Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Visitor - RNB

Last week Visitor teased us with a quick YouTube blip of some of their upcoming songs, and today we finally have the full track "RNB".  "RNB" showcases Visitor's growth in the last year, with classic 80s chimes, fantastic production, and catchy melodies.  I'm incredibly excited for this release, and I have the feeling it will be a big release for the duo.  Be sure to watch out for the full EP on the 10th of September.

Kid Machine - "The Robot Scientists Black Hole (Kid Machine Unreleased Vocal Mix)"

I'm not sure how old this track is, and if it is older, how I missed it, but it's certainly a little gem courtesy of Kid Machine, who's been a guest on the blog before.  He's got a great retro vibe happening and it's a delight.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Worth Listening: Passion Pit - "Constant Conversations"

I nearly skipped over the new Passion Pit record.  Nearly.  I kind of got tired of them after their first record-- mainly from hearing it so much-- and I had a bad experience at one of their shows.  That's enough to get me off a band.  I didn't really know what to expect from their new record, because generally these little indie bands get ruined when too much mainstream attention gets put on them-- I know, that's incredibly hipster and elitist, but I think the sudden attention on a label and all that as a "hot seller" makes changes to the way the band worked.

All that said, I finally heard some of the new record outside of the single.  I haven't quite made up my mind on it all, but I really dig this track.  It's got a great r'n'b vibe, and could honestly have been a rap sample  You'll be fooled, because until the main singer starts, it sounds like you're gonna hear Kanye on it.  It's a nice surprise and not something I would have expected from Passion Pit.  Check it out.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Minibrute Jam 7/28/12

Here's a video that shows off some great sounds of the Arturia MiniBrute courtesy of Keith Handy on Vimeo.  Check it out!

fancymike - "Alien v. Predator"

Here's a little ditty sent to me by fancymike.  Got some nice bass sounds in the latter half.  Enjoy...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Android Automatic - "Starset"

Here's a nice one sent to me from Mike, aka Android Automatic.  Really dig this tune!  Very nice 80s retro vibe and very synth.  Enjoy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Visitor tease new EP "Coming Home // RNB" for August 6th

Remember Visitor, whom I interviewed about a year ago?  They've got a new EP "Coming Home // RNB" coming on August 6th, and judging by the preview video above, it sounds like it's going to be a really great set of tracks.  It's been a little while since they've released any new tracks, but it seems that the wait is really worth it, as the newer sound above is incredibly refined and poppy.  I smell a hit.

Watch out for remixes by Lifelike, Jacques Lu Cont, and Viceroy as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Patrick Baker Interview

Nashville, Tennessee is a town known for its music.  Johnny Cash comes to mind, and recent guest Ben Folds owns a fantastic studio in town as well.  But, rather bizarrely, some great 80s music is coming out of Nashville, too, courtesy of Patrick Baker, a new kid on the 80s block.  Patrick's style is  Prince-esque vocals on a TV-theme style arrangement of synths and drums, and his production levels make you question if he's behind very big music names and has snuck off to do his own solo record.  As soon as I heard his tracks, I knew I wanted him as a guest for the site.  And fortunately, he agreed.  It's exciting to have a fresh artist who's got a bright future ahead of him.

Below is my interview with Patrick Baker, where we talk about his studio, how he came to be in the style he is, and some of his tracks.  Read on...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Drive Tour Review

All of you Ryan Gosling and Drive lovers are going to appreciate this post.  Last night the Drive tour came to the Union Transfer in Philadelphia.  The Tour takes its name from the Ryan Gosling film from last fall, which scored incredibly well on Rotten Tomatoes and introduced many new ears to the 80s revival.  Capitalizing on new fans, the tour was put together to cross the US with College and Electric Youth, who share a song on the record, and Anoraak, because he's of the same Valerie Collective.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Com Truise releases "In Decay", a collection of previously unreleased Tracks

Nothing like a little New Com Truise for a Wednesday.  These are all new tracks and demos that you haven't heard before.  I've been a big fan of CT ever since I heard "Cyanide Sisters" and Galactic Melt was a superb electronic LP, so these new sounds are welcome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Madeon's "Finale" is almost here, and it's his most important track to date. Here's why

Ah, Madeon.  The French kid wonder has been releasing a few tracks here and there, but his newest track, "Finale", is the most important to date.  Bold claim, I know, but it marks the first time Madeon's really stepping forward for me.

