In the second of his reMixes for New York singer Matthew Duffy, Manchester’s The Sanfernando Sound turns his power ElectroPop production up to 11. TSS has been getting increasingly dark and abrasive in his tracks, and his reMix here may be the epitome of his direction.
I mean, this isn’t ‘a bit like an EBM’ track anymore, this is just flat out EBM, albeit with an Italo influence. The burbling arpeggios and juggernaut beats are straight from the darkest German dancefloors and work as a nice juxtaposition to Duffy’s emotive vocals. Military cyborg beats against the human fragility of the vocal. Well, that’s until the track hits 2m46s, then we are treated to a whole new beast, a ear melting, passionate, soaring solo drops, as does a new cut-up version of the chorus vocal that elevates the song high above the moody robot-factory grind.
♫ Matthew Duffy – Clever Lover (The Sanfernando Sound reMix)
So, if you’re at all into the history of electronic or Dance music Douglas J. McCarthy, one half of the legendary Nitzer Ebb, should need no introduction. After decades of band work and collaborations he’s finally got around to releasing some solo material, the first being this single ‘Hey’.
Robin Nixon directs this clip, sombre to match the mood of the track which features McCarthy’s instantly recognizable vocals crooning over some deep, hypnotic Tech House.
‘Hey’ is out 9th April with the album ‘Life Is Sucking The Life Out Of Me’ on the 30th.
If you been paying attention to SynthWave recently you’ll have noticed that there is more and more music being made that feels a lot like old School EBM. French producer Perturbator takes that retro harshness and mixes it up with a healthy dose of Jarre on his new EP ‘Night Driving Avenger’.
The title track growls like and angry robotic beast as those machine arpeggiated basslines hammer along at breakneck speed while Perturbator shows off his true skill, melody and solos. On every track on the EP his ability to craft emotional musical beats that really get across the mood of the tune or just impress the hell out of you with his skills. As a big fan of Jarre and Vangelis is awesome to hear this kind of epic synth work set against a pounding beat. ‘Grim Heart’ carries on in this tradition, the EBM aggression playing against the shining synth work. It’s not all high-octane powerhouses though, ‘Electric Dreams’ is a beautiful, haunting peice that would easily be suited to the quieter moments in BladeRunner, take that Vangelis! The EP contains one more track, ‘Miami Sunsets’, but I’ll make you head on over to Perturbator Sound Cloud to hear it so you can check out his vast back catalogue of synth epics.
Blackstrobe main man Arnaud Rebotini is one of our favourite producers, there’s no-one quite like him for teasing hard Disco out of vintage analog synths. In his latest reMix, of Rafale’s ‘Beyond Bad’, he takes the ’hard’ one step further with a tune that is borderline EBM.
Taken from Rafale’s free ‘Obsessions reMixes’ collection, this mix sees Arnaud channelling old school Nitzer Ebb with the dirty, militaristic, bassline, coarse synths and industrial percussion. Last year’s original ‘Obsessions’ album was produced by Robitini himself and it feels like here, he allowed himself to play around more and get a bit more aggressive. Now if only modern EBM sounded like this…
Goin’ Old School isn’t a trip down music memory lane, it’s a mugging in the dark alleyway of nostalgia:
OK, so I’m not sure why ‘Headhunter’ hasn’t made Goin’ Old School yet, but it’s time to rectify that. Anton Corbijn directed Front 242 , in their game changing track from 1988. Be crushed by that bassline, it’s literally all reverb (the original sound was removed).
Pure ‘80’s Synth Funk here from The System and their 1982 track ‘You Are In My System’. This looked well futuristic at the time. I have a feeling that Sci-Fi complex he’s in is actually an office building at 55 John Street in New Youk in the ‘80’s.
In 1983 Punk Impresario Malcolm McLaren brought Hip Hop to the UK, kicking off UK Hip Hop with ‘Buffalo Gals’. It was most people first experience of sampling, turntablism, graffiti and popping.
Ever since Sweedish SynthWave genius Mitch Murder dropped his album, ’Current Events’ late last year we’ve seen a resurgence in activity from him, releasing killer tune after killer tune. The latest from this prolific period is this reMix of ‘In The News’ from Nite Sprite.
Nite Sprite are a Norway based duo who craft some of the slickest retro Funk you’re likely to hear for a while, and with this mix they step up their game to serious levels. Everything about this mix, of one of the highlights of ‘Current Events’, is a pitch perfect meeting of SynthWave and Nu-Funk. From the SynthWave side of it’s DNA it bring a retro epicness worthy the best in ‘80’s Sc-Fi TV themes, combining lush, evocative chords and playful little melodies. Adding to that is it’s funky side, with a pure dancefloor groove and twisting Disco leads. Nite Sprite have given us a great way to start the week. Can;t wait for more from them.
Erasure have just released the second single from their current, Frankmusik produced, ElectroPop masterpiece, ‘Tomorrow’s World’, ‘Be With You’.
Included in the reMix packager is this take on the track from London Indie-Pop trio Starshapes who turn in a sweeping five minutes of eclectic SynthPop. With a bit of a New Order flavour mixed in with modern a Indie production sound the reMix stands out on the single and makes Starshapes stand out as an act to keep an eye on.
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.
See Moby in this picture? Doesn’t he look sad? Well he is!
He’s sad because his record label saw fit to deem this dub version of Cosmonauts reMix of his forthcoming single ‘The Right Thing’ not ‘on the single ‘material. We’d be sad too, although the vocal version of the mix will be on the single, this dub is an awesome instrumental Disco groove with an Italo bassline..