Archive for Huski

Review: Huski – H

Posted in Review with tags on August 8, 2012 by softsynth

Be careful of what you wish for. One of our initial reactions to Huski’s last album was “too much guitar, not enough electronics”. Well, on H, they’ve sure banked left and ramped up the synths, but to great effect or ill?

This blogger is a big, big fan of not only Huski but pretty much every Melanie Garside has touched. We listed the first Huski album, Love, Peace, Pain as one of the top electronic albums of the last decade. Their last, poorly distributed, but pretty damn terrific record, Strangelove was among out top ten of last year. This is not a casual relationship. So, upon listening to H, there were a series of conflicted emotions goin’ round.

Continue reading

Awesome new Huski video is awesome

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on May 23, 2012 by softsynth

No idea of the why but the latest from Softsynth fav Huski is tickling the fancy of your humble blogger in all the right ways when similar directional choices from others have rubbed us in a less appealing manner.

The new single/video “Sleeps Over” is a lot more purely electronic and dance-oriented than their last album, Strangelove and it’s hypnotic and catchy both. We couldn’t be more excited by the forthcoming album, H.

Watch: Sleeps Over

Yet when Marina and the Diamonds (see previous post) or Little Boots or Chew Lips go in a similar direction it feels like a step in a weird place, one that isn’t nearly as satisfying. Now we’re digging the new Marina and the Diamonds and we’re still crazy-looking forward to the new Chew Lips and Little Boots albums, but pure dance without the balls-n-guts that makes their earlier work so strong can feel wanting. We’ll see what those albums sound like and we’re not pre-judging one whit but Huski is showing how cool a directional change can be and how well it can work. Bring on H

Absence makes the blog grow staler

Posted in Observations with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by softsynth

One the hallmarks of a solid blog, vs a shitty one is the consistency of the blogging. This unfortunate blogger has been traveling and dropped the blogging baton. Humble apologies. Was temped to blog from the beach at Bellaire but…nah. The big rush is yet to come in any case. Nearly every band we care about is due to release a new album in the coming months and all will ramp up among the best perveyors of electronic music. Meantime we’ve banked a few reviews, a couple of artists we’ve been digging and a bands we missed piece that will get stuck on here sooner than later.

That said, some random observations to help catch up…

– If you had told Softsynth twenty years ago…hell, even ten years ago that Martin Gore and Vince Clarke were to collaborate on a new album, considering the degree to which this blogger fetishizes the Speak & Spell era of Depeche Mode, said blogger would likely had gotten a case of the vapors. And yet for all the trying (and there has been a lot of trying here), the album just comes off as so dull and dreary. Oh, hazy memories of our youth, hast thou forsaken us?

– The Titans album release flew totally under our radar, but it’s really quite impressive and deserves an audience. Full review coming.

– We are weeks away from a new 80s-era Ultravox album (!) Excited? Hells yes. But after the O.M.D., Human League, and countless other reunion albums that disappointed enthusiasm is being held in reserve.

– Lots of terrific bands have been sending in music for review or general thoughts. We have been listening, and will catch up, swear.

– Huski have a new single out from their upcoming album and it absolutely kicks ass. So excited about the album and the new direction for the band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhGd5-vqvfc

– The other song kicking our ass right now is “Infatuated” from Softsynth fav Miss FD. Not only is the track terrific, but the video is lifted right our of the worst part of the Softsynth brain. Get out of our head Miss…but keep doing exactly…”this” because you are truly filling a void in the music biz…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvFNi6kkFuc&feature=player_embedded

Won’t leave you so long again. Lots to chat about, the electronic scene is about to heat up in a serious way…

The 2011 Softsynth playlist

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2011 by softsynth

So, as we do every year, we have assembled the individual songs that made up the soundtrack for Softsynth this year. We are generally more about albums than singles but there are individual songs that stand on their own as outstanding. Some of these come from albums we found underwhelming as a whole, some were one-off singles, or standouts from excellent EPs.

We don’t do a singles list because as often as not it’s album tracks that get us all hot and bothered but the song collection that truly moved us, our “top 25 songs” to go with our albums of the year, starts with the following: Continue reading

The Best Electronic Albums of 2011

Posted in Commentary, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by softsynth

This has been something of a peculiar year for electronic music. Some of the most compelling music from the genre has come from unsigned or yet-to-record-an-album bands. Discoveries like Curxes, Vile Electrodes and Nightlife provided some of the most alive, exciting and dynamic electronic music of the year. It was a year where EPs, instead of full albums, which we measure here today, brought us some of the most interesting glimpses of how good electronic music can be from the likes of Softsynth mainstay Miss FD, The Golden Filter, Tenek, or the three aforementioned bands (perhaps the latest example of how differently we now consume music in the digital age). And it was a year when many of the bands that make up the very foundation of this blog and this blogger’s bedrock musical interests, released new albums only to fall flat. In a year when Erasure, Ladytron, VNV Nation, M83, She Wants Revenge, And One and The Human League released new work it felt like assembling this year’s chart would be a pre-ordained affair, and yet it was surprises, resurfaces and new discoveries that provided the real fodder for our best of the year list in 2011. It was a year when Amy Lee of Evanescence, of all people would give us one of our most compelling electronic songs of the year, covering a Muppets song no less. There were curve balls but ultimately, as is the case every year, the best of the best rises to the top… Continue reading

The Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Huski

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 11, 2011 by softsynth

We’ve gone back and forth on the newest Huski album so often and so aggressively we have whiplash.

Background first; Huski’s debut album, Love Peace Pain was a pure electronic delight. The coupling of Melanie Garside and instrumentalist Pike made for a perfect blend that resulted in what this blog named one of the best electronic albums of the last decade (and so it was). A lot of years have passed since then and it would be a reasonable guess to suggest Garside had moved full-time onto her Maple Bee project. But in one of the longest rollouts ever (save for Ashbury Heights’ last album and the eventual appearance of Javellyn), their sophomore album Strangelove finally, finally limped out of the gate. When did it actually come out? Depends on who you ask. Some have suggested it’s been available in some form for a couple of years, others say it was released on August, yet iTunes doesn’t carry it still and it’s nigh-on impossible to find, but out it is with a 2011 date appended. And yet word from the band’s website is there is yet another album now on the coming soon radar, a self-titled work that is the result of a collaboration with Psychemagik. The production duo were brought in to mix a song and as the band report:  Continue reading

Can we still properly *anticipate* a new release in the digital age?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 19, 2011 by softsynth

The year was 1986. The boy was a young Softsynth. Erasure’s debut Wonderland had rocked his world and he heard “Sometimes” and then “It Doesn’t Have to be Like That” via Rock Over London (so, so cheesy but so so important to his musical development), and the anticipation of the second album, The Circus had him in a veritable tizzy. Upon finally buying the album it was listened to non-stop and was declared his favourite album of all time (a status that lasted maybe six months, but still…). The countdown, the lucky catching of the lead-off single on the radio, it all added up to something so exciting, that it resembled the final weeks before Christmas, which a still-younger version of that same boy lovingly counted down by crossing off days in a pocket calendar. The routine would repeat itself over and over in the following years as the musical palette grew, waiting expectantly for new cassette releases by Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, O.M.D., I Start Counting, the first sounds of a lead single were like throwing a drop or two of water to a man dying of thirst. To a hard, hard core music geek there was nothing more visceral. Continue reading