Monday, 23 April 2018

i-Select #34

This is a series of shows dedicated to electronic/synthpop bands that are unsigned, signed to a small independent label or self release their material.


White Lion Radio prides itself on bringing you music which you don't always get access to and to showcase bands and artists that are really very talented and deserve to be heard.

These shows will feature bands from across the globe!

Listen On Mixcloud

Listen On Hearthis.at

Full Playlist

High Rise Finale - Actions
Vandal Moon - Baby Sounds
ELYXR Ft Kurt Harland Larson - Strange Stubborn Proud
Limelight - Call Me
Metroland - The Speed Of Life III
Kite - Dance Again
Eloquent - Foreign Love Affair
Sector One - A Little Melody
The Rain Within - Atomic Eyes
Blume - Plutonian Shores
VNV Nation - Sentinel
Real Experts - In Pieces
Vandal moon - The Light
Metroland - Trust
Electric Car - Analogue Electronic Whatever
Vogon Poetry - Tomorrow
The Rain Within - While I Am Here
Eloquent - Lay All Your Love On Me
Solitary Experiments - Stars
Caroline McLavy - Don't Wanna (Nature of Wires Remix)
Marsheaux - Get The Balance Right
Sector One - The Communications Satellite

Thursday, 19 April 2018

New Vogon Poetry Album Reviewed

Vogon Poetry, who are an electronic band, based in Sweden, release their brand new album "Life, The Universe And Everything" on April 20th, an album inspired by early 1960s Sci-Fi movies and space exploration.


The opening track "The Upside Down", is very atmospheric, with deep synth pads and erie melody, to me it sounded like they were inviting you to go on a space voyage, a warm and inviting track. heartfelt and emotional vocals are also a feature of this opening track.

Next we have the first single taken from the album "Dangers Of Space", an excellent upbeat song, catchy chorus, great use of voice samples that give the track that Sci-Fi mood.

You really do have to see the video the band made for the track, it is brilliant and was clearly a blast to make!

The video really does encapsulate the song perfectly, so view the video here:

https://youtu.be/GAgHgvjlHAs

Following that we have the new single "Children Of Mine", one of my all time favourite Vogon Poetry tracks, superb vocals against a backdrop of synth and piano stabs, the vocals really do take centre stage here. The track builds nicely, quite minimal for most of the first half, then we get the rhythm and some excellent atmospheric synth pads.

"In Space No One Can Hear You Scream", again has quite deep harmonics and pulsing bass sounds, I like the effects on the vocals in chorus, lots of reverb to give the vocals a more distant and detached feel.  Some nice sound effect touches as well.

"Heart Of Gold" is pure synthpop, four to the floor rhythm, catchy melodic sequencers and a great lead synth melody. One for the dancefloor. It is quite a minimal approach to this song and I think it works really well. One of my favourite tracks on the album.

"Spacewalk" makes use of sound effects in a big way at the start of this track, doors clanging, Hydraulics, the works! Quite harsh and industrial sounding in parts, the song is full of synth beeps, noises and more excellent vocal samples. In parts it did sound a bit cluttered but that may well have been the intention.

"Serenity" is a more refined melodic song, in parts the sequencers reminded me of Kraftwerk, well constructed and melodic, the same goes for the bass-line, which in itself is quite catchy, an instrumental track with the addition of scientific sounding vocal samples, which blend really with the music backdrop, again a track I really like.

"Tomorrow" starts with samples of newsclips of major news stories including 9/11, a mid-paced track with the strongest vocals on the album, this is a beautiful song, the synth work is outstanding, lots of melodic moments, excellent sequencer parts, all set against quite a minimal rhythm section. Without doubt the best track on the album and indeed one of the best Vogon Poetry tracks released to date.

I am delighted that Glenn Main has also provided a bonus remix of the track "Tomorrow", for the album, I'm a massive fan of Glenn's work and his remix is outstanding, takes the track to an even higher level.

