Archive for De/Vision

Review: De/Vision – Rockets & Swords

Posted in Review with tags on August 31, 2012 by softsynth

When listening to the newest album from the prolific Germans that make up De/Vision one can be struck by a sense of “maybe not exciting, but certainly competent; sometimes very good with a few tracks that stand out in a sort-of-meaningful way”, before realizing, that describes most De/Vision albums.

Now that’s really not a knock on the band. In fact this insanely prolific band has been a source of genuinely consistent joy for this listener for many years. They’ve excelled at producing, seemingly year-in, year-out, rock-solid electronic pop with a vaguely darkwave tinge and often they’ve landed the beast really well. While they’ve only very rarely blown the roof off the joint, they’ve shown a real knack for knowing exactly how to deliver the goods when they’ve needed to. In many ways they are the Joe Lunchbucket of electronic music.¬† Continue reading

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The Softsynth 2010 playlist

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by softsynth

Daunting is the idea of having to single out singles.

a) What do singles even mean in 2010? The digital age, the era of the pre-release leak, the lack of any physical “release” for all intents and purposes, the absence of any television presence where videos are played in any meaningful way – all have lead to a music world where a so-called “single” means no more than any other stand-out track on an album.

b) If breaking down the best albums in a particular genre is as daunting as it was in 2010, the idea of having to attack the mountain of meaningful electronic songs and somehow rank them in a consequential way is beyond the mental capacity of this blogger.

That said, each year there rises an honour roll of sorts, in absolutely no particular order at all, no “first”, no “last” . just those songs (yes, usually singles, but not always) that were constantly on the Softsynth playlist this year; those songs that resonated and rose above the conclave, the 30 “best” electronic songs of 2010. Continue reading

Review: De/Vision – Popgefahr

Posted in Review with tags , on March 15, 2010 by softsynth

De/Vision’s greatest problem, especially as a particularly prolific band, is they release a lot of material that becomes electronic wallpaper, quickly forgotten. In their defense they are also capable of penning brilliant, catchy electronic pop songs that penetrate your psyche and stay there. We’re very pleased to report that their latest, Popgfahr, qualifies as the latter. This album is a big step up from their last album, Noob (which was, in its own right, a solid album). Where Noob features a couple of great, memorable songs (“Flavour of the Week” and “What it Feels Like”), their latest has a whole basketful of them.

This album is the most purely electronic album De/Vision have recorded in many, many years and they wear it well. Very well, in fact. The vocals seem a little crisper, the percussion pops and sizzles and the main melody lines are, overall, really beautiful and cold.
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March madness

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

As we swerve head-long into March Softsynth is excited about the spate of new releases from an assortment of some of our very favourite bands. A sampling of the March goodness:

Absurd Minds: Serve or Suffer – March 5

De/Vision: Popgefahr – March 9

Diorama: Cubed – March 19 (check out their new video for “Child of Entertainment” at the link below – despite the horrific lipsyncing we’re diggin’ the tune…)

Psy’Aviah: Eclectric – March 19

Goldfrapp: Head First – March 22

The Girl and the Robot: The Beauty of Decay – March 26

Blind Faith and Envy: Into the Calm – March ??? (they are still saying March but no actual date yet…hmm…)

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Electronic music in 2010

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2009 by softsynth

While not quite the promising bounty with which we were able to look toward 2009 this time last year we can look to the year ahead at a number of very exciting new releases. Goldfrapp’s 5th album is the big deal news around these here parts but we can also look forward to new material from the liked of De/Vision, Diorama, Michigan (rumoured), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Iris, Covenant, Ashbury Heights, Android Lust, Birthday Massacre, i:scintilla, Conjure One, LCD Soundsystem, Unter Null, Miss FD, Suicide Commando, Distain, Hot Chip, Ellie Goulding¬†and the weirdness that is Ladytron…in the form of producers for Christina Augilara (which makes Softsynth’s virtual head ache with trying to envision the results of this collaboration).

As we look forward to the new year the wheel keeps on turning and lots of great stuff to come…

In defence of the lowly drum machine

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by softsynth

“This next band…doesn’t have a drummer!!” So intoned a breathless Dick Clark in 1984 during a broadcast of his American hot 100 countdown radio show. We were transfixed. What could that mean? To a 13 year old who was just discovering music and for whom pop or rock music meant a guitar, a bass, drums, a singer and maybe a keyboard. What was this non-drummer lunacy?? As it turned out he was talking about Depeche Mode who were enjoying their first North American mainstream success with “People are People”. Clark was positively verkempt at the notion. To young teen Softsynth’s ears it sure sounded like they had drums in there, perhaps Clark was simply insane. It seemed a reasonable conclusion. Continue reading

Quick trip around the interwebs: Covenant album on hold

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by softsynth

Every few months Softsynth takes a trip around about 100 web sites for our favourite bands, especially those who have been quiet for a while. We learned today that Sweden’s Covenant have put their new album Modern Ruin on hold as their label reorganizes. Sad news as it could be another six months (!) before we see what has been shaping up to be a very promising new work. Meanwhile their US tour will go ahead even without the new album to promote. Hm. Continue reading