This week’s capsule of Synthesizer Zen, to carry you into the weekend, comes from a look at the Sequential Circuits Six-Trak.
Video courtesy of YouTube user 1dayhkr.
As synth and soundtrack fans will do doubt be aware, horror mastermind and creepy synth noodler John Carpenter as about to release an album. His first non-soundtrack solo work, the album, Lost Themes is a collection of scores to imaginary movies. No stranger to the odd imaginary movie himself, Brooklyn synthesizer warrior Starcadian has taken on Lost Themes’ teaser single Vortex and dominated it with his own brand of Electro-Funk. Check it out.
Featuring additional vocals by the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet (‘cos that baby can sing!), Starcadian’s Vortex workout is an expansive Electro powerhouse loaded with emotional beats. Revolving around a chugging bassline, this is Starcadian when he’s got one foot in the world of Electro-House, one in Nu-Disco and his eyes to the stars. Cosmic wonder with a chainsaw grind. Gritty and majestic. Let Starcadian’s reMix of Vortex inspire you into the weekend.
♫ John Carpenter – Vortex: Night Of The Comet (Starcadian reMix)
John Carpenter’s Lost Themes is released 3rd February.
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Last year SpaceSynth maestro Mild Peril snuck onto our X-Mas playlists with his epic instrumental take on Walking In The Air, Airwalking, from his Themes EP. This year, after the release of his Matter album, he’s back in a radial reworking (and slightly festive) mood in his just released The Sentinel single. The release contains two tracks, both homages to the works of Mike Oldfield, one of Mild Peril’s biggest influences, in this instance he takes on Sentinel from Tubular Bells II and In The Pool.
The Sentinel (Tubular Bells II) is a sprawling synthesizer epic (but then again all Mild Peril’s works are), and is bizarrely X-Massy. We say ‘bizarrely’ because it;s not at all X-Massy, yet manages to really be. Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, but once you listen to it you’ll see what we mean. It’s ominous tones and dramatic leads all become sort of comforting and as Mild Peril himself says “because if you do pretty much anything on a tubular bell sound, it will sound like Christmas”. He’s got a point. The Pool is more of a dancefloor Italo classic, dripping with European 80s flair as cheeky snyth riffs dance around each other and a pure Pop bassline. The prefect counterpoint to it’s flip side. Did we mention it’s a free release? Go grab yourself some synth goodness.
Mild Peril’s The Sentinel (Tubular Bells II) is out now on Bandcamp.
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Right you lot, it’s nearly December and you know what that means; time to start thinking about your X-Mas playlists. Unfortunately this year we won’t be releasing another utterly amazing X-Mas EP, maybe next year (although that doesn’t stop you buying X-Mas Rumors this year, it’s for a good cause!). Still that doesn’t mean you have to sit around in the chilly Winter months, surrounded by presents, booze and friends yet feeling oddly out-of-sorts listening to poolside Disco. Cascine have got your back!
The next release in their 7” single series comes from Wham!, or perhaps it’s ChillSynthPopser Ice Choir, and is a two track release called Pure Holiday. The vinyl holds two tracks, Cut Down The Tree, and this dreamy tune It’s Different Now. With a woozy bassline that reminds us of Bowie’s As The World Falls Down from the Labyrinth soundtrack (as do the chimes for that matter) that’s been neatly slid into an 1985 easy Pop classic It’s Different Now is kinda’ last song at an X-Mas Disco music. SO mistletoe time! Best of all, all proceeds from the release will be going to Coalition For The Homeless. Do the right thing!
♫ Ice Choir – It’s Different Now
Ice Choir’s Pure Holiday is released 9th December.
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The chairperson of the board Little Boots has shared two more songs from her forthcoming Business Pleasure EP. We’ve already moved to the lead tune, Taste It and it’s video; the next two out of a total of four tracks, continue to show off that fact that this looks set to be Boot’s most ecclectic release to-date. Check out the bottom of the post for a link to pre-order one of the fantastic vinyl packages. Engraved watches people!
Heroine is slightly more traditional Little Boots that the previously heard Taste It. Co-produced by MNDR’s Pete Wade the track has a lush 90s Dance-Pop feel with a hint of Nocturnes Deep House leanings and Victoria’s sweet vocal gliding across booming bass and warehouse snares. A completely different slant is taken by Pretty Tough, which is dangerously close to Trap and is strangely enchanting. Moody soundtrack synths grown over the skip-hop beat while Boot’s delivers a vocal performance unlike anything she’s done before. Like we said, this is one ecclectic release for Little Boots, but if there’s one thing we love to see it’s an artists flexing their musical muscles. Welcome to Victoria’s gun-show.
