As They Fall" the new tracks offer a grown maturity and here and there ("Broken", "Sweep Us All Away" or the marvelous "Tell Me, Tell Me") a stronger concentration to create some dancefloor action. And have I heard also the use of an acoustic guitar riff on "Warrior"? Well, musically diversity keeps it always interesting. Mastered at the famous Corrosive Audio Studios by Da5id Din, both members, Kristian Kroll and Kent Peterson, have produced another fine album, which avoids all cliche-loaded Futurepop-inspired relations – maybe the strongest point, which creates FAKE THE ENVY’s signature. Good stuff.

Screaming For Emily: Scriptures

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 03 2007
Artist: Screaming For Emily (@)
Title: Scriptures
Format: CD EP
Label: North End Records
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
This six song ep is a re-release production recording, which was originally released back in 1987. New Jersey based quartet Screaming For Emily is one of the 80's underground synth-pop bands who started out listening to music like Depeche Mode to The Cure. Then the four good friends formed a band together. Their first debut "Scriptures" ful-fills the ghastly nightmares of what underground pop represents could be achievement. The band used some of Depeche Mode music structure technique from "Construction Time Again" to "Some Great Reward" and gave it a more darker twist by adding their own original ideas to it, which is a good combination. Lance Redaelli deadpan vocals is a reminder of Gene Loves Jezebel vocalist, Michael Ashton. Like all 80's new wave bands, they sport a weird hairstyle, but indeed a good looking keyboard all boy band. "Scriptures" is described deep, thought-provoking, cold, and dark. Yes, it's that good. This ep is flawless. Outstanding tracks
are "The Love", "Another Girl", and "Just A Lie". Polished with sophistication and inspired.

Onetwo: Cloud Nine

 Posted by Marc Tater   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 24 2007
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Artist: Onetwo (@)
Title: Cloud Nine
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Theremusic (@)
Rated: *****
What we’ve already expected and asked for in our interview with Claudia Brücken (ex-PROPAGANDA) and Paul Humphreys (ex-OMD) has become truth, ONETWO have released the track "Cloud Nine" as a special SiCD just a few days before the official release date of the album "Instead" (out TODAY!!!). "Cloud Nine" is a typical track based in the classic Synthpop/Pop Art style and got co-written by Martin L. Gore of DEPECHE MODE. Martin has also added his for sure well-known acoustic guitar play to create an opposite direction to the smooth Electronics and Claudia’s magically vocal performance. Available here besides the known album version in a special remixed Radio Edit version. Two b-sides are featured as well, both remix works on the album tracks "Kein Anschluss" (done by the German act [:SITD:]) and "Home" (done by MHC). Especially the [:SITD:] remix gets my highest vote for adding a slight darker and more danceable mood to the original version. A nice and decent done SiCD on which I hope to hear about of high sales chart positions – while I don’t expect a No. 1-hit...
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Artist: AKRON (@)
Title: Origins Of The 7 Deadly Sins
Format: CD
Label: Hypervoxx Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
What can compositions like "Chariots of Fire", "Lucifer", "Popcorn" or "Zarathrouska" have to do with this release? Well, above mentioned pieces are so-called "Synthesizer Classics" and got coupled and re-assembled several times, those tracks are undying melodies which will survive milleniums. If the tracks of this new signing for the Hypervoxx label will reach this status is rather questionable. But musically the compositions of this duo hailing from Greece tend into the same direction. I could resist to have a listen of their stuff in advance through their Myspace account, as I’ve heard about their signing. So the surprise was on the side of Simon and Yiannis and the label. AKRON, written originally with the Greece letter O (Omega) simply to document their belonging, play a sort of instrumental Industrial-Orchestral music. It is a never heard before mixture featuring several string and classic sounds, human voice sounds, warm synth bass lines and a mostly straight forward attitude. The result is remarkable, real and experienced synth play is balsam for my wounded ears. Comparisons are hard to figure out, parts of ENIGMA, INTERMIX or ALAN PARSONS (also regarding "Lucifer") come to mind. One and only point to criticize is the too short playing time of only 39 minutes. Nevertheless it is somehow to hope that this project will earn the deserved attention. I agree totally with the label sheet talking on "the most innovative duo of the century". Applause for this courageous release!

I, Synthesist: Art Of Survival

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 12 2007
Artist: I, Synthesist (@)
Title: Art Of Survival
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I, Synthesist (aka Chris Ianuzzi) is one of the few synth-pop acts I admire and respect for being original. Now, this one man electronic futuristic pop band is back with a new release following from his critical acclaim best selling album "Avalanche". This six song ep is easy to get into. Eighties tied into the 21st Century sound that will get your undivided attention. "Art Of Survival" is a studied, classy, straight down the line synth-pop record. The music is bouncy and the beat is much more harder with a razorblade edge thump. So mature, confident, accomplished, and powerfully well produced without simultaneously losing the spark vitality and adventure that first urged I, Synthesist out of New York. The tracks combine with some of the best pop melodies around yesterday and today to make this album something special. I consider Mr. Ianuzzi the doctor and scientist pioneer of synth-pop in the new millenium. The new Thomas Dolby and Information Society of this new time and era. Highly memorable 80's vintage sounds you can hear in the songs as well. And the vocals so keen that have Talking Heads David Byrne singing arrangement style. I even play the cd every morning when I wake up, especially when I'm playing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon game on my PlayStation 2 with the tv volume down low or on mute. Chris Ianunzzi is interesting and brilliant with his vision and music in well form.


Tracklistings:

1. Telepathy
2. Time Machine
3. Don't Belong
4. Paradise
5. Pieces
6. Waterfall




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