[Audio] Avec Sans’ ‘Heartbreak Hi’ album


Avec Sans

What I can I say about Avec Sans that I haven’t already? Probably not a lot; but they’ve just gone and released their début full-lengther so let’s give it a go, eh? To call their new album, sharing the title Heartbreak Hi with their first single, long-awaited would be an understatement. I’ve always seen The Sans as an album band, so the slow trickle of singles over the past four years has been tantalizing in the extreme and now that time has come I can well and truly say that a large body of Avec Sans work feels as satisfying as I’d always thought it would.

To bring you up to speed (insert American TV voice here: “Previously on Avec Sans…”); Avec Sans are, without question, amongst the top tier ElectroPop artists the UK has ever produced, and definitely one if, if not the best in the past decade. Striking the perfect balance between machine music and deep emotion in all elements of their sound as Jack St James offers up a deft combination of spiky, jagged synths and lush, evocative arrangements while Alice Fox’s voice flits between icy aloofness and heartfelt passion. This blending of cold and warm, dark and light, is what makes Avec Sans’s music such a rich experience. And it’s pretty groovy too! They serve up something for the heart, the head and the feet.

Avec Sans Heartbreak Hi Album

Heartbreak Hi is a both a culmination of the past few years of work and an introduction to new, sometimes surprising, material. All the singles are present and correct from their premiére tracks Perth and Heartbreak Hi, through The Answer, Hold On, Shiver, All Of Time,and Resonate to When You Go. So, rather than going over the singles again, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and re-visit our first impressions of the tracks. Here’s a rundown of Avec Sans’ previous singles, featured on Heartbreak Hi, via the medium of quoting our original thoughts:

♫ Avec Sans – Heartbreak Hi

Heartbreak Hi: “The track itself is glorious, rousing slice of razor sharp ElectroPop. With a very slight Industrial quality to it, that is tempered by Alice Fox’s impassioned vocals. It’s rare for a new ElectroPop act to come along and sound so polished and mature from the get-go.” (June 2012)

Shiver: “Catchy, but in an intelligent way, the tune is a cavalcade of buzzing synths and dance beats. Ms. Fox’s vocals sound more epic than ever, set to a sweeping, driving, slice of ElectroPop gold.” (November 2013)

When You Go: “Swoosh! That’s how When You Go begins. Once suitably swooshed you’ll be treated to a booming and majestic tune that sees Jack playing with an almost Dubby groove, albeit it a Dubby groove run through his humming RoboPop machines while Alice’s smoky vocal delivers that particular gloomy optimism that only she can.” (July 2015)

Hold On: “Hold On delivers compelling beats, a swirl of biting synths and a chorus that’ll stick in your head all day. What more could you want?” (June 2013)

The Answer: “If you said to me that this was a track created by a guy who has experimented with many different forms of electronic music and a vocalist who cut her teeth on the Indie band circuit, I would say that’s exactly what it is.” (November 2012)

Resonate: “Resonate is a thumping mid-tempo ElectroPop epic that it’s hard not to get swept up in as the starlight arpeggios swirl around an intimate and intoxicating vocal performance, all set to a hammerfall kick.” (April 2015)

All Of Time: “…a rousing, emotional SynthPop track with a surprising and powerful Indie sensibility. Piercing synths and Alice’s passionate vocal delivery wash over some tight dance beats on this one.” (August 2014)

Perth: “…a seriously classy cover of Bon Iver’s Perth” (June 2012)

All of which goes to show two things. Firstly that I am a terrible writer (but we knew this anyway, right?). Secondly that Avec Sans have been offering up the finest of tunes consistently since 2012; and by ‘consistently’ I don’t mean quantity, I mean consistently high quality. There’s a craftsmanship (and craftswomanship) and attention to sonic detail going on here that I’m sure some other acts would have found exhausting to keep up.

