This week’s capsule of Synthesizer Zen, to carry you into the weekend, comes from a look at the Teisco SX-400.
Video courtesy of YouTube user MIxbern.
Complete surprise! Out of nowhere, pioneer of the Dreamwave and SynthWave sound, and Valerie collective O.G., Maethelvin has released an album! Save for a solitary track in 2013 we though we’d heard the last from one of our favourite artists of the time back in 2012. Maethelvin was a staple of the Valerie crew since the beginning, back in 2007 but never properly released anything other than a limited edition 7” with Stephen Falken. His new record is called CS005, being part of Valerie’s Composer series and is out this week. The album pretty much collects all his original tunes, some previously hard to find, in one place; we’re so excited to be listening to a full length record from this guy.
Lost In A Big City originally appeared on the absolute legendary classic compilation album Valerie And Friends back in 2009. Quintessentially Dreamwave, this is the prefect example of the sound that stared it all. Punchy beats and gritty, cinematic apreggios drive this powerhouse of a track underneath catchy little Synth Funk melodies. Walking the line between abrasive, high-octane Electro and Disco-fuelled SynthPop, Lost In Big City exemplifies Maethelvin’s, and the original SynthWave, sound
♫ Maethelvin – Lost In Big City
Maethelvin’s CS005 is out now.
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Night is one of the many highlights of director and Horror synth legend John Carpenter’s recent, and first, full musical album; Lost Themes. A pulsating and brooding soundtrack to a film never made.
This new video for the track was directed by Gavin Hignight and Ben Verhulst and features the man himself experimenting with a virtual reality retro future world.
John Carpenter’s Lost Themes is out now.
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What do Crystal Castles sound like without Alice Glass? Well, it looks like were about to find out. Really, we weren’t sure Crystal Castles was even still a thing, but the remaining member, Ethan Kath, has just uploaded a brand new tune, with vocals by someone called Edith, titled Frail. The accompanying blub feels a tad bitchy: “I wish my former vocalist the best of luck in her future endeavours. I think it can be empowering for her to be in charge of her own project. It should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs. (She’s not on “Untrust Us”. “Not In Love”, “Vanished”, “Crimewave”, “Vietnam”, “Magic Spells”, “Knights”, “Air War”, “Leni”, “Lovers Who Uncover”, “Violent Youth”, “Reckless”, “Year of Silence”, “Intimate”, “1991”, “Good Time”, “Violent Dreams”, etc.). People often gave her credit for my lyrics and that was fine, I didn’t care.”. Honestly, we didn’t know she wasn’t on so many of CC’s hits, but she was still the front-person of the band; the bands energy and face. We guess we’ll just have to see where things progress to from here.
Frail does sound sounds pretty Crystal Castles-y. I don’t know why we might have expected it to sound otherwise. The rousing and evocative rave synths are in place, alongside the pounding drums and heavily modulated vocals. It has the driving energy of the best of Crystal Castles. The beats sound a little disjointed, but that grows on you. It’s a solid Crystal Castles tune, but we can’t help feeling that Alice’s departure might have been a good point to try something different. nonetheless, it;s nice to have a new CC tune on the playlist.
♫ Crystal Castles – Frail
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Let’s Go Slow is the new single from French Nu-Disco legends Aeroplane and the voice of Stardust’s 1988 French Touch blueprint Music Sound Better With You, Benjamin Diamond. Despite a constant stream of top notch reMixes, new original tunes from Vito De Luca are few and far between these days so the news of a string of singles to be released this year is good news indeed. This one, released later this month, kicks off the party. Check it out.
So, Let’s Go Slow is one of the most playful tunes Vito has produce to date, one of the Poppiest too. Loaded with the trappings of his career in French Disco, the track also makes nods toward American dance Pop and late 80 chart hits with bubbly synth and big stabbing keys over a jubilant rhythm section. Diamond delivers a catchy refrain to give the track a theme, but the stars hear are Vito’s razor sharp riffs. Also, it’s sounds kinda’ like Lightwaves reMix of She’s The Queen’s Talk To Me, which is cool. Just sayin’.
