Archive for November, 2010

Review: Jakalope – Things That Go Jump in the Night

Posted in Review with tags on November 27, 2010 by softsynth

We’ve written about our deep, unabating fondness for Jakalope’s first album, It Dreams and our equally passionate disdain for their follow-up, Born 4. Now with a new singer and a new sound what have the Canadian duo got in store? Honestly speaking, even after repeated listens it’s still hard to say.

Jakalope are suffering from a severe case of multiple personality disorder. They established themselves as a creepy-fun, pop-electro hybrid with an industrial influence and the trappings of the alternative community. On their first album it worked beautifully, then they tried to become a traditional rock band and they fell into tedium. Vocalist Katie Biever left the band and was replaced by the lovely Chrystal Leigh and they have now released the first collaboration between Leigh and electronic legend David Olgilvie. And the MPD continues. Continue reading

Some thoughts on Peter (Sleazy) Christopherson

Posted in Commentary, News with tags , , , on November 26, 2010 by softsynth

We couldn’t let the occasion of the passing of Peter (Sleazy) Christopherson go by without comment. Christopherson died suddenly two days ago (November 24) at the age of 55. His contribution to electronic music, especially that of the industrial and experimental variety was well documented. A founding member of the seminal Throbbing Gristle, alone, grants him a vaunted place in the history of our shared genre. As much a performance artist group as an actual musical entity, Throbbing Gristle were key in the development of artists using sound in new and exciting ways starting in the late 70s. Softsynth actually first discovered Christopherson via Psychic TV before discovering TG, another, equally strange and challenging group that was using sound in new and bizarre ways.  Continue reading

New releases in early 2011

Posted in News with tags , , , , on November 23, 2010 by softsynth

The new year will bring its usual assortment of cool new releases. While we’re giving thought to what will make up the Softsynth best of the year list for 2010 we’ve already got our eyes on what the year-to-come will bring, rumoured or otherwise.

The big names include Erasure who will bring forth an as-yet-untitled new work. It will be interesting to see what the boys proffer this year after the highly disappointing Light at the End of the World.

Our most anticipated release of the new year is IAMX’s Volatile Times. After the peerless, near-perfect Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, our unquestioned pick as the number one electronic album of last year, we are both excited and nervous about what’s next on the docket. It will be among us in March and no other album is as yearned-for.

Covenant finally bring us the long-delayed Modern Ruin January 17th. We’re big Covenant fans so the repeated delays have frustrated us to no end. The “Lightbringer” teaser hasn’t set us afire but we’re still greatly looking forward to what our Swedish stalwarts have in store.

Greece’s Marsheaux will release Message From Mars in the early months of the new year. Consistent and utterly in the know about what makes electronic music work this duo is sure to bring us an electronic highlight for the year.

Swedish electropunk band Alice in Videoland will release their fourth album A Million Thoughts and They’re All About You January 11 in North America (but is already available in some markets). Alice in Videoland can do little wrong as far as we’re concerned so we’re all a-twitter.

There are a lot of terrific electronic releases yet to come in 2010 and we’re girding ourselves accordingly but we can’t help but cast our glance to the first few months of ’11 to remind ourselves that the electronic movement keeps on ticketing and barreling ever-forward. Much yet to come…

(What have we missed? What else in on the scene in the first quarter of the new year? Let us know!)

Three bands we’re digging right now

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 8, 2010 by softsynth

We’ve been sorting through a plethora of new and new-to-us bands these past few weeks with a few standing out and worth a plug…

Damsel in the Dollhouse is American performance artist Nina Tucciarelli. She released her debut album, Fairytales back in April and it’s rock-solid darkwave with industrial influences. Her spooky voice and stuttery electronics blend perfectly into one of the more intriguing albums of the year. It’s both catchy and sonically unique. A real surprise and a pleasant one. Continue reading