♫ Avec Sans – Shiver

All of that is precluded by the album opener, Even The Echoes, which layers on the atmosphere in true album intro style. The track actually sets up the album really well, all the Sans elements are in place. Jack’s sample manipulation and growling tones, Alice’s slightly sad anthems. All just a little reined in, tempo-wise, to ease you into proceedings. To the trained ear (and when I say trained, I mean: have listened to a lot of Aves Sans on busses in the past four years) the evolution and increasing musical confidence throughout their carrier is apparent in Heartbreak Hi’s catalogue; and damn, We Are is an evolved and confident tune. A sublime Pop track with beats and a hook that are surprisingly early-90s. I mean, seriously, it’s synth horns and hushed vocals could have easily been featured on the early days of MTV UK. A proper Pop anthem.

History, for me anyway, is the unforeseen standout of the new album tracks. A departure from Avec Sans’ crisp and regimented SynthPop into something with a gentle, almost R&B swing at times, a thick dancefloor bass and an IndiePop refrain. Which is an odd combination but when put into musical context, with Jack’s production and Alice’s delivery, is a combination that both works as an Avec Sans track, and give the duo a chance to flex their musical muscles slightly outside of the comfort zone (with total success!).

Gun to my head; Close My Eyes is my least favourite track on the album. Not a bad song by any means, I particularly like the lyrical imagery and the little squirly (that’s a word damnit!) bit in the riff, but it doesn’t quite reach the heights of it’s album mates. The album closer, Mistakes, however, is perfectly placed to ease you out of the record. A song full of regrets and reflection that pairs a hushed lament with a hazy swirl of rising keys that eventually breaks, like tension snapping, for the track’s, and album’s, beat driven finale.

♫ Avec Sans – When You Go

Which leads us to one last point of order. What’s my favourite Avec Sans song then? Well, now there is a large enough body of work out there I can safely say that it’s Hold On, for various reasons. Musically it speaks to my love of abrasive sounds made into something beautiful; an emotional and warm track comprised of chainsaw synths and piercing leads with a catchy as hell hook. Lyrically I find it totally relatable. I’ve no idea what Alice wrote the track about, but in the finest tradition of the listener interpreting the song, it is scary how it could have been written about a certain time in my life (more than any song I’ve head in the past decade or so!). Thankfully a time long in the past, still gives me goosebumps hearing a song about it though. Especially one that makes me want to dance!

♫ Avec Sans – Hold On

To sum up, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Just go and buy this album. A ‘summing up’ paragraph seems a little redundant at this point, if you read this website then you will love this album, without a doubt. It’s been a long time coming and doesn’t disappoint. It also feels a bt like the end of Aves Sans chapter one, and we are already excited about what Jack and Alice will bring us for chapter two.

Avec Sans’ Heartbreak Hi is out now on digital and CD, you can pre-order the vinyl here.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:


[Audio] Jari Menari’s ‘Tiki Man’ EP


Jari Menari   Tiki Man   YouTube

The Tiki Man EP is the latest release from London’s Musik Box label and it’s arguably their best, and most eclectic, to date. Musik Box is, of course, home to all things House, Disco and Boogie set up by renowned beat-mongering duo Punks Jump Up, now PJU; now on it’s sixth release after a string of rock solid, and slightly quirky, floorfillers.

Tiki Man is the product of Jari Menari; who are, in turn, one half of PJU teaming up with one half of Swiss Disco experimentalists In Flagranti. Which makes sense as they are both products of that early 2000s Indie-Dance boom.

In Flagranti have been knocking out woozy Disco epics since way back in 2002, largely on their own label but occasionally for the likes of Kitsuné, Phantasy and Gomma. Intergalactic Bubblegum and Business Acumen both hold a massive place in my heart as the soundtrack to my last few years living in London. Similarly Punks Jump Up have served up some of the finest Boogie-fuelled monsters of the last decade. From Dance To Our Disco to the Chromeo’s Dave1 featuring Mr. Overtime, via collaborations with Dubka and Earl Grey, a new PJU release is always something to get excited about. Particularly the basslines. Oh how I love me some PJU bassline!