This album was clearly a joy to make and shows a different side to Vogon Poetry's music, lots to admire here and it definitely takes you on a voyage to more far out places, very enjoyable to listen to. 8/10

The album is available on CD and Digital Download via Bandcamp, where they also have some special bundles available.

https://vogonpoetrymusic.bandcamp.com/album/life-the-universe-and-everything

Visit the bands Official Homepage here: http://vogonpoetry.band/

Monday, 16 April 2018

The Electronic Music Hour #34

Welcome to edition #34 of our series "The Electronic Music Hour", which features some of the best electronic and synthpop music from the last 40 years.


These shows not only include well known artists from the last 4 decades but new and emerging bands on the electronic music scene from around the world, a lot of which are either unsigned, or on a small independent label, or self release their material.

So the shows will feature old and new tracks that fit in the electronic/synthpop genre.

Listen On Mixcloud

Listen On Hearthis.at

Playlist:

Kraftwerk - The Telephone Call
Erasure - How many Times?
Carved Souls - Dependent
Vaylon - Empty Streets
Tears For Fears - Suffer The Children
Disreflect - Still I Feel
Ultravox - Lament
Our Daughter's Wedding - Lawnchairs
Daybehavior - Change
TourDeForce - X-Ray
Howard Jones - Specialty
Gary Numan - I Dream Of Wires
Future Perfect - Fall
Visage - She's Electric (Coming Around)
Sinestar - Fortunes Faded (Rename Summer Mix)

Metroland's New Album Reviewed

Metroland return with a new studio album on April 20th, called "Men In A Frame", the follow up to their last studio album "Things Will Never Sound The Same Again", released in 2016 and of course it follows on from last years brilliant Box Set "12X12".


For this album Passenger A & Passenger S, have come up with the concept of photography, with a twist. They asked 5 professional photographers from Belguim, known as F-8, to submit 2 of their photographs each and they would be used to inspire the songs recorded for the album.

The opening track "Concrete Witness" is quite dark sounding, after quite a long sequenced intro the songs moves into the soundscape of the mood of tracks found on their "Triadic Ballet" album. Some nice pad sounds which I really like. I did think the intro was a bit too long at almost 2 minutes, but that is a minor gripe. "B-Old" is classic Metroland, wonderful melodic parts and dark and moody synth stabs working beautifully in tandem with gorgeous sequencer patterns, quite upbeat and some nice vocal samples telling us the story of age. One of my favourite tracks on the album and one of the more "commercial" tracks.

"Shades Of Pale" is next and again this is an upbeat number, great bass-lines and sequencers are the order of the day here, another track that leans towards the "Triadic Ballet" sound. The main melody elements of the track are wonderful, warm and hypnotic. The track like the opener is instrumental aside from a voice sample of "Shade Of Pale", a sample the band had to work on for ages to get right according to their sleevenotes. Not sure it fits well in the mix though.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is "Proiezione 41-828", a track that has dark overtones and beautiful synth melodies, the main melody is a thing of beauty. Definitely the most "Pop" track on the album. I also like the voice samples on this song, they work well against the music backdrop. If they were to consider releasing a single off the album, then for me, this would be the track I would release. Metroland at their very best.

Another fantastic track is "La Macchia D'Acqua", which is definitely a nod to the sound of their debut album "Mind The Gap". Luscious sequencers and sinister lead sounds, against a driving rhythm, some neat percussive elements too. Again no vocals other than a brief vocoded part. I love the pads in the middle 8 section, this too, in normal circumstances would make an excellent choice as a single. The drop of water sample at the end is genius.

Next we have "Speed Of Life III", a well layered track, I love the drum sound effects on this song, gives it the track a "gloomy" feel initialy, but then we have the sequencers, ah the sequencers, is their a better band around at creating such memorable and effective sequencer patterns?? The sequencers take the song in a completely different direction. A lot going on in this track, very interesting to listen too and it is another track I really like.

"Creative Rose" is the longest track on the album, at nearly 8 minutes and is probably the most "Kraftwerk" sounding track on the album. The choir pads and rhythm section is a blueprint of the song structures found on the "Mind The Gap" album, this track, musically would fit perfectly on that album, here it takes centre stage on "Men In A Frame", it has all the elements you have come to expect from a Metroland track, great rhythm, strong melody lines and superbly created sequencer patterns. Excellent chord changes also play an effective part in the structure of the song. This more than any other track on the album has grown on me most, I love it and for me it is like listening to one of Metroland's 12 Inch Singles.

