When two acts we’re particularly fond of come together it;s always a cause for excitement. Especially when those two acts are at the forefront of intelligent electronic music. Portland Minimal Synth outfit Soft Metals’ Lenses album was one of the highlights of last year for us, so we’re stoked to hear there is a reMix album on the horizon, even more stoked that one of the reMixes comes from ex-Violet Tremors; L-Sedition, further stoked to première the reMix right here. That’s a lot of stoked, we know, but listen to the tune and you’ll hear why.
The reMix is actually surprisingly Housey, with a real old school flavour that’s a mix of Chicago and Detroit.The hypnotic beat, best suited to strobe light business, carries you along past waves of grinding synths and sparking arpeggios. With just a haunting hint of the original’s vocals, L-Sedition crafts an engrossing, striped back, vintage Dance sound without forgetting the edgy SynthPop roots of the track.
♫ Soft Metals – When I Look Into Your Eyes (L-Sedition reMix)
Soft Metals’ Lenses reMixes is released 3rd February.
Sadly, our favourite Minimal Synth duo Violet Tremors are no more. While Jessica continues to explore dark minimalism with noNViolet, Lorene is taking an altogether more epic approach with her new outfit L-SEDITION. What we’ve heard so far we’d probably call something like Cryptic Cinematic Techno, if we wanted to call it something, which we don’t, so just ignore that bit.
L-SEDITION’s first tune is called You Pay, and it’s a sprawling six minutes of Sci-Fi synthetics. Layered with burbling arpeggios and growling synths, You Pay carries the listener along on a hypnotic journey, occasionally interchanging the chainsaw stabs with lush, rousing strings. Complex and intricate rhythms hail the robotic march of the tracks groove as the whole delivers something that is both machine like and very human. A good start we think.
Our favourite Minimal Synth duo, Violet Tremors, are back with a powerhouse new reworking of their track Control Submarine. The girls are giving this new track away to celebrate the one year anniversary of the release of their stunning début album Time Is The Traitor.
Where Control Submarine was a measured, ominous electronic mood generator, equal parts gentle and imposing, Control SubMission takes the core of the track and ramps up the aural assault. Bringing an relentless early EBM beat and bassline to the track completely switches the vibe of the track, turning into a pounding, robotic march destined to destroy black-clad dancefloor everywhere. Long-time Mute collaborator James Aparicio sits behind the mixing desk for this one, no doubt bringing a hint of that classic Mute SynthPop experimentalism with him. indeed, Control SubMission could sit nicely amongst the likes of The Normal, Fad Gadget and Cabaret Voltaire.
Are hardCORPS tracks like busses? You wait decades for one then loads come along at once. It was only this week that an unreleased track from the ‘80’s pioneers surfaced (quickly followed by a couple more), and now that are on the reMix for our favourite ladies of Minimal Synth Violet Tremors. hardCorps’ Clive Peirce teams up with his Medora partner in crime Phen to take on the girls Future Love from their rad Time is The Traitor album of last year.
Future Love was actually one of our picks of the album and Peirce and Phen take the abrasive ElectroPop and smooth it over with an almost Dubby sheen. Reverb washed synthetic percussion and a rolling Dub bassline from the rock on which Jessica’s mantra crashes. the end result is very Cabaret Voltaire, that mixture of Experimental Dub influenced electronics and early SynthPop harsh deadpan delivery alongside otherwordly synths could have come straight out the early ‘80’s underground.
Here’s the first video from LA based Minimal Synth duo Violet Tremors’ ace album of last year, ‘Time is The Traitor’.
Alex Smith directed the clip which features the girls coming on like a female Cabaret Voltaire, an angry cloud and some dogs. Even if we’re not sure what’s going on it looks really slick and really captures Violet Tremors perfectly.
Hold on to your soul, the first ladies of Minimal Synth, Violet Tremors, are about to drop their début album, the awesomely titled ‘Time Is The Traitor’.
The opening track ‘Between Us’ is well chosen, atmospheric and harsh, the track taken no prisoners and utilises vocal processing in a way that, like much of VT’s tracks, makes me think of early Cabaret Voltaire. The combination of Sparse beats, early EBM and Daniel Miller style synth work and haunting pads with vocals that are not quite human sets the listen up well for the rest of the album. Jessica White & Lorene Simpson do a good job of authentically recreating the early days of the Futurists and the sonic experimentation that cantered around Sheffield and Mute Records. The record swings, at times, from harsh and aggressive, as with the Industrial ‘Concentrate’ to the ice cold machine beats of the likes of ‘Caution’ to almost warm, enveloping tracks like ‘Time Dissolver’. Throughout, though, the girls display a keen ear for both melody and texture, and a production skill that suites their sound perfectly. What’s surprising though, is that it’s not all doom and gloom. That is to say that although the record is as fine an example of Minimal Synth as you could ever care for, there is little of the irritating pretension so often heaped onto Minimal Synth records, there’s actually a lot that would kill on any New Romantic dancefloor. I guess what I’m saying is that there is just as much ‘80’s in this album as there is Minimal Synth, and Violet Tremors passion for their sound and their influences shines through.
Mixing up Violet Tremors’ ‘Violet Trance’ with this dark 90’s house sound results in an evil industrial groove. I do love how Funerals can sound uncomfortable and atmospheric and funky at the same time. The machine rhythms, scrapyard percussion and relentless synth bass in this track owes much to New Beat but is tempered with a haunting lead line. I feel like in in a dark EBM club in 1989 all over again!
Violet Tremors remind me a LOT of early/mid period Cabaret Voltaire, except that they are two girls and (no offence to Richard or Steve) are infinitely more glamorous!
Musically though, there is a lot of Cabs to be heard in Jessica and Lorene’s Minimal Synth refrains. The likes of The Normal and Portion Control are probably an influence too. This is music for those of us who remember a time before SynthPop went to the disco. Where we are, here, SynthPop isn’t in a happy place.
The Los Angeles duo utilise old drum machines, analog synths and effected vocals to create a sparse and cold, yet strangely full of emotion, soundscape that should defiantly appeal to lovers of either the current Minimal Synth scene or the early Futurist experimentations.
Dark and Dangerous, this is music for the places you don’t want to be, but can’t help going.