The EP’s title track is an insane six minutes of half rapped/half chanted vocals over one of those basslines. A thick late-80s House groove, pure white glove stuff, accentuated with synth stabs and popping purcussion, Tiki Man has a Chicago House core with a particularly British twist. Tanz La Tête continues in a similar vein, upping the jacking element into a hypnotic symphony of rolling 909 purcussion and punchy Roland bass; tied together with looped vocal snatches, a pure vintage floorfiller.

There’s a slight EBM/Newbeat slant to Body Conscious with it’s reverb heavy synthetic industrial purcussion and undulating waves of effects rolling in and out of the track while I Want U (But I Want U 4 Myself) serves up an almost New York Indie-Disco flavour mixed with a little Detroit Electro and Chicago warehouse vibes. Live bass and organ set this one apart from the rest of the EP.

The TIki Man EP is an example of what can happen where people truly steeped in the history of dance music come together to experiment, the results are eclectic and left-field, but rock solidly classic House.

♫ Jari Menari – Tiki Man

♫ Jari Menari – Tanz La Tête

♫ Jari Menari – Body Conscious

♫ Jari Menari – I Want U (But I Want U 4 Myself)

Jari Menari’s Tiki Man EP is out now.

Buy Jari Menari’s music from:


[Audio] Lindstrøm’s ‘Closing Shot’



Norwegian Cosmic Disco pioneer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s output can swing from the crowd-pleasing floorfillers to eclectic and freeform sonic experiments. You never know quite which you are going to get but you know what either way it will be musically exciting; and no doubt funky as all hell.

Closing Shot is the man’s new single, taken from a forthcoming EP set to drop 8th July on Lindstrøm’s own Feedility imprint. Closing Shot kicks off Lindstrøm’s 2016, after a super busy 2015 loaded with collaborations and reMixes (notably reMixes from Foals and Grizzly Bear and collabs with Todd Rundgren & Emil Nikolaisen), and see’s Hans-Peter getting his head down and serving up what he does best. Full on Cosmic Disco weirdness.

In the classic Lindstrøm vein, Closing Shot hits around the seven minute mark and is loaded with nice vintage synth hook set to a wobbly bass groove. The opening salvo of claps and chords set the tone for this return to the dancefloor, as with all Lindstrøm tunes; taking it’s time to ease you into it’s hypnotic flow. Gradually layering bright retro leads and spaced-out percussion over a commanding kick, Closing Shot builds it’s base until it’s final minute kicks in with a spine-tingling finale of sparkling arpeggios and syncopated synth stabs.

It’s a lovely, nostalgic and fun track aimed squarely at the dancefloor and one that bodes extremely well for the forthcoming album.

♫ Lindstrøm – Closing Shot

Lindstrøm’s Closing Shot is out now.

Buy  Lindstrøm’s music from:

[Audio] Touch Tone’s ‘Taken By You’


Touch Tone

Touch Tone has only gone and made an ElectroPop record, hasn’t he! Andrew Verner, one time Short Circuit Dreamwaver, has come on in leaps and bound since becoming Touch Tone. From his retro Robo-Pop beginnings through a Tropical House odyssey to this point. With a tune ready for the big time.

Andrew’s output has been solidly top quality for the past seven years since his Binary beginnings (has it really been seven years!). You can always rely on Touch Tone to drop something quintessentially electronic with heapings of synth funk in the bass department. Taken By You is no different. Well, it’s a little different.

Teaming up with vocalist Amanda Ply, Touch Tone serves up his most commercially viable offering to date. Seriously, this could quite easily chart. Built on a core of thick Synth Disco, the track layers up the big-room House elements and isn’t stingy with the coursing sweeps and chill-inducing hooks. This provides a fine backing for Amanda’s massive vocal performance, both epic and insanely catchy.

The track was released at the end of last month, so you can go and pick it up right now. I hope the weather is starting to get better wherever you are, ‘cos this is one for sunny days and free time. Without a care in the world, you’ll be humming this for hours afterward.

♫ Touch Tone (Feat. Amanda Ply) – Taken By You

Touch Tone’s Taken By You is out now.

