Remember Australian SynthWave master Jordan F’s Under The Sun? The man dropped it early last month, a shimmering piece of beautiful, introspective retro synth work. Well, now the track has been recreated and remoulded as a stunning slice of vintage SnythPop with a little vocal help from London’s Le Cassette.
Vocals take the track to a whole new level, especially in Le Cassette’s authentically 80s style. The moody, enigmatic, vocals work as a nice juxtaposition to Jordan’s typically upbeat, nostalgic, music. This combination of Le Cassette’s croon and Jordan’s sparking aspirational SynthWave ends up hitting just the right point for perfect 80s Pop, melancholy with a hint of optimism, exemplified by the best Pop from that era. We’ve been dying to hear Jordan team up with a vocalist for a while now, and we haven’t been disappointed.
Sometimes, just sometimes, we get an email that takes us completely by surprise. Someone come from out of the blue with a release that makes us wonder why we haven’t been following this artist for years. We’ve just had one of those emails. It came from Exeter based producer Ogre (no relation to Skinny Puppy’s Ogre) and after a little flattery he dropped his latest release, 194, on us. We were pretty blown away.
You may be familiar with some of Robin Ogden’s previous work, specifically his reMix of Robortom and Au Reviour Simone’s Paganini Rocks under the moniker Monster! Monster!. In-case you were wondering, Ogre is nothing like that. What Ogre is, is the soundtrack to the dark middle instalment of a movie trilogy, a soundtrack to the inevitable robot uprising and a pounding electronic accompaniment to your very survival. Ogre’s 194 walks the line between retro, 80s soundtrack influenced, SynthWave or Outrun Electro and distorted Elektro Industrial. The opening salvo, Gongola, exemplifies this and wraps it up in a jackhammer dance beat, before the album finds it’s footing as a collection of atmospheric synthetic moods. 2019 feels like the set up of the album proper with traditional soundtrack elements like string and horn sections, playing against frantic arpeggio and marching drums. Imaginary soundtrack albums such as this need a musical narrative, and 2019 is where this one starts. By the time Cold Protocol, reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack meeting Tengerine Dream and the dark tones of Street Legal have passed you get the idea that this narrative isn’t an easy one. Our heroes, if there are any, are in for a rough time. Of course, with titles like 2019 and V.K., you know that a fair amount of Ogre’s influence for 194 comes from BladeRunner, and Vangelis’ legendary soundtrack, but whilst there are moments during the album when that is very apparent. The similar sounds and tones to Vangelis’ soundtrack never feel copycat, more homage. If anything, much of 194 sounds like the Blade Runner soundtrack’s evil twin. The soundtrack to a BaldeRunner sequel when LA is invaded by a replicant army maybe? Some of the highlights of the albums whopping 18 tracks include the soaring synths of Sniper One, the futuristic Italo of Stairwell and the film, sorry, album’s End Titles, which actually work as the perfect closer to the whole story. Orge had done, with 194, what many try to achieve, but few actually pull off this well. A self contained audio story, one which feels natural when listened to in it’s entirety, and when it’s finished it does feel like there is a satisfying conclusion to this musical tale. So do yourself a favour, pick up 194 and set aside 40 minutes to experience the whole journey.
♫ Ogre – End Credits
♫ Ogre – Sniper One
♫ Ogre – Gondola
♫ Ogre – Stairwell
Ogre’s 194 is available now as download, limited edition cassette and limited edition CD.
Time to roll out the lino and turn the boombox up to 11. Electro wizard Embryonik is back with a brand new reMix. This time he’s tackling the title track of the new EP from Evanton. Evanton is a Greek Italo duo featuring Binalog head honcho Evangelos Zacharopoulos who are creating some awesome retro Electro sounds.
The original version of the track is like a musical Terminator, A relentless machine march of vintage beats and Moroder Disco basslines. Embryonik mixes things up a little, bringing to robot drive of the track into fresh melodic places. Equal parts Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa, the track has got that combination of B-Boy beats and chilly European soundscapes that first formed the Electro sound. It’s got a killer riff too. Whether with the juggernaut Electro beats or the breezy synth melodies, Embryonik hit just the right note here. Another quality tune from the man.
To those in the know, those who really follow Dreamwave, or Nu-Disco, or SynthWave, or whatever we are calling it this month, London’s Cinnamon Chasers has long been a name associated with some of the best synth music around. After he released his amazing début A Million Miles From Home in 2009 he came to most people attention with the massive Luv Deluxe (alongside a slick video from Francis Pollara who went on to direct Russ Chimes’ Midnight Club trilogy). Luv Deluxe was huge, and set the stage for Cinnamon Chasers second album, Science, which cemented Russ Davies reputation for emotional and beautiful synth music with all the groove of Nu-Disco and all the emotional resonance of Jean Michel-Jarre or Vangelis.