I try to hold back most/all negative comments on this site, and the past few Madeon tracks weren't showing me anything new-- he's clearly got fantastic production and mixing, but his tracks were starting to sound the all the same.  He's got a specific signature sound he does (I'll call it his "jump" from here on out, because that's what it sounds like to me), and it's present on all his tracks-- and "Finale" is the first good one where he's skipped it.  In addition, he's broken out and added some vocals as well.  As for his "jump" sound, it's the type of thing you love at first, but it's become his crutch and his way to attract attention to the tracks, and it's a bit played out for me.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking-- how can I even begin to knock any part of Madeon when the kid obviously has more skills/fans/tracks/whatever than I do, at a younger age than I? But-- here's my sincerest compliment.  For the first time in a while, I think Madeon might bridge the gap to be something even bigger-- the next Deadmau5 perhaps?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shook Interview

Shook is a fresh producer with an array of fantastic remixes and up and coming original tracks.  His remix of Ellie Goulding's "Lights" reenvisioned the track as a lounge piece that would make any jazz enthusiast's mouth water-- and the electronic world took notice, giving the track 300,000 plays on SoundCloud as of today.  More recently, he's released a collaboration with Ronika called "Distorted Love" and, one of my personal favorites, a track called "Love for You".

Shook is one of the blog's more mysterious guests, so it's exciting to be able to have a few questions with him and find out where his roots are.  Enjoy a short but sweet interview with Shook below, and be sure to check out his newest release, "Garota '92", released today.

The Synth Symp:  How did you get started in music? When did you start doing remixes?
Shook: I come from a musical family, so I guess you could say music is in my blood. My father is a jazz pianist. He used to play old Jazz standards while I was watching cartoons. Eventually the music rubs off on you. I started making electronic music when I was pretty young. My first DAW was a trial version of Fruityloops, a program I still use today. Once I got the hang of it, I found myself entranced, making it hard to stop. Most of the time, I went on all night. The music I produced at that time was really high energy. I think 99% of it is music nobody will ever hear. I was also part of a high energy electronic punk band for a while. It was a lot of fun at the time, experimenting with different moods and styles. But at a certain point, my yearning for creating my own music started to take over again. I had my first official release when I was 17. It was some dark electronic stuff. Looking back, it feels like a journey. I was searching for something more personal; more exciting. In my opinion, making music should be a natural process. Nothing should be forced. I started doing remixes after the release of my first EP ‘The Glow EP’. Right after I put it online, various people started to contact me, asking me if I would be down to do some remix work. I was.

MiniBrutes hit consumer's hands, Finally

After months of desperate questioning of Arturia and local music shops, synth heads are finally plugging in their new Arturia MiniBrutes this past week (at least, in the USA).  Various posts from around the web confirm the excitement, and people seem to be impressed.  There's also been a fair collection of new YouTube videos being uploaded.  A few are below.

Well, was it worth the wait?  Are people happy?  Early reports seem to be a resounding "yes".  Future Music recently ran a review claiming it was well worth the price.  The few complaints I've seen on the net seem to be the external power supply is shoddy, it has a few missing buttons for features (that can only be accessed by computers) and that there are slight issues with software, but nothing that seems to deal breaker for anyone.

Check out the videos below, and be on the lookout for more posts on the MiniBrute.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Arturia Announce 'Next-Gen' Software, Drop Prices

Last week, Arturia announced that it would be releasing updated versions of their current line of soft synths with 64-bit compatibility.  In addition to this, the software has dropped in price dramatically (for some of the synths, anyway) to $99 USD, or 99 euros.  If you haven't tried any of this software, it's all pretty stellar and has had rave reviews for a while, in some cases considered some of the best analog emulation-- in fact, when I upgrade my computer in the near future, some of these will be on the list of things to get.