Buy Touch Tone’s music from:


[Audio] BeatLoaf’s ‘Texas Benchmark’



Y’know what we love about BeatLoaf? The Detroit based producer isn’t scared of making music. The man has got his groove, and it’s a groove seeped in the history of dance music, but he’s not afraid to experiment either, to think outside the musical box. While his tracks are unequivocally House floorfillers, he spices them up with hints of Detroit Techno, Electro, PowerNoise, Berlin sounds and SynthPop; all the time keeping things funky.

BeatLoaf has released a string of fresh single over the past few years, each one bringing new surprises to his robotic dancefloor sound, not least with last years mechanical monster Romantic, and this year he releases his latest robust beats in the forms of the intriguingly named Texas Benchmark; due out tomorrow.

Texas Benchmark bristles with shuffling electronic percussion and in terms of overall tone feels very much like a spiritual sibling to Romantic. Those slowly building beats and the occasional snatched of hollow synth bass before the riff fully drops are reminiscent of the tension that Romantic built. Texas Benchmark, however, has an almost playful, magical quality provided by effervescent and sparkling melodies that intertwine themselves throughout the track.

These shimmering and intoxicating hooks dance around your brain, taking control of the track. Weaving in and out of this techy House jam giving it a kinetic sense of narrative. Fat beats to take you on a journey. Toy-town synths telling the story.

Equally fit for headphones or dancefloor, Texas Benchmark is one to forget the world for seven minutes and let BeatLoaf do the driving.

The single is released 8th March via trill.wav

♫ BeatLoaf – Texas Benchmark

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[Audio] Let Em Riot’s ‘Programme’ EP



Do I need a disclaimer at the beginning of an article about Let Em Riot? I mean, he has graced electronic rumors records with his SlashWave EP way back when and Alan is considered electronic rumors fam around these parts; so yeah, there may be bias. But look at it this way, I sunk my own hard earned cash and personal reputation (although that second one is pretty worthless!) into Let Em Riot, I was that convinced of how awesome they were. When did you last invest in an artist ‘cos you were so excited by them, huh? Exactly. So shut up and let me write.

And why did I invest in Let Em Riot? Well it’s simply because Alan Oakes is the single most talented singer/songwriter working in the SynthWave/RetroWave scene. Hands Down. In fact, he’s one of the most talented singer/songwriters working on ElectroPop or Indie-Electro, as a whole, today. Big words maybe, but just listen to one of his EPs, c’mon! I can’t even.

Speaking of EPs, Today sees the release of Let Em Riot’s latest EP on his Bandcamp page. The Programme EP is Let Em Riot’s fourth and, like the rest of his catalogue, see Alan exploring topics of love and loss to a soundtrack of sumptuous nostalgic synths. Dig in!

The EP kicks off with In Between. The thing with Let EM Riot songs is, no matter how melancholic they might be, they are always quite cheery and upbeat. You feel like even the tales of heartbreak have a happy ending somewhere. In Between dishes out the longing in spades between stabbing synth riffs and heavy duty drums (the drums are beefed up for this EP).

What sets Alan apart from some of his contemporaries is that, although he is making pure SynthPop, his songwriting and vocal style draws more from Indie and Alt-Rock than classic electronic music; and that’s a sweet combination. Rich synthesizer music and deeply emotional croon fit together perfectly. Saying that, though, I Don’t Want To Fake It is pure retro Pop. This tune could have easily charted in the mid-80s with it’s sparkling keys and fist-pumping earnest chorus. Kept fresh with just the tiniest injection of a Tropical groove. It.s even got some distant “Whoa-oh”s giving it a Nik Kershaw-goes-Tropical vibe.

Stranger Places’ Depeche Mode-esque post-Industrial rhythmic hammerfalls pin down this sweeping instrumental. It’s Sci-Fi soundscape ripe for cinematic visuals; Stranger Places is more nuanced and intricate than many of it’s peers, drawing as much from Jarre and the aforementioned Mode as it does from period soundtracks to delivers it’s melodic but tense package.

Want some unadulterated Let Em Riot? Upbeat beats, digital bass, heartfelt verses and big chant-a-long choruses, a nostalgic sheen? Well, Waiting For You has everything you need right here. This tune is the euphoric apex of the EP with relatable lyrics and some truly special synth riffing, this one’ll put a spring in your step.

