There’s a focus on US-based acts in this special Teclist feature, with three very different approaches to electronic music from three very different acts.
America has served up a healthy history of synth tunes in times past and this latest batch of releases demonstrates that the country’s exemplary electronic legacy continues to this day.
BOB HARO – Pink & Blue (Diamond Field Radio Mix)
One of the most recent tracks to really jump out of the TEC submissions list is this perky slice of synth-pop. ‘Pink & Blue’ offers up catchy synth melodies and an engaging percussion element that harkens back to the classic synth era of the 1980s. At the same time, it sounds fresh and engaging without being a simple ‘do-over’ that mimics that era.
If the name Bob Haro sounds familiar, its because Haro was previously better known as a professional BMX rider during the 1980s. But having a passion for electronic music, he’s since taken up his own creative steps into that particular world.
‘Pink & Blue’ is culled from Haro’s Ear Candy EP and features the remix talents of Andy Diamond (and fellow BMX pro) from Diamond Field.
This pop gem is a real palette cleanser if you’ve been indulging in the darker end of the electronic music spectrum lately. You’ll certainly be guaranteed to be humming the tune for the rest of the week once you’ve given it a spin.
WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES – Fight Those Invisible Ninjas
The enigmatic Watch Out For Snakes (aka Matt Baum) has emerged from the Atlanta chip/synth community to perform ‘chip-wave’, a blending of chiptune and synthwave. ‘Fight Those Invisible Ninjas’ showcases this mashup concept in fine style with a pulsing, energetic outing designed to shake the cobwebs off.
Layering NES and Game Boy chip sounds, Watch Out For Snakes crafts tunes that pay homage to old video games and 80s films. At the same time, there’s something more muscular at the heart of Baum’s compositions that sets it aside from your common-or-garden chiptune efforts.
ERIC C POWELL + ANDREA POWELL – Soul to Your Heart
The latest release from electronic musician Eric C. Powell (see TEC review previously) is an intriguing offering which actually dips into the electronic musician’s past. ‘Soul to Your Heart’ was originally a release for Turning Keys, the synth-pop act that featured Eric and Andrea Powell back in the 1990s. Recognised as a top track in the 1991 Billboard Magazine Songwriting Contest, this marks the 30th Anniversary release of the song.
As expected, there’s a lush synthwave veneer to this outing with Andrea Powell’s vocals offering up a warm, evocative quality. The song’s themes on losing yourself in devotion to another person are given some emotional weight via lines such as “Found the past in a picture kept away/You were the only one”.
Meanwhile, the Icy Blue Mix of the song is a starker affair giving the bass elements a more prominent place in the mix. Shimmering synth patterns give this mix a suitably icy feel. Producer Andrik Arkane chimes in with a guest remix, here giving the composition more of a trance-inspired quality with some house beats thrown in for good measure.