Music Reviews



Lust For Youth: Growing Seeds

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7033)
May 05 2012
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Lust For Youth
Title: Growing Seeds
Format: 12"
Label: Avant!
Rated: *****
When I reviewed the split LFY/War 7" I knew I was right and I had to wait a full length release to judge. Lust For Youth, aren't a band made to make hit singles. You have to dive into their distortions and stay there for a while, to be able to feel the taste. "Growing Seeds" is their second album and Hannes Norrvide, now, is the only band member left, after Amanda decided to quit. On this new album, Hannes, opted for a more clearer sound and thanks to this vocals are more enjoyable and everything sounds more balanced. The ten tracks of the album are always characterized by an heavy use of analog synth, powerful drum beats and distortion but now the tracks span from the minimal synthpop of "Behind Curtains" and "It's You", to the 80s electronic industrial of "We Planted A Seed" and "La Rouge", passing through the post punk attitude of "Cover Their Faces". Nice melodies are overwhelmed by distorted monophonic synth sounds creating cold atmospheres with warm sounds. Hard beats, upbeat tempos and a fresh attitude, make of this a nice album you'll enjoy if into minimal wave and electronic music. At the moment the album is available on vinyl only, but the Russian label Other Voices will issue the CD really soon. You can check all the tracks here: http://avantrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lust-for-youth-growing-seeds-lp.

The New Division: Shadows

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7030)
May 05 2012
image not
available
anymore
Artist: The New Division (@)
Title: Shadows
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
It shudders me, if I have to read in a bio, that a music-project has started as a college room project, because in 99,127 % of all cases this means to receive an Alternative- / Rock- / or Metal-related project. Things luckily differ with The New Division, as this Californian-based 4-men-outfit around the mastermind John Kunkel counts cult projects like Joy Division, Now Order and Depeche Mode to their main influences. The music proves to be inspired by this demanding row of idols and the band integrates successfully a strong 80s Romantic-Pop reference into their compositions. 'Shadows' as a whole drifts a bit away from the usual, sugar-sweet Synthpop-formula, so often discovered with mostly Scandinavian-based music-projects. It sounds here and there may a bit old-fashioned produced, which belongs in the unusual integration of reverb effects on vocals and drum patterns ' while this kind on the other hand spends a more bombastic outfit to the sound. However, it isn't the freshest water in use here, but it has charisma and authenticity. A guitar isn't a forbidden instrument, just check the tracks 'Sense' or 'Munich', which nearly sound like Britpop-inspired tunes. But definitely the better ones are those richly produced, Synthpop-driven tracks like 'Opium', 'Soft' or 'Hearts for Sale', which offer a melodic song-progression with an easy singing-along-the-line behavior. A good pick for the Swedish Progress Productions label and a constant force in the field of the Synth-/Futurepop-genre. The New Division and the talent behind this project aren't to underestimate.

Empire State Human: The Art

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7028)
May 03 2012
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Empire State Human
Title: The Art
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: House Of Analogue
Rated: *****
We have to go back to 2009 to find the previous Empire State Human album "Audio Gothic" which has been release by Ninthwave Records. During these years Aidan Casserly didn't rest on his laurels as released other two albums under his own name. After starting their own label House Of Analogue, Aidan and Lar Kiernan, released a new Empire State Human single the last December. That single had two songs you won't find on this new album titled "The Art". "The Art" has ten new songs that will make you feel like at home: comfy and cool. It opens and closes with two ballads: "Killer In Me" and "The Pioneers". Two passionate songs with orchestral arrangements that with a bit of melancholy point toward a brighter future. In the middle the duo give their best creating synthpop dance hits like "Search For Love", "My Passion", "Easy Colour" or catchy mid tempos like "The Secret Life Of Artists" or "Apollo (Extended)". I think that "The Art" is a blast. It sounds more balanced and powerful compared to "Audio Gothic" and it has no flaws or rip off songs (and I'm not telling that the previous one had some). Empire State Human is one of those few bands that you can purchase with no hesitation as they do their best to bring you the finest melodies. Like craftsmen they make their songs putting all their love and after three times I listen to their album in a row, you can trust me!