The EP closes on Home Again, a beautiful, optimistic, heartfelt slice of ElectroPop. It’s raid fire bassline driving the track but never overtaking the considered delivery of the vocals, which seem to reign the machine gun synths in. Home Again brings to EP to it’s end but leaves a good taste in your ears.

See! That’s wasn’t to bias was it? Seriously though, if you like the three E’s, Electronics, Energy and Emotion in your music then you need to be at the very least investing Let Em Riot and you could do worst that starting with the Programme EP.

♫ Let Em Riot – I Don’t Want To Fake It

♫ Let Em Riot – Waiting For You

♫ Let Em Riot – Home Again

Let Em Riot’s Programme EP is out today via his Bandcamp page.

Buy Let Em Riot’s music from:

[Audio] Avec Sans’ ‘Heartbreak Hi’


Avec Sans

It looks like the Avec Sans train is really starting to roll out of the station now. You could consider the past four year since England’s finest ElectroPop outfit emerged as one big training montage and now it;s time for the big fight. Releasing a couple of single’s a year they have stayed in the consciousnesses of discerning music lovers, honed their skills on the live circuit and now their long long awaited début album is finally on the horizon. It’s time to kick things up a notch.

The first single from the album? Heartbreak Hi; which is extremely pleasing in a lovely symmetry kinda’ way. Of course, Heartbreak Hi was The Sans’ first ever track; the track that had us hooked, so it seems fitting that it was chosen to be the track to hook new listeners at the start of this album cycle. The beginning of this chapter of Avec Sans kicks off in the same bombastic fashion as the previous one.

Also, Heartbreak Hi sums up Avec Sans perfectly. It’s Avec Sans condensed and distilled into it’s purest form. It’s neat Avec Sans. No ice.

For a start Heartbreak Hi is exemplary of The Sans’ lyrical flavour. A deep melancholy and undercurrent of darkness intertwined with a healthy amount of tongue-in-cheek and word play. Anyone who spent the early-to-mid 90s slumped in front of teatime telly will instantly make the connection with the Aussie equivalent of Grange Hill, Heartbreak High. When Sci-Fi Debbie Harry Alice Fox turns that into “Hello heartbreak; hi” there’s an instant feeling (aside from ‘why the hell has no-one thought of that before’) of comforting nostalgia that tempers the track’s themes of loneliness.

The Sans haven’t just dumped a four year old MP3 on the world though. This Heartbreak Hi has been completely re-recorded and remastered. Instantly noticeable it that it sounds much warmer than it’s predecessor. Novation Yoda and part-time Clive Lewis cosplayer Jack St. James is renowned for his clean, crisp melodies and razor sharp synths which here are delivered in a more well-rounded whole than Heartbreak Hi’s predecessor.

As always, Avec Sans’ killer app is the combination of somewhat abrasive, somewhat aggressive, exhilarating and emotional electronic music and Alice’s Sarah-Cracknell-but-friendlier vocals. There’s a certain tone to Alice’s voice that could probably sing you a Cancer diagnosis and have you saying “ahhh whatever”; and weirdly (I say ‘weirdly’ because I have no justification for this at all) that blend of jagged and euphoric electronics with a voice with displays both confidence and fragility always makes me think there is more going on in the track’s narrative, like each Avec Sans song is a small slices of a larger story. Or maybe that’s just me and I should shut up and dance?

So; Heartbreak Hi is released 18th March with a full reMix package. Aces Sans forthcoming première album drops 3rd June. The album is, as-yet, untitled. In keeping with the 90s nostalgia my suggestion would be The One Where Alice And Jack Release An Album. You’re Welcome.

You can pre-order the album (including on vinyl!!!), and a whole host of other goodies including CDs, tote bags, private gigs, Jack’s sage-like production nouse, Alice’s clothes and a dress-up-like-me kit on their PledgeMusic page which is well worth a browse ‘cos there’s a ton of stuff there. If you’re in old London town next month you can catch them at The Old Blue Last; I’ll be there so, y’know, leave me alone please (joke!). Or if you’re at SXSW they’ll be doing the rounds (Great! More people on my friends list to join in the annual reminder that I’m not at SXSW and how everyone is having a much better time than me!).

