Archive for Ladytron

Review: Marnie – Crystal World

Posted in Review with tags , , on July 31, 2013 by softsynth

Shortest review ever – fucking. extraordinary. Continue reading

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Is Kickstarter the saviour of the music business?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by softsynth

Musical artists have been increasingly struggling in recent years, trying to monetize a business model that no longer works as it once did. No one buys music anymore, or at least when they do it’s not using the model most record companies still prioritize. There are exceptions of course, people are still lining up to buy the new Taylor Swift album or their seemingly tenth copy of Adele’s album (88 weeks and counting on the Billboard 200) or even Tony Bennett’s new Duets album, but those artists that have and maintain mainstream chart success are also increasingly those artists that can appeal cross-generationally. It’s become a niche market leaving the bulk of the music business struggling to survive, relying almost entirely on touring as an income generator.

The electronic genre has been hit particularly hard. There are few superstar electronic bands who can sell enough records to make a real run an ongoing viability. For every Depeche Mode, or Goldfrapp, or more recently, Ellie Goulding, we have scores of other artists who are trying to scrape together a model that allows them to continue to produce their music.

Enter the post-Kickstarter world. Continue reading

Review: Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer

Posted in Review with tags on September 13, 2011 by softsynth

Ladytron are one of our go-to bands. Since the unparalleled Witching Hour, they’ve stood head and shoulders above most in the world of electronic music. We’re going to be there day one of any new Ladytron release with bells on. The early signs were inconclusive. The first tracks released were sleepy but well crafted bits of etherial-pop that were good but left no real impression. We needed the whole thing to get a real measure of what these folks are up to in 2011.

So what have they wrought this time around? The sleepy theme rules the day on many of these tracks and surprisingly often the album comes off more “beautiful” than “great”. By that we mean the production has never been cleaner, Helen Marnie’s voice has never sounded lovelier, and the swooping synths have never sounded so gorgeous. There’s an elegance to the entire affair that’s fun and classes up the joint a little, right down the outstanding cover art (Ladytron do good album covers, now and forever). But on much of the album the soul of the band doesn’t come through as much as one might like. It sounds lovely but doesn’t click as memorable often enough, at least not as often as we have been led to expect.  Continue reading

Previews whet the Softsynth appetite

Posted in News with tags , , , on August 28, 2011 by softsynth

Almost in direct contradiction to the post of a couple of weeks ago decrying the loss of real anticipation of new releases, two of the gold standard, Softsynth-hall-of-fame bands have released teasers for upcoming albums that have us salivating.

To back up a bit, we are mere weeks away from one of those extremely rare occurences when three of the top bands advocated by this blog have brand-spanking new albums all within a week of one another – Assemblage 23, VNV Nation and Ladytron. Already pretty darn tooting exciting at that but we’ve been graced with teasers for the latter two of them (Come on Shear, give us a taste of the new A23 and make it a complete set!) that raise the excitement factor even further.  Continue reading

Wasn’t there this guy who blogged electronic music…?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2011 by softsynth

First off, apologies for the extended absence from this space. Your humble blogger was sick with the pneumonia for quite some time which kept him away from the electronic music discourse. As it happened this absence coincided with a peculiar dearth of meaningful developments within the electronic music world. Made it easier to ease back into the process. A few things percolating though: Continue reading

Revisiting the Xtina files

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on July 9, 2010 by softsynth

So we alluded to the newest effort from Christina Aguilera in a post back in May. Our discussion was an holistic look at her being the latest in a long string of mainstream artists to develop a hard-on for electronic music and while we celebrated that embrace, we took issue with some of the obvious reasons for the directional turn and the derivative qualities inherent within. Continue reading

The Xtina files

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 22, 2010 by softsynth

We set out from the very beginning to talk about “electronic music in all its forms” and so we have. Sometimes that may mean discussing an artist that some may consider anything but an “electronic artist” or in other cases, an artist that doesn’t deserve the attention of a blog that deals in a medium that largely lives in the alternative sphere. And yet we push on, trying to be as inclusive as possible.

When we hear that Christina Aguilera is a) engaging in a purely electronic album and b) working with the Softsynth-revered Ladytron in the process it becomes clear that we need pay this experiment a little attention.

Her first single off the forthcoming Bionic is “Not Myself Tonight” and what does she bring to the table? First question answered, does she pay fealty to real electronic music. Answer – yep. This isn’t just producer backfill, there are riffs and a clear front and centre electronic presence. It is any good? Well, that’s subjective of course, but it doesn’t exactly write a new chapter for dance music. There’s nothing new here, just the same old thing packaged up with some neat sounds.

Then there’s the video, take a moment to view:

Continue reading