So here we are as Cinnamon Chasers is gearing up for the release of his third full length record later this month. Dreams & Machines its the logical next step for CC, it’s got that spacey, cosmic Disco feel alongside the blissful Balearic keys that so encapsulate Cinnamon Chasers sound, but here there’s an underlying current of early 90s House, a warehouse Rave feeling that pushed Davies’ music one step further. The album kicks off with the title track (which we heard a couple of months ago), and Dreams & Machines sums it, and the whole release, up nicely. The meeting of pounding Disco beats and hazy synths & vocoded vocals leys the groundwork for the rest of the record. As we go into Watch The World Burn we start to pick up on some of those House influences with a stabbing organ line set against the warping galactic synths. Throughout the album the tracks maintain that perfect balance of infectious dancefloor grooves and transcendent smokey synths. highlights, for us, have to include the 21st century BladeRunner Italo-Electro of Hyperwaves, Flash Gun’s introspective Vocoder-Pop and Retrocop, which consummately appeals to our love of Italo and B-Boy Electro, it’s an instant Boogie classic with a Piano House twist. Dreams & Machines is yet another almost flawless release from Cinnamon Chasers, the textbook album for lovers of either retro Disco music or synthesizer tunes in general. Not many capture the emotionality of electronic music without sacrificing and of it;s dancefloor dive, but Cinnamon Chasers has done it again.
♫ Cinnamon Chasers – Flash Gun
♫ Cinnamon Chasers – Retrocop
♫ Cinnamon Chasers – Lights
♫ Cinnamon Chasers – Burn The Fire
Cinnamon Chasers’ Dreams & Machines is released 15th November on Modus.
LA smoothmeister Goldroom’s single before his last single, the Chella featuring Fifteen, was a reMixers dream. Chella’s nostalgic, passionate vocal is like a gift to a talented producer. So, unaspiringly the track has been reMixed by everyone under the sun. Is there room for one more? Well, there is if it is Germany’s Final DJs taking you on a slow-mo SynthWave oddessy. Eight minutes of synth bliss to follow.
Yes, we said eight minutes! Final DJs reMix is a epic tune that reins in the tempo compared to their usual output allowing the song to breathe. Pinned on an head nodding digital slap bassline, the track takes it’s great length to evolve throughout. Starting off with a relaxed beach vibe, Final DJs slowly add more and more elements associated with their traditional SynthWave tunes, playing off and around that Tropical Disco vibe to create something greater than the sum of tis parts. Just let yourself sink into the groove.
Here’s the brand new one from Portuguese SynthWave wonder Silenx. Hold on to your hate, it’s a full-on, post-Italo, night drive juggernaut. Rocking though the night, cops on his tail, Silenx soundtracks the most high energy of chase scenes, and keeps it dancefloor friendly too.
We get the feeling that this track is kinda’ built off of Silenx’s reMix of Talk To Me by She’s The Queen, the bassline and key changes are very similar. here, he’s taken the essence of that track, and distilled it down to it’s pulsating Disco core. Punchy Italo bass and sweeping retro chords deliver an energetic dance track what stays full of emotion and soul. The production is top-notch too, Silenx always brings his A-game with his production. Clean, well mixed tracks that put many of his contemporaries to shame. Always a pleasure.
Australian Electro heads Trashbags are bringing, for their latest release, a storming new, and free, EP from Portuguese producer Cosmic Sand. The Route 375 EP is a huge work of driving Electro. Post-Kavinsky with a slightly baroque feel, the three original tunes Route 375, Lost In Nevada and Wreckage of 2085 are powerful synth pieces that meld chainsaw Electro with a cinematic rush.
reMixes come from electronic rumors fave Starcadian and Swedish Nu-Disco guru TobTok. Starcadian’s take on Lost In Nevada is typically majestic slab of slap-bassed, dirty synth Disco. Combining gritty Disco grooves with soaring cosmic synths, Starcadian takes the track into deep space for some seriously futuristic Boogie. The EP’s title track is handled by TobTok, who brings a smooth, laid back Disco sound to the release. sanding off the rough and ready edges of the original, TobTok’s version is all about late summer nights and mirrorballed dancefloors. this whole EP is pretty essential, especially at that price point, you have no excuse.
We’ve got another new track right now from Monsieur Adi. The amount of new tunes Adi has been releasing recently leads us to believe he might have something planned. An album maybe? Or maybe he’s just finding his sound, experimenting before taking the plunge into album waters. Either way, it’s a win for us as the man never disappoints.
Some Kind Of Love, Adi’s new track, flows like water out of the speakers. Warm tones and gently plucked guitar give the track a pensive, introspective mood. Like the moment in an 80s action flick where the anti-hero is reassessing his actions before the final fight. Basically an ‘In The Air Tonight’ moment. Adi captures the feel perfectly with layers of atmospheric synths and a heart-breaking melody.
Montréal based power synth producer Le Matos has finally come out of hiding with a new tune. Last time we actually featured his work was in 2009 with his reMix of We Have Band’s Honey Trap. Since then there was the reMix of Johan Agebjörn, Ercola and Queen Of Hearts’ The Last Days Of Summer, but there’s been a lot of silence, which is a pity as this guy knows how to drop a juggernaut synth tune. Well, now that’s about to change with Sarah, Le Matos’ new track.
Sarah has been around in demo for for a while now, but the finished track is driving, epic, SynthWave beast that plays a ringing, bell-like melody against apocalyptic synth chords and a driving arpeggiated bassline. The track’s lead line weaves in and out of the arrangement lifting you up and bringing you down with it. This is some pretty epic synth music right here, ominous and cinematic at times, dancefloor beckoning at others. Le Matos is back!