Check out Heartbreak Hi below. Then go and pre-order the new album. Then get a little restless waiting until June. Ahhh, the double-edged sword of the pre-order. You should though; Avec Sans are super DIY and self-funding, and in the words of respected philosopher Mr. John Tesco “Every Little Helps”.

tl;dr Yay, Avec Sans have finally got an album coming out.

♫ Avec Sans – Heartbreak Hi

Avec Sans’ Heartbreak Hi is released 18th March followed by their début album on 3rd June.

Pre-order the album, the single and tons of other goodies here.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:

[Audio] LoFrames’ ‘In Love With You’ (+ Monsieur Adi & Aashton reMixes)



LoFrames continue to go from strength to strength. Ever since these guys got together they have been quietly making waves with the people in the know. Even before they teamed up they were a couple of our favourite producers; James Yuill and out very own Franck from Freak You (one of our favourite people full stop) have had blistering carriers of their own, so them coming together, and bringing their respective SynthPop, House and Disco talents to the table, was something pretty special.

Their first release, Get Real (Can’t Touch Your Love), from the start of the year was a deep Pop House tune that remained on our playlist well into the summer. The duo are just now following up with their brand new single. In Love With You is actually a cover the 2003 French House classic by The Paradise. The Paradise were, of course, was Alan Braxe and Romuald; Braxe himself has given LoFrames’ cover his seal of approval.

LoFrames version of the tune is a sumptuous, hypnotic jam. Like a warm blanket of dancefloor sounds LoFrames’ In Love With You lays out building blocks of warm synths and slightly metallic leads into Dance soundtrack that is so rich, heady and uplifting it borders Progressive. The snatches of vocals drift in and out of the smokey sounds begging to be followed onto the tunes depths. We were also pretty pleased to see a return of the epic sax from get Real, we’re hoping the sax is a mainstay of LoFrames sound moving forward.

Among the reMixes served up on the singe are these two gems, from a couple of our favourite producers around. Monsieur Adi is back and laying down one of his massive ElectroPop reMixes. This one harkens back to his Electro-House roots a bit with big gritty synths and a stomping beat but in true Pop style Adi revels in having that drifting sax to play with. Brightonion Aashton gets all dreamy with the track on his kinda’ smooth affair. Walking the line between Tech and Deep Aashton’s hypnotic House mix brings a sweltering groove to the release.

The original and Adi mixes are free downloads for a limited time too!

LoFrames – In Love With You (The Paradise Cover)

LoFrames – In Love With You (The Paradise Cover) (Monsieur Adi reMix)

♫ LoFrames – In Love With You (The Paradise Cover) (Aashton reMix)

LoFrames’ In Love With You is our now.

Buy LoFrames’ music from:


[Audio] Computer Magic’s ‘Davos’ album


Computer Magic

So here’s an album that we’ve been meaning to write about for a while now. Coming up to X-mas we’ve had less time to devote to writing but we have been determined to post a little noise about this record before the end of the year; so here we are.

Brooklyn based Danielle ‘Danz’ Johnson has been firmly on our radar since around 2010 with a host of self released EPs. We were immediately taken with her introspective DIY take on SynthPop, kinda’ filling the hole in our hearts left by a lack of Ladytron. Loaded with vintage synths and simple, yet blissfully effective hooks the music felt raw and heartfelt, and when paired with Danz’s reflective vocals and Sci-Fi tinged lyrics the combination is easy to get lost in.

Following the self released EPs Computer Magic came a handful of EPs on the likes of Kitsuné Music and White Iris and three full length albums in Japan that compiled tracks from various sources. Davos, however, is Computer Magic’s first proper full-length studio album; and one we had been looking forward to for a long long time. It does not disappoint.

Computer Magic’s work on Davos transcends SynthPop or ElectroPop, or even Indie-Electro. Whilst the instrumentation is that of a Lo-Fi SynthPop album, the arrangement, songwriting and the actual mood of some of these songs spans numerous genres. We’re hearing synth based Shoegaze, synth based Punk, synth based Indie as Danz throws the rulebook out of the window on this ambitious twelve track record.

Davos exemplifies this with it’s opening salvo. Fuzz, if synths were swapped for guitars, could quite easily be an underground British Indie hit. That kind of songwriting, but chock full of analog synths rather than dirty guitars make Computer Magic something special. Fuzz is a sweet and playful track that contrasts a distorted riff with Danny’s sweet vocals and is about as anthemic as Computer Magic gets. That Ladytron (well, early Ladytron) comparison comes to light on When You See Me which plays with a similar live, garage ElectroPop feel that Ladytron’s first recordings had. Slightly haunting and otherworldly without being alienating Computer Magic, in just two tracks, can completely suck you into her futuristic, yet intimately personal, world. Secret, again, is written like a 90s Indie smash. With it’s subby verses Danny weaves a mysterious atmosphere before reeling you in with a chorus of subtle Pop brilliance.

Sorry if we keep saying that there are catchy Indie tunes made with synths, but Be Fair, c’mon, it’s a catchy Indie smash made with synths; complete with “do do dos”. Give Me Just A Minute brings out Computer Magic’s more robotic side with it’s Kraftwerkian rhythms and Casiotone-esque leads leading to spacious Numaniod pads. The vintage electronic notes continue with the Tangerine Dream keys on Hudson (probably the album’s closest track to traditional Indie).

The second half of Davos is led by the RoboPop of Save Your Life, a track which harkens back to those quirky Indie-SynthPop bands coming out of America in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This kind of slightly Folky, quaint bands like Venus Hum, with Danny’s own galactic twist.

Then comes All Day, one of our favourite tracks on that album and something of a departure from it’s fellows. Playing with 80s Pop, and a hint of Snyth Funk, Danz turns in the albums grooviest tune. All Day is a buoyant and rich slice of exhilarating ElectroPop that you could easily slip into a best of the 80s compilation. The use of digital bass really makes the tune stand out on Davos.

Bionic Man is also an album highlight. A space age epic rocking the kind of live drums, piercing synths and anthemic vocoding that make up the finest Progressive SynthPop. The rest of the album brings the mood back to that of Danny’s imitate beginnings. Chances is a chirpy and stripped back track full of synthetic optimism while Zuma feels like the emotional outro for Davos. A hazy ballad that, in keeping with the Davos’ second half, has a slightly proggy feel. Spaces, fittingly for a Computer Magic album, closes the record. An six minute opus that sends off Danielle’s science fiction soundtrack in true cosmic style.

If you’re looking for something a little unique, and love synths, Sci-Fi and things of quite brilliance then Computer Magic’s début album, Davos, comes recommended.

♫ Computer Magic – All Day

♫ Computer Magic – Fuzz

♫ Computer Magic – Bionic Man

♫ Computer Magic – Secret

Buy Computer Magic’s music from:

[Audio] Kid Kasio’s ‘Sit And Wait’ album


Kid Kasio

Kid Kasio is the most 80s person on the planet. Nathan Cooper lives and breathes the decade in a way that even the staunchest nostalgia-ist doesn’t. His music, as we’ve said before, is one of the some of the only truly authentic sounding 80s Pop being made today. Oh sure there are, and have been, many scenes that claimed ownership of the 80s bloodline; the Modern SynthPop Movement, with it’s simplistic digital beats and Industrial leanings always sounded too 90s, ElectroClash felt more like a parody that a mirror and Synthwave, despite professing the be the 80s scene, owes too much to late 90s Euphoric Trance to sound truly of the decade. All those scenes were awesome in their own right, but for songs, sounds and a look that could have genuinely stepped right out of a mid-80s episode of Top Of The Pops Kid Kasio is your man.