♫ Aeroplane (Feat. Benjamin Diamond) – Let’s Get Slow
Aeroplane’s Let’s Get Slow is released 20th April.
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Well, he’s been teasing it all week and now it’s here. The captain of the Chilled disco ship, Mr. Goldroom has unleashed his cover version of Indie outfit Fleet Foxes’ 2009 single, Mykonos. It’s Josh’s favourite tune from Fleet Foxes so not only does he perform a rare cover, but has also chose to sing on the track himself, something we’ve not heard much from since the his NightWaves days. Check it out below, it’s an absolutely free download, ‘cos Goldroom loves you.
Goldroom meshes some sweet nautical Disco vibes with a cheeky Indie vibe on this one. Driven by a pumping bassline, Josh’s cover of Mykonos threads lush pads, synthetic snares and big synth sweeps trough a tapestry of wicked little licks and a dreamy paradise atmosphere. His vocals do the track justice, and you can tell he’s having fun with the track. Top-down sunshine feels from this one.
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Here’s the latest tune from our favourite French renaissance man, Monsieur Adi. It’s actually been a while since we’ve heard a new original tune from Adi, but then again he’s spends his days reMixing and producing some massive starts these days so we’ll let him off. For his new song he’s raining in the high-octane, cinematic Electro for an laid back, emotional groover; Runaway.
Vocoder passion and thick heavy synths permeate every second of Runaway. The drums are a bit of a departure for Adi, verging into neo-Madeon drum territory, as the man heaps on piles of rich and emotive keys, stack deep but exquisitely mixed so each layer delivers it’s resonant punch. Add to that a heartfelt vocoder performance, like a robotic lament, and you have some powerful electronics right here.
♫ Monsieur Adi – Runaway
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Tensnake’s vinyl leaning True Romance is one of our favourite labels right now. We’re avid collectors of their 12”s, each one an analog Disco Boogie gem. One such gem was the laid back retro Disco sounds of New York trio Tim Wagner, Nick Chacona and Amy Douglas, A.K.A. Sunrise Highway,’s self-titled début EP, fist seen in May last year. Now calling themselves Sunrise HWY (presumably for legal reasons) they are revisiting the slick release with an accompanying reMix package that sees Tiger & Woods and Tuff City Kids take on some of the EP’s sweetest tunes.
We weren’t able to pick our favourite of the reMixes, so here’s three for you to wrap your listening gear around. the formidable Larry Tiger & David Woods work their analog Disco magic on Some Kinda’ Fool, sounding not unlike a track from Tensnake’s own Glow, the track liberally spreads a pumping synth bassline over cowbell led Disco beats and heavily filtered snatches of the original’s groove. Germany’s Tuff City Kids choose to tackle two of the EP’s tunes; their version of Never Enough is an 808 heavy slice of synthetic House that pairs robotic Electro sounds with spine tingling piano House that works perfectly with Amy’s big diva vocals. Compass Point emerges from Tuff City Kids grasp with a Euro Disco feel, loaded with warm machine beats and spacey keys to compliment the track wicked Disco lick. The whole release is a joyous excursion into synthesizer Disco, B-Boy beats, summertime vibes and pure Boogie brilliance. We can’t wait to get our hands on the black plastic.
♫ Sunrise HWY – Some Kinda’ Fool (Tiger & Woods reMix)
♫ Sunrise HWY – Never Enough (Tuff City Kids reMix)
♫ Sunrise HWY – Compass Point (Tuff City Kids Nassau Mix)
Sunrise HWY’s Sunrise Highway reMixes drops 20th April on 12” and Digital via True Romance.
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With direction and animation by Rob Judges, the clip is a madcap, psychedelic, nostalgia fuelled five minutes.
Via FACT Magazine.
This Soft Machine On & On is out now.
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New York DreamPoppers Noosa have a new video out. The track in question is Walk On By, which comes from their début EP of 2012, and subsequently their 2014 début album, Wonderland.
Rachel McDonald directed the clip, a hazy and dreamy nature trail that flows well with the song.
Noosa’s Wonderland is out now.
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