Alien Skin: Ghost In The Rain

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7022)
Apr 30 2012
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Alien Skin
Title: Ghost In The Rain
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Two years from the album "The Unquiet Grave" issued by A Different Drum, Alien Skin is back with a new album titled "Ghost In The Rain". This time George decided to have full control on the album, so, he self released it. Since from its title "Ghost In The Rain" has a feeling of intimacy: it makes me think of gray days and introspection. Well, this is the third time in a row that I listen to it and that feeling is confirmed and it's enriched by all the nice tiny melodic arrangements that George put into the songs. Most of the ten songs are atmospheric mid tempos where George sings and whispers about memories of lost lovers. Take, for example, "Candy Lips". It sounds romantic and nostalgic and the atmosphere is made by groovy soft rhythms, synth pads, light piano chords and windy sounds. The melody kinda explodes into the refrain when George sings: "I hear a noise from afar, it's just your world tapping on your window frame". Also the following, "Vanishing Girl", is a beautiful one. It has a rhythm a little more upbeat compared to "Candy Lips" and lightly distorted bass lines. Just add catchy synth melodies and a good amount of reverb and you'll have a ghostly atmosphere which on the refrain is enriched by a female vocal solo. George Pappas with "Ghost In The Rain" confirmed himself to be a sophisticated songwriter who has a great taste for melody and arrangement. Check it out! Definitely...

VV.AA.: SID Chip Sounds - The Music of the Commodore 64

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (6979)
Apr 10 2012
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: SID Chip Sounds - The Music of the Commodore 64
Format: CD
Label: Robot Elephant Records (@)
Rated: *****
Who knows if Jack Tramiel aka Mr Commodore heard some SID sounds by one of his most skilled collaborator, Bob Yannes, a genial engineer, who later co-founded Ensoniq Corporation together with Bruce Crockett and Al Charpentier, while he was passing away (or powering down) last sunday, but I'm pretty sure many enthusiastic aged lads, who have been recipients of that computer literacy his brisk work fostered (being the main reason he managed to endear himself to many people), will be glad to know there's a rich underground production related to C64 sounds while joining in offering condolences to his family for such a bereavement.

One of the most exhaustive selection of tunes, mainly coming from glorious pixeled C64 videogames, is the one offered by Robot Elephant, which didn't beg the question the main diffuclty those composers had to face, i.e. the fact SID chips gave the possibility to record just three voices at once. But, so they remark, human beings' genius normally emerges when they have seemingly limited means, an attitude which looks like corroborated by many compositional pearls, which have been included in the tracklist: some tracks should be quite easy to recognize, such as "Last Ninja" - Armakumi's adventures against Kunitoki, the evil shogun of the Ashigaka clan, became very popular for his score as well, which has been remixed a plenty of times even in recent times - and "Trap" by Ben Danglish, a composer who keeps SID's memory alive with SID'80s, a protean retro C64 rock band, performing at notorious retrogaming and abandon ware events such as Chris Abbott's Back in Time or Retrovision, "Commando" (a real cult for C64 enthusiasts) and "Sanxion" (also known as "Thalamusik" from the name of Sanxion's developer Thalamus, inspired by Jean-Michel Jarre's "Zoolook") by Rob Hubbard, "Arkanoid" (his composer admitted it looked like a collection of farts and burps when speaking about the innovative process behind that!), "Wizball" (a gig for those ones who will buy vynil version of the release) and chiptune "Comic Bakery" (ohhh those racoons!) by Martin Galway, while other tracks are maybe less notorious, but equally amazing. My favorite ones are "Cybernoid 2" by Jeroen Tel, which is every bit as good as best italo-house and euro-dance hits, LEDStorm by Tim Follin, a mad 8-bit version of "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple (!), whose compositional approach was known for including many musical quotes of progressive rock (Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, John Martyn and so on) as it's clear from two tracks composed with his brother Geoff for Gauntlet 3's score, "Glider Rider" and "Panther", two thrilling tracks by David Whittaker, Chris Huelsbeck's "Giana Sisters" (which looks like inspired by Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough"!).

Not to be abandoned.

Press Play On Tape!


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha