Shiny Toy Guns’ ‘Somewhere To Hide’

Shiny Toy Guns

Somewhere To Hide is the next single to be taken from LA Indie-Electro outfit Shiny Toy Guns’ forthcoming album III. At this point we’ve talked, at length, about Shiny Toy Guns ‘dark times’ and how the new material is a welcome return to creativity and form. Their last single, Fading Listening, was positively Tropical. Somewhere To Hide keeps that energy going with a big slab of hard SynthPop.

Peppered with gentle guitars, Somewhere To Hide is an epic SynthPop track, driven along by a gritty synth bassline and pounding drums. It’s once the chorus kicks in that Somewhere To Hide really lifts itself, after a nice chord shift in the bridge, the chorus explodes with Carah’s impassioned vocal and the track becomes the kind of epic stadium SynthPop that Depeche Mode had such a handle on. I get the feeling that, more than the other singles, this is a good idea of where III is going to go.

♫ Shiny Toy Guns – Somewhere To Hide

Shiny Toy Gun’s III is released 22nd October.

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80s Stallone’s ‘Out Of The Blue’

80s Stallone

London SynthWave master 80s Stallone’s new track, Out Of The Blue, might just be his most dancefloor friendly to date. We’d even go so far as to say there’s a load of Italo-Disco up in there. 80’s Stallone producing big dancefloor tracks is definitely something to get excited about, Check it out!

Pounding machine drums and a rapid fire Italo bassline rule this track, bringing the big 80s sounds straight to the middle of the dancefloor and making it bounce in unison. There are time in this track, that it is so relentless in it’s groove that it boarders on EBM, but it tempered with some sweet lead lines and distant vocoding. We can’t stop listening to this track, it takes us back to the New Beat and EBM dancefloors of our childhoods with a really nice 80s Italo sheen.

♫ 80s Stallone – Out Of The Blue

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Goin’ Old School: Nitzer Ebb, The Shamen, Duran Duran

Goin’ Old School isn’t a trip down music memory lane, it’s a mugging in the dark alleyway of nostalgia:

Nitzer Ebb’s Control, I’m Here from1988. Classic Ebb, before they went a bit funny.

The Shamen 1988 Indie hit Jesus Loves Amerika. Not moving any mountain now are we? The Shamen, post-Industrial, pre-Mr. C.

1981 saw Duran Duran’s chart breakthrough with Planet Earth. It stared a revolution.

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Evokateur’s ‘Chime Hours’ EP

Evokateur

London gloomy ElectroPop duo Evokateur are about to release their new EP. Chime Hours is the follow up to the awesome Crow’s Wedding record. The new release joins the dots between Evokateur’s Gothy beginnings and their more Poppy recent output. Not only that, but there is a reMix by my friend and yours, the one and only, Mr. Fear Of Tigers.

Chime Hours kicks off with 1684, a swirling, lush tune that neatly sits in a place between robotic and ethereal. Hector laying down his usual beats, arpeggios and Industrial flourishes whist Sarah delivers an dramatic, gothic vocal. this opening track is actually pretty straight forward ElectroGoth, but Post, which follows, is a track with a lot more depth, both musically and vocally. There’s less pomp and more feeling in the vocal in Post, and the music is more surprising, more intelligent. The arrangement is actually quite Rocky, but the eclectic use of sounds and a quiet authenticity in Sara’s voice really lift this tune. White Horses, with all it’s EBM distortion and Glitchy, hides a powerful song underneath it’s Numanoid sheen. An infectious stom underpinning a really catchy tune. The cinematic lament of How Long plays out the EP, leaving room only for Fear Of Tigers’ reMix of White Horses. Is there anything Ben has touched that didn’t turn to gold? This time the Fear Of Tigers treat comes in the form of a Indie tinged Dreamwave tune that digs the song out of White Horses and lets it find it’s feet. Lifted by Fear Of Tigers rich layers of synth nostalgia the vocals are lifted to a whole new place. Ending the EP on a euphoric high. We kinda’ get the feeling that, right now, Evokateur is in danger of going from something quite special, to being another ElectroGoth band. And that’ll probably be the last we hear from them. It hasn’t quite happened yet, Chime Hours is a beautiful, immersive listening experience, and one we would recommend, but the warning signs are there. We have out fingers crossed that that doesn’t happen.

♫ Evokateur – White Horses

♫ Evokateur – White Horses (Fear Of Tigers Rmx)

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Calfskin

Calfskin

Calfskin is a hard ElectroPop project from Belgium. The solo work of Konstantin De Winter, we’ve actually been debating whether to feature Calfskin for the past week, it’s pretty EBM/FuturePop, which tends to make out toes curl a bit in 2012, but Calfskin managed to win us over in the simplest of ways. By having some damn good songs.

So, upfront, it does sound a little dated. FuturePop had it;s peak in the very early 2000’s, and Calfskin does sound a bit like like it’s stuck in a timebubble. But here’s the good news, if you’re going to sound dated, sound like the good dated stuff, and Calfskin does, having more in common with the intelligent talents of the scene, such as Neuroticfish and Seabound, than the tedious “I can use an arpeggiator” bands that killed FuturePop. Calfskin has just released a new EP, Standing Eight, containing five emotionally charged, driving ElectroPop tracks. The easy standout of the EP is One Step Over (also released as a free single), which is catchy as hell, the chorus will stick in your head all day. Accompanied with rich layers of evocative electronic and a pounding beat. And that really sums up Calfskin’s Standing Eight, you may feel like you’re dancing in an Industrial club in 2001, but the songs are so good, and so infections, you probably won’t care.

