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All hail the synth!

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So one of my favourite albums of all time is Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack. Such a wonderful, immersive and atmospheric work. At time massive-sounding, at others delicate and beautiful. What a masterpiece.

I'm also hooked on Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene and Equinoxe albums. Lovely sounds, quite uplifting, and stand up to repeat listens.

I think a lot of my pleasure from synthy stuff comes from a sort of nostalgia, probably as things like this remind me of sci-fi cartoons from the late 70s or early 80s. Outdated visions of the future, maybe.

Which is why I really dig Zombi and Boards of Canada - both seem to be mining a vein of particular nostalgia, where Zombi are like watching Airwolf and stuff as a kid, whereas BoC sort of sound like a more intangible, general memories of childhood kind of vibe.

So who else is down with this kinda thing? Any other recommendations?

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Synths are amazing. My fiancée thinks it's all 'beepy beepy music' but the great thing about synths is that every single sound can sound completely different. You don't get that with any other instrument. I was into synth music when I was a kid, listening to Joe Meek and the Tornados songs like Telstar and Life on Venus when I was tiny, and then listening to the Synthesizer Album volumes One and Two long before I got into dance music. Plus there was all that Radiophonic Workshop music on the telly, on Doctor Who and The Tripods and Aliens in the Family.

MP3.com used to be a goldmine for progressive and symphonic synthesizer music, before it was taken over and filled with mainstream artists flogging their CDs. There were composers and enthusiasts with racks of synths basically making music for each other in their little community. There was a guy called Wintermute who made his own score for the novel Neuromancer, and Fumitaka Anzai, who'd produced a couple of anime themes and made some gorgeous, epic electronic music, and Galbatron, who made big, sweeping JM Jarre-style anthems. If you can find any stuff by them, it's worth tracking down.

I think Ulrich Schnauss's music fits in here pretty well, too. It's synth-heavy, it's very melodic and uplifting, but it has that kind of progressive synth feel that sets it apart from most other dancefloor-oriented electronic music.

EDIT

I forgot the daddy of prog electronics, Popcorn by Gershon Kingsley. Absolutely amazing track that shits all over the famouse remake by Hot Butter. Here it is:

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. . . and a personal favourite: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence by Ryuchi Sakamoto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkWjsT_SJNI...feature=related

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I forgot the daddy of prog electronics, Popcorn by Gershon Kingsley. Absolutely amazing track that shits all over the famouse remake by Hot Butter. Here it is:

Wow - that's excellent. I didn't know the original was like this. It totally sounds like minimal techno, with the shuffly beat and all.

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Walter/Wendy Carlos's Clockwork Orange soundtrack - especially the main title - has the most amazing woozy, disconcerting synths ever on it. Given that a synth in those days needed a mad genius just to switch it on, the sounds on this must have been genuinely shocking at the time.

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So one of my favourite albums of all time is Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack. Such a wonderful, immersive and atmospheric work. At time massive-sounding, at others delicate and beautiful. What a masterpiece.

I'm also hooked on Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene and Equinoxe albums. Lovely sounds, quite uplifting, and stand up to repeat listens.

I think a lot of my pleasure from synthy stuff comes from a sort of nostalgia, probably as things like this remind me of sci-fi cartoons from the late 70s or early 80s. Outdated visions of the future, maybe.

Which is why I really dig Zombi and Boards of Canada - both seem to be mining a vein of particular nostalgia, where Zombi are like watching Airwolf and stuff as a kid, whereas BoC sort of sound like a more intangible, general memories of childhood kind of vibe.

So who else is down with this kinda thing? Any other recommendations?

This is absolutely my favourite kind of music. "Outdated visions of the future" is a perfect description. For anyone who likes Oxygene, I'd recommend the first two Duran Duran albums which have the most beautiful synths washing over the slower tracks, e.g. Night Boat, Anyone Out There, Lonely In Your Nightmare, etc.

If you want something more contemporary, Burial's use of synths is equally evocative.

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Ooh, some nice stuff popping up i this thread already :lol:

That original Popcorn is brilliant - really builds and builds, doesn't it? Ace video too.

That Sakamoto thing is nice, too. Where has that been used before? Or have I just heard it on the Chiller Cabinet years ago?

In a similar Oriental vibe, Vangelis' "China" album is really nice.

Forgot to mention in my first post, I've been totally hammering Steve Moore's "The Henge" album - total Vangelis/Jarre worship, but quite dark-sounding too. One track has a proper tectonic-sounding guitar underpinning it. I fracking love it.

Steve Moore on Last.fm

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If you want something more contemporary, Burial's use of synths is equally evocative.

I'm reasonably sure most or all of Burials sounds are samples - there's probably samples of synths in there, yeah, but he builds all his tunes in soundforge which has only a rudimentary wave generator.

I only really mentioned it to bring up the fact that he does it all in soundforge though. It's an astonishing laborious way of working, but he's amazingly quick at it. He knocked out that last album in 2 or 3 weeks apparently.

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I don't buy Burial making EVERYTHING in Sound Forge. He must be dumping stuff out from other apps and then re-assembling it, surely?

As for synth stuff, Synergy are a good pick. Audion is probably my fave (though Rob Hubbard fans might get upset when they realise how much he was 'inspired' by them Synergy's Ancients IS the Zoids theme). Trellis is another favourite track of theirs, which is almost pure Moog, but sounds like the most amazing C64 tune you've ever heard.

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I don't buy Burial making EVERYTHING in Sound Forge. He must be dumping stuff out from other apps and then re-assembling it, surely?

I don't think he does, any interview i've read he says it's all SF. I know someone else that produces in SF exclusively, so it is possible. Just really weird is all.

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OMG Silver Apples!! There's singing and stuff, but outside of a drummer, it's all synths. One of the greatest bands ever. You can pick up their first two albums on one CD for a pittance too. Five Pounds!! You'd be mad no to. Mad!

The other guy (not the drummer) built his own synth from oscillators and filters. Plays the lead with his hands and the bass with his feet. You really have to hear this shit.

Here they are. The audio is poor quality, but you get the gist...

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You've missed an opportunity here, Dean. Surely the thread title can be a play on 'Sith'. Revenge of the Synth?

How about 'Synth-ter Act 2: Back in the Habit"?

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I don't think he does, any interview i've read he says it's all SF. I know someone else that produces in SF exclusively, so it is possible. Just really weird is all.

Wow. If it's possible, I might give it a go. Do you know if SF can trigger notes in VST synths?

As for synth music, this is my favourite version of Take On Me by Aha:

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AFAIK you can't trigger synths in SF. You need Sony Acid Pro, but its unstable.

Anyway, yeah. You could say i'm a bit of fan of synths with these two VST's taking up my time....

poly-ana.jpg

and

poizone2.jpg

They both have a lovely sound to them, but i've stopped writing for the time being whilst i sort out what synths i actually want.

To be honest, they're not used too effectively these days - I think you have to look back to 70's Jfunk and all the solo's too really here them scream.

Two many people use them for simple lines and melodies, and lush pads of course.

I'm no expert though - theres too much stuff out there and i simply can't concentrate on it all.

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Good call on Zombi, I've heard nothing bad from them so make sure you check out all the EP's as well as the 2 full albums. Have you looked any further into Vangelis? His 'Soil Festivities' album is fantastic (sample here) and Albedo 0.39 also has some nice bits on it too.

As for new artists, check out Roland Sebastian Faber's recent EP's, both of which hark back to the classic 70s synth soundtrack period.

http://www.myspace.com/rolandsebastianfaber

Maybe some Professor Genius too, though he can be a bit more dancey. Start with the ambient EP 'A Jean Girad'.

http://www.myspace.com/professorgenius

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Good call on Zombi, I've heard nothing bad from them so make sure you check out all the EP's as well as the 2 full albums. Have you looked any further into Vangelis? His 'Soil Festivities' album is fantastic (sample here) and Albedo 0.39 also has some nice bits on it too.

As for new artists, check out Roland Sebastian Faber's recent EP's, both of which hark back to the classic 70s synth soundtrack period.

<a href="http://www.myspace.com/rolandsebastianfaber" target="_blank">http://www.myspace.com/rolandsebastianfaber</a>

Maybe some Professor Genius too, though he can be a bit more dancey. Start with the ambient EP 'A Jean Girad'.

<a href="http://www.myspace.com/professorgenius" target="_blank">http://www.myspace.com/professorgenius</a>

That Faber guy sounds fab - pure Jarre-ism!

Also, Professor Genius - 'A Jean Giraud' is french for 'To Jean Giraud', translation fans. Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, is that super-awesome french comic artist. Instant kudos right there :(

Also, back to Boards of Canada, I remember reading a review of them a couple of years ago, who described them as the 'aural equivalent of faded polaroids from your childhood'. Such a spot-on summary of their sound (the earlier stuff anyway).

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check this video of ricochet :wacko:

Oh man, that is one serious room full of kit!

I have 'Phaedra' by Tangerine Dream - any other recommendations? I was startled by how 'modern' it sounded, ie, it reminded me of trancy stuff from the early 90s...

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On a Tangerine Dream tip, I got Klaus Schulze's Live LP a few weeks back. Pretty incredible stuff, and comes with a whacking great poster to boot. The last song has Arthur Brown on vocals as a pleasant little bonus.

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So I know someone who is making a flash movie, and Isay, hey, I'll do the soundtrack if you like! It gives me a chance to properly record something on my Korg M1.

I have a composition that I've been working on every now and then for the past couple of years, I can base the soundtrack around that song, and the scale it uses. :)

I'm JUST about to record it, when someone brings to my attention:

...It's almost note-for-fucking-note the end credits to Blade Runner, with a similar synth sound and everything! :o:angry: I haven't even seen Blade Runner properly yet, and had no idea.

Bit disappointed, I was pround of that composition. :( Ah well, Vangelis proved it's a good song at least. -_-

Back to the drawing board!

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. . . and a personal favourite: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence by Ryuchi Sakamoto

Shit man....that reminds me of a C64 tune....a fighting one.

Fist 2 or something like that. I'll have to check.

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Nostalgic synth shit? Yum.

I recommend:

Porn Sword Tobacco - new exclusive olympic heights

Kelpe - Ex-Aquarium

Novel 23 - Melodies of childhood for advanced imagination

maps & diagrams - caoutchouc

lukid - onandon

Discuss - Discuss

bauri - the slacker journal

Part Timer - Blue

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum

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Oh man, that is one serious room full of kit!

I have 'Phaedra' by Tangerine Dream - any other recommendations? I was startled by how 'modern' it sounded, ie, it reminded me of trancy stuff from the early 90s...

Yeah it does have a timeless feel to the music,it has aged really well.

As for recommendations I would just get anything you can,it all has something worth listening to!!

From the 1970's

Rubycon

Ricochet

Stratosfear

Cyclone

From the 1980's

Tangram

Hyperborea

After that I can't help you as I'm afraid I kinda tuned out,of course there is a selection of excellent film scores that they did as well:

Thief(fucking great movie)

Near Dark

Risky Business

Legend

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