Archive for October, 2011

Review: System Syn – All Seasons Pass

Posted in Review with tags on October 25, 2011 by softsynth

When System Syn crept onto our radar last year with their spectacular album, Strangers, we were confronted with an artist so gifted we were somewhat flummoxed as our concepts of what constituted the best electronic music was spun in a whole new direction. The ambitious multi-media followup posed many questions, namely, can they (“they” being Clint Carney) keep up the momentum.

Well, keep it up they do (he does), and then some. Continue reading

Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Nightlife

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 25, 2011 by softsynth

At a time when there feels like a lot of baton-passing going on within our movement – see the disappointing new Erasure album – a key part of that equation is having those on the receiving end of the baton ready for the hand-off. When we reviewed the Erasure album the quality that kept emerging was a lack of sincere energy and passion. There was the forced, “this is disco, you should be dancing…please?!” feeling but that kind of sincerity in a synth pop song simply cannot be forced and has to be felt. Michigan’s Nightlife (Darin Rajabian and Caroline Myrick) are a “pure laine” synth pop band who feel it in spades. The energy and true emotive qualities drip from every pore of the two EPs they have thus far released, and every track is dangerously smile-inducing. It makes no pretense to be anything but exactly what it is – beautifully produced, fun, catchy, terrific synth pop with lovely, infectious vocals. With their new EP, Radio, just released, what’s next for this exciting young band? They deigned to answer a few questions for us to help fill in the blanks (with Myrick speaking for the group)… Continue reading

Review: Collide – Counting to Zero

Posted in Review with tags on October 23, 2011 by softsynth

Few bands in the world make music that could be described as “beautiful” as Collide. Sweeping synths, gorgeous vocals, the word “big” keeps rising up. There is beauty and grace in almost every utterance from this band. And now, after a bit of a misfire covers album the duo are back with a terrific return to form. Eleven languid, sexy, sometimes sad, always beguiling songs from Statik and kaRIN that represent some of their strongest work to date. Continue reading

Review: Erasure – Tomorrow’s World

Posted in Review with tags on October 18, 2011 by softsynth

It’s become a broken record on this blog that the old faithful’s the stand-by’s, the go-to’s have largely fallen flat in 2011 amidst a sea of far more interesting upstarts doing far more interesting work. This album, alas is no exception.

However, we need to reiterate a little history for valuable, yummy-yet-nutritious context! This blogger cottoned to Erasure in the most passionate, excited way back at the release of their first single, “Who Needs Love Like That” in 1985. Already a huge fan of Vince Clarke (the name for the stray tabby who wondered into the family in ’85? Vince, of course in honour of the master. If Softsynth has a musical idol Clarke would wear the crown. Wonderland took the electrosoul concept to new heights and the cassette was played so much the tape wore thin and tore; The Circus was loved even more; The Innocents a constant stream of surprise and wonder; Wild was an inconsistent mess that nonetheless had so many terrific bubbly synth pop songs that played dangerously with serious genre confusion yet too suffered for the enthusiastic overplaying on the faithful Walkman. Chorus just boringly brilliant. Continue reading

Prolific Miss FD releases “Love Magick”

Posted in News with tags on October 10, 2011 by softsynth

One of Softsynth’s favourite artists, Miss FD is back with yet another new track. May we just say in an era when it’s typically years, often many years between releases for most major bands it’s so refreshing to see artists who continue to produce new music on a regular schedule, always keeping it fresh. Miss FD is just such an artist. The new single, said to be a “seasonal song” (last year she released the less appealing Ghostbusters” cover) is “Love Magick” complete with a new video (and yes, there’s a helping of cheese here but it’s clearly by design and where would we be without our occasional taste of cheese?). Keep it coming, Miss…

Review: God Module – Séance

Posted in Review with tags , on October 2, 2011 by softsynth

God Module have always danced carefully between industrial aggression and tuneful melody, but on Séance, they’ve hit a new high. Taking advantage of the presence of the extraordinarily talented Clint Carney (System Syn), the band have taken an already-successful formula and perfected it. Never tipping too far into the direction of pure noise, the band have penned a collection of head thrashing songs that also force other body parts into motion. Continue reading