♫ Calfskin – One Step Over

♫ Calfskin – Soul Searching

Calfskin’s Standing Eight EP is out now, you can grab the free single of One Step Over here.

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Unreleased track from hardCORPS

hardCORPS

Well here’s an interesting treat for a Tuesday morning. A previously unreleased track from legendary avant-garde SynthPop act hardCORPS. Bravo was a live staple for the band around the mid to late ‘80’s but never made it’s way to release.

From around 1986, Bravo, is a sublime, pulsating, slice of ‘80’s Futurism. A post-Industrial robotic march tempered by swelling, evocative, synth chords. The soundtrack to a dystopian metropolis, hardCOPRS have always blended a raw brutality with pure beauty. Regine’s vocals drift across the track like smoke curling through the city, guiding the listener through the musical dark alleyways. No-one really does futurism like this anymore, which is a pity. All-in-all this track has really made my day.

♫ hardCORPS – Bravo (Unreleased)

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In Flagranti’s new single

In Flagranti

Purveyors of perverted Disco In Flagranti return this month with a new single on Codek. Aside from desperately needing some kind of web presence (MySpace page is all that’s working? Really guys?) In Flagranti have been responsible for some of the most infectious tracks in the past five years. This new single, Interdisciplinary, sees the Swiss duo heading in a deeper, more synthetic, direction.

Built around a sample from Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra’s classic ‘Don’t Don’t’ from 1980, Interdisciplinary, still has that In Flagranti Disco pump but folds into it a, dare I say it, old school EBM metallic twang alongside some of the best use of vocal samples you’ll hear in a while. Originally released in 2011 after loads of play and a spot on the Gildas’ Kitsuné Club Mix album the track finally sees a decent release with a packed reMix collection. Included in the line up are MODE, who turn the track into a late ‘70’s Disco epic, all wicked licks and big dramatic piano. I’d say Renkas’ mix was most up our street. It’s a deep synth heavy DiscoPop track with added deadpan ElectroClash  vocal. It almost sounds retro now! Marius delivers the cosmic end of Disco that works the vocal samples to theatrical effect and builds his reMix to a funky crescendo. Bear Damen’s reMix is, well, lets face it, its’ actually an EBM track, a pretty good one too. Heavy 242 basslines and electronic noodling ahoy! The single also includes word from the likes of Jaguar Trax and is a surprising slice of dark Disco from these guys, but very welcome.

♫ In Flagranti – Interdisciplinary (Original Mix)

♫ In Flagranti – Interdisciplinary (MODE Mix)

♫ In Flagranti – Interdisciplinary (Renkas Mix)

♫ In Flagranti – Interdisciplinary (Marius Mix)

♫ In Flagranti – Interdisciplinary (Bear Damen Mix)

In Flagranti’s Interdisciplinary is released 25th June.

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Superlux’s ‘Tired Of You’

Superlux

Released this month is the new single from Belgian Indie-ElectroPop collective Superlux. Tired Of You is the the outfit’s first release for quite  while, their Wildness & Trees album from 2007 was their last outing.

Kicking off like an avant-garde cover of The Human League’s Being Boiled, the track soon evolves into a haunting, Lo-Fi ElectroPop jam.  Superlux have a stripped down, raw sound that will go down well with the Minimal Synth crowd looking for something slightly less Gothy. The combination of elements in Tired Of You lend themselves to an almost old school EBM sound, maybe that’s the Belgian heritage coming through? the machine beats and rigid analog synths play nicely against the floaty female vocal. Not sure the guitar really adds anything though, probably best to leave that out.

♫ Superlux – Tired Of You

Superlux’s Tired Of You is out

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S.P.O.C.K.’s best of the SubSpace years

OK, you either know what I’m talking about with S.P.O.C.K., or you don’t. S.P.O.C.K. are Sweden’s greatest Sci-Fi SynthPop export, with an awesome live show they are probably the most fun band in the galaxy.

They haven’t released a new studio album since 2001, but next month sees the release of a compilation of their output during their time of their own co-owned SubSpace Communications label, which actually includes most of their best years and the best of their huge space-age anthems, such as ‘Where Rockets Fly’.

‘Another Piece Of The Action: The Best Of The Subspace Years’ is released 5th June on limited edition transparent vinyl, CD digipak and digital.

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Goin’ Old School: Imagination, Front 242 & Tangerine Dream

Goin’ Old School isn’t a trip down music memory lane, it’s a mugging in the dark alleyway of nostalgia:

First up is some seriously smooth early ‘80’s, 1982 to be exact, electronic Soul from Imagination and their classic ‘Just An illusion’.

In the starkest contrast possible we have Front 242, with arguably their Poppiest song, ‘Tragedy For You’ from 1989.

And finally some relaxing, experimental, tones from Tangerine Dream’s ‘Tiergarten’ from 1985. Actually the flip side to ‘Le Parc’, one of the greatest synth tracks ever written.

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