♫ Little Boots – Heroine
♫ Little Boots – Pretty Tough
Little Boots’ Business Pleasure EP is released 1st December. Some very tasty indeed pre-order vinyl/poster/bag/digital watch!!! packages are available here.
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Mistress of dreamlike floorfillers Maya Jane Coles makes her return to Anja Schneider’s Mobilee this week In the 3 ½ years since her last she’s gone from strength to strength, including releasing one of our favourite albums of recent times, Comfort. The From The Dark EP features three utterly intoxicated tune, including this one; the lead track. Check it out.
Including some vocal work from French singer Moggli, From The Dark is an enigmatic and haunting tune that revels in Maya’s uncanny knack of being able to make deep, ominous tracks feel unbelievably warm. Low grooves and subby bass dominate the soundtrack alongside an unrelenting booming kick; while Moggli’s throaty, soulful vocals seem to envelop the music and swirl around it. This is stuck on repeat.
♫ Maya Jane Coles (Feat. Moggli) – From The Dark (Original Mix)
Maya Jane Coles’ From The Dark is out now.
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Check out the video, it’s a load of arse. Also a little bit creepy.
Lifelike’s Overdrive is released 8th December.
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The awesome Continental Records has just released the second round of reMixes of 1987 classic No Memory from Scarlet Fantastic. The first incarnation of this reMix onslaught contained work from the likes of Luke Million, Pherotone and Mighty K, and just two months later the second EP is unleashed this week. This time around label boss Jerry Bouthier’s own JBAG duo leads the charge with this deep, Topical ElectroPop rework.
A departure from JBAG’s usual straight up DiscoPop masterpieces, this reMix of No Memory takes in some broader influences. With a jump-up beat and a breezy Island groove, the tune is more Chilled than we are used to from this pair, but still retains a solid dancefloor feel. Airy licks permeate a buoyant track loaded with heavy synth bass and a healthy dose of Reverb. The original’s vocals are used sparingly and with a haunting quality. Awesome stuff you can download right now!
Scarlet Fantastic’s No Memory ’14 (reMixes) EP2 is out now.
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Here’s the latest single from one of our favourite producers, London based Swede Blende. So far this guy’s track record is nothing short of flawless and for his new single he’s teamed up with Belgian singer and frequent Hercules And Love Affair and Moonlight Matters collaborator Stef Caers A.K.A. Gustaph for Running. The single is out now on the inimitable Eskimo Recordings and features reMix work from Kraak & Smaak and Knight One. Check out the Turbofunk fuelled track below.
High octane Robo-Funk with that particular snarling Blende rumble; Running is a powerhouse of a tune. Skippy beats, growling bass, and picked synth sounds fall into place throughout the track to be complimented by uplifting horns and wicked little licks to bring an infectious groove that feels like both vintage and futuristic Disc at the same time. Gustaph’s now quite recognisable vocals are the perfect accompaniment, giving that track that extra sense of drama and flair. Blende does it again.
♫ Blende (Feat. Gustaph) – Running
Blende’s Running is out now.
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One of Sweden’s finest synthesizer exports Johan Agebjörn is gearing up for the release of his new solo album. The ElectroPop, Italo and disco producer extraordinaire and half of Sally Shapiro, is taking a different tack with his latest opus. Notes is a collection of largely instrumental pieces eschewing his usual infectious grooves for more cerebral and emotional works taking the likes of Young Galaxy, Sally Shapiro along for the ride. The first single is the sublime The Right To Play, check it out below.
Despite being almost beatless, The Right To Play finds itself a strong and energetic rhythm. An intertwining symphony of synthesizer and electric piano, the track is a dreamlike escapade that sees chiming leads dance playfully around each other. The result is, in one word, enchanting. DreamPoppers Korallreven step up for reMix duties, chipping away a little at the tracks light and delivering an enigmatic and moody mirror image driven by robotic beats.
♫ Johan Agebjörn – The Right To Play
♫ Johan Agebjörn – The Right To Play (Korallreven reMix)
Johan Agebjörn’s The Right To Play is released today.
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