Archive for May, 2010

Review: Future/Perfect – Dirty Little Secrets

Posted in Review with tags , on May 30, 2010 by softsynth

This is what it’s all about for Softsynth. We have written about that fine line, that sweet spot of music that is exactly what we love most about the electronic scene. It’s not pure synthpop (though god bless to the subgenre, it was our gateway drug to electronic music and many of our favourite bands fall squarely into the category), it’s not goth, nor Darkwave, nor industrial – it’s a blend of a few different things.

The thing that drew us to our dear, dear (departed?) Technoir and even more so the Depeche Mode of yesteryear (1984-90) was they captured this very specific sliver of the electronic pie so well – melodic with clear synth pop influences, but with more edge, more attitude, …more bass.

There was a darkness there that took nothing away from it’s melodic strength but added a more compelling extra element. It’s our absolute favourite sound.

Into the breach step Welch duo Future/Perfect and they have delivered an awesome debut, one that stands as among the best of 2010 already. Continue reading

Bands we miss – Sero.Overdose

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 29, 2010 by softsynth

We’ve been writing a lot about that clutch of bands that we enjoy but that are kind of “part of the furniture”. The original “great but at the same time somewhat indistinguishable” band were Germany’s Sero.Overdose. And on listening back over their catalogue we realize just how many great songs they produced over the years and it struck us how much we are going to miss the band.

They released three albums – SerotoninNo Time For Silence and Heading For Tomorrow, each stronger and more mature than the last, before calling it quits late last year. A lot of their material sounded similar blending into a kind of EBM pastiche but rising out of the bowl of oatmeal that was their back catalogue were a tonne of great songs. By the time their recorded their third album they were producing some finely layered more melodically challenging material that was as good as any in the subgenre.

Continue reading

Review: Leiahdorus – Ode to the Builders

Posted in Review with tags on May 28, 2010 by softsynth

US synthpop band Leiahdorus is another of those bands who kind of skate through the years, often producing really good stuff, but never really rising atop the pile of “this is awesome”. Not memorable, but very serviceable and when a Leiahdorus track comes up in the shuffle you smile and say, “oh, yeah, these guys. I like this.” But when the song is over you go right back to forgetting they existed.

A similar issue afflicted Edge of Dawn who we recently reviewed, but unlike Edge of Dawn on their new album, Leiahdorus don’t really try much new and what’s new here doesn’t really work for them. Continue reading

Hear new OMD track

Posted in News with tags , on May 28, 2010 by softsynth

For British fans of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the band will be appearing as guests on the Back to the Phuture show on BBC6 with Mark Jones on Monday May 31st.

They say they will be discussing “their major influences” and at 9pm they will be showcasing a brand new track from their long awaited new album History of Modern.

Komputer gearing up for TWO new releases

Posted in News with tags , , on May 27, 2010 by softsynth

British electronic band Komputer (formally I Start Counting, formally Fortran5) are set to release two new albums. They announced on their MySpace page that they have two new albums scheduled, “The first will be a ‘best of’ compilation of their entire musical career, the second will be a brand new Komputer album. Release dates to follow…” Hells yes to both. Baker and Leonard have been producing some of the most interesting, compelling, often odd electronic music since 1984 so a retrospective is a wonderful idea and a new album to follow up the solid, timeless Synthetik, is most welcome. Bring it on.

Watch: Like a Bird

Review: Edge of Dawn – Anything That Gets You Through The Night

Posted in Review with tags , , on May 24, 2010 by softsynth

Softsynth has been a big fan of Edge of Dawn since the week they released their debut EP The Flight [Lux], but they’ve always kind of been on the backburner; always a solid, dependable source of good music but never a go-to band, never a “you know what I feel like listening to?…” kind of band. Until now, that is.

Edge of Dawn have released an amazing record that cuts through a lot of underwhelming material released thus far this year to stand as one of the most remarkable releases we’ve been graced with in 2010. Continue reading

Review: LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

Posted in Review with tags , on May 23, 2010 by softsynth

Within the world of electronic music one of the most difficult challenges is to carve out an entirely unique place for yourself. A sound that would instantly define you as ‘apart’ from the rest of the community. James Murphy has succeeded at this more than almost anyone purporting to make music with synthesizers.

At the same time he has imparted a sense of fun to his music. It’s when one hears a cheeky track like “Pow Pow” or “Drunk Girls” that one realizes how unusual it is to hear an electronic song with that much of a sense of genuine fun. By its nature most electronic music is crazy-self serious. We take ourselves very very Seriously and what we make/listen to is very very Important and we’re not inclined to associate so much of music of our genre with a smile (maybe an intense grimace while dancing, or a knowing nod when we catch a snatch of lyric that goes to the heart of What We’re All About Underneath It All). Murphy and Co are all about taking the piss and enjoying the ride. And more often than not it goes beyond refreshing into the realm of “downright blast”. Continue reading