Press release is as follows:

"Arturia announces ‘Next Generation’ Analog Classic software 

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: music software and hardware company Arturia is proud to announce availability of ‘Next Generation’ versions of its Analog Classic software instruments as of July 6... 

 Ten of Arturia’s most popular Mac (OS X 10.5 or higher) and Windows (7/Vista/XP) software instruments have had a complete makeover. Slick new packaging coincides with 64-bit compatibility for all, together with MIDI assignment improvements and better performance.

But best of all... all ten titles are now €99.00 EURO/$99.00 USD, a dramatic drop to half their previous street pricing (in most cases). Titles included are the Oberheim SEM V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet-V, ARP 2600V, Mini V (formerly Minimoog-V), CS-80V, and Modular V (formerly Moog Modular V) soft synths; Wurlitzer-V EP 200A electric piano software emulation; Analog Laboratory software synthesizer workstation; and SPARK Vintage Drum Machines.

 Quite simply, there has never been a better time than now to step into Arturia’s True Analogue Emulation (TAE®) world of those high-end synthesizers and drum machines favoured by a wide range of acclaimed artists like Ritchie Hawtin, deadmau5, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), The Crystal Method, Junkie XL, Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Hans Zimmer, Jean-Michel Jarre, Geoff Downes (Asia), and many more besides. So why wait to join them? Reach out to the Next Generation... today!

 Oberheim SEM V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet-V, ARP 2600V, Mini V, CS-80V, Modular V, Wurlitzer-V, Analog Laboratory, and SPARK Vintage Drum Machines can each be purchased as software downloads for €99.00 EURO/$99.00 USD or boxed versions for €119.00 EURO/$129.00 USD from Arturia’s Online Shop: http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/buy/online-shop.html 

 As always, updates are free for all registered users from here: http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/downloads/updates.html"

Friday, July 6, 2012

Anoraak posts live video of new song "Made-up", preps for the Drive tour

Anoraak has unveiled an unreleased track on YouTube called "Made-up" which looks to have been filmed on one of his last tours.  The track is part synth, part rock, and all Anoraak-- almost exactly as he implied it would be in our interview last year.  This release comes just before the Drive tour featuring Anoraak, College, and Electric Youth.  I've literally just grabbed my tickets to this tour (and oddly enough, watched "Drive" a couple days ago), and I'm about as excited as I can be.  If there's a tour to see this summer, this is it.  Check out the dates below!

The Drive Tour
07/20 Brooklyn @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg 
07/21 Washington @ DC 9 
07/22 Boston @ Brighton Music Hall 
07/23 Philadelphia @ Union Transfer 
07/25 Montreal @ Corona Theater 
07/26 Toronto @ Wrong Bar 
07/27 Detroit @ Pike Room 
07/28 Chicago @ Lincoln Hall 
07/29 Minneapolis @ Triple Rock Social Club 
08/01 Vancouver @ Electric Owl 
08/02 Seattle @ Chop Suey 
08/03 Portland @ Branx 
08/04 San Francisco @ Rickshaw Stop 
08/05 Los Angeles @ Echoplex 
08/06 San Diego @ Casbah 
08/07 Tucson @ Club Congress 
08/09 El Paso @ Garden Bar 
08/10 Dallas @ Prophet Bar 
08/11 Austin @ Red 7 
08/12 New Orleans @ One Eyed Jacks 
08/14 Miami @ Grand Central 
08/15 Orlando @ Social 
08/16 Atlanta @ Terminal West 
08/17 Chapel Hill @ Local 506

Monday, July 2, 2012

Skeleton Lipstick - Glow Then Melts

Here's something new for a Monday morning.  Skeleton Lipstick is a "existential hypnagogic pop" band out of Philadelphia.  They've got a new LP entitled Glow Then Melts coming out on July 4th on Airlines Tapes.  It's also being released on limited edition casette tapes (feels like my childhood).  SL reminds me a bit of Kavinsky meets... something more lo-fi?  This is totally a textured and dirty affair but retro all at once.  There's a ton of synth goodness and a pumping beat at the heart of it.  Don't let the bizarre name and haunting artwork fool you...