Nathan Cooper first came to SynthPop prominence as the driving force behind acclaimed (and rotatingly named) The Modern/Dirty Blonde/ Matinée Club in the early 2000’s, but it has been his solo output where he has really come into his own. The Modern’s big brand of vintage flavoured Indie-Electro was a show stopper at the time, nevertheless it’s since parting ways that Kid Kasio has truly been able to revel in his obsession with the 80s. From the preciseness of his DIY music videos, that recreate visual styles from the era with eerie accuracy, to the artwork, to how Nathan presents himself; the man is the pure embodiment of the 80s.

It’s been four years since Kid Kasio’s début album, Kasiotone; and this, his sophomore album, has has been a long (and sometimes troubled, not least the fact that the video for lead single, The Kodo Song, took two years to finish) journey. The final result, Sit And Wait, was well worth the wait. Blending a few of the singles we’ve been treated to over the past couple of years with a whole host of new tracks, Sit And Wait serves as a tidy follow up to Nathan’s impressive début.

Speaking of The Kodo Song, that’s how the album kicks off . The comradery anthem, with it’s sing-a-long chorus and uplifting, have on the rhythm, soundtrack is best place here. Slightly sad themes aside, The Kodo Song is a great way to introduce people to the album. A slicker representation of the 80s than found on Kasiotone, The Kodo Song is an immediate earworm to entice new listeners. 2014 single Letters Of Love is next, the first of a few tracks co-produced by The Sanfernando Sound. These guys are perfectly matched (we should know, we introduced them!). TSS’s slightly darker, more abrasive take on vintage electronics tempered by Nathan’s trademark catchy songwriting. Letters Of Love is one of our personal favourites on the album, bringing a European dancefloor Italo energy to Kid Kasio’s distinctly British retro Pop. Coursing basslines and shoulder shaking hooks pair up with Kasio’s epic vocal perfectly. Full Moon Blue has us grinning as Kid Kasio goes full Kershaw with a slice of digital Funk Pop. Building up FM slap bass and warbling synth brass in a soulful manner to underpin Nathan in heartfelt crooning mode Kasio delivers what might be the most 80s sounding track on a very 80s sounding album, and one we could listen to all day. Blood Red Skies is possibly one of the album’s only mis-steps. There’s something here that doesn’t quite gel. The song itself is really good, and catchy as hell, but the music just doesn’t work here. It’s that kind of ‘don’t quite get it’ attempt at Dance Music that people who don’t really know about Dance Music make. It’s not terrible, but it just isn’t of the same quality as the rest of the record. Along with One More Time, a similar cacophony of over compressed kick drums (because Dance Music!), this is the only point where the album falters, but The Story Of Kid Charlemagne’s intoxicating synthetic haze soon draws you back in. Not quite a ballad, but a mid-paced and involving hymn that draws you in with each piano note.

The album’s lead track, Sit And Wait, is a track we have a bit of history with. At one point to was going to be the second release on our record label (but we were let down by a whole bunch of people and it just unfortunately never happened) so we’re glad it sees the light of day here. Another The Sanfernando Sound collaboration, Sit And Wait is an energetic slice of ItaloPop with a wry sense of humour lyrically.

There’s a couple of tracks on Sit And Wait co-produced with Kal-Q-Lus. Both One Chance and Human Beings make for a nice aside to the strictly 80s SynthPop sound found elsewhere. While still keeping it retro, both of these track play around with B-Boy beats and an Electro Soul feel; the latter upping the atmosphere with some subtly used choir.

Drive (Some Kind Of Love) is Kid Kasio’s big soundtrack moment. An intense track that plays homage to the most motivational 80s movie themes. A dynamic and high-octane tune that could easily bust into the closing credits of any number of inspiring 80s movies. The Sanfernando Sound returns for the album closer, fitting title The End, a dark floorfiller that rounds off Sit And Wait on a wave of melancholic energy.

Kid Kasio has managed to turn in another must album for fans of 80s music. Despite a couple of wobbles, Sit And Wait is a highly recommended, solid album. Nathan truly is at the top of his game and has produced a record to rival many of his heroes.

♫ Kid Kasio & The Sanfernando Sound – Letters Of Love

♫ Kid Kasio – The Kodo Song

Kid Kasio’s Sit And Wait is out now.

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