"Trust" again has sequencers as the focal point of the track, with dark synth sounds and erie pads, I like the main melody on this one, it is well constructed, we also have some vocoded vocals and voice samples, which help break the track up and give it more of a typical song structure. Reading through the booklet I was instantly intrigued by the track "Hope" as it was created using a picture of The Holocaust Memorial" in Berlin, which I have seen and it is quite a moving tribute to the Holocaust victims, it's interesting the band have turned the negative subject into such an uplifting song, the title says it all. A very warm sounding track, with driving bass and drums overlayed with beautiful synthetic tones, a very strong song, works perfectly in the context of what they were trying to achieve in the making of the track.

The final track on the album is "Next Choice", which uses satnav direction samples as the focal point of the song, musically this is again a mixture of the sound experienced in their first 2 albums. A solid and expansive rhythm section, a good strong bass-line and floating sequenced parts and strong moody melody elements. I suppose with this track it begs the question, what is NEXT for Metroland?? We wait to see with interest.

This is one of those albums you get rewarded the more you listen to it, as ever with Metroland each song is full of many layers to explore, songs superbly constructed and they have kept true to the Metroland sound, but developed it further. It is very interesting they left off the album, the two really commercial tracks recorded for the project, "Man In A Frame" and "Pictures To Listen to", both outstanding tracks, up their with the very best Metroland tracks. That said, the album is more instrumental based and acts as a soundtrack to the photographs that inspired the music, so a pure partnership between music and photography.

Also worth mentioning is the album comes with a 24 page booklet that includes the photographs that inspired the project as well as the band talking about the creative side of making the album.

A fantastic addition to the Metroland music library 9/10

.......If that wasn't enough you can also get hold of a very limited edition CD called "Pictures To Listen To", this features the very best of Metroland, so good, I would only change one track on the compilation. It is worth having for the track "Pictures To Listen To" alone, however, it also includes the extended version of "Man In A Frame" as well as the B Side "F-8", the only place you will find those tracks on CD.

Classics such as "The Passenger", "Cube", "Enjoying The View", "Zeppelin" and "Thalys" are included as well as 2 of my personal favourite album tracks, "Quo Vadis" and "Utopia".

This CD features 16 tracks in all and Alfa Matrix have a very limited amount of these available.

This compilation is carefully put together and a real treat for anybody into electronic music 10/10

The album "Men In A Frame" on CD is available from the Alfamatrix store here:

http://alfa-matrix-store.com/metroland-men-in-a-frame-CD

The Digital Download version is available from Bandcamp, with a bonus mix here:

https://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/album/men-in-a-frame-bandcamp-exclusive-bonus-track-version

You can get a copy of the Compilation CD, "Pictures To Listen To", which is available now, from Alfa Matrix here:

http://alfa-matrix-store.com/metroland-pictures-to-listen-to

Metroland are on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/metrolandmusic

Friday, 13 April 2018

WLR's Top 30 Vinyl 12 Inch Singles Of The 80s (Part 2) Show

Part 2 of our countdown of our 30 favourite vinyl 12 Inch singles from the 80s is now out.


Enjoy this wonderful collection of songs in the 80s 12 inch format, it is a collection that holds special memories for us and I'm sure for the listener too.

Listen to the show on Mixcloud here

Listen to the show on Hearthis.at here

No playlist for this show as it is a chart run down show.

If you missed part 1 you can listen to that show on Mixcloud here

or on Hearthis.at here

Monday, 9 April 2018

Maximum 80s (Volume 58)

White Lion Radio have released Edition 58 of Maximum 80s.

This is a series of shows that feature nothing but the very best in 1980s 12 Inch Singles.

The biggest hits on the biggest format from a classic decade......the 1980s.


Listen On Mixcloud

Listen On Hearthis.at

Track List

Ultravox - Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Extended)
DeBarge - Rhythm Of The Night (Long Version)
Duran Duran - Is There Something I Should Know (Monster Mix)
Alison Moyet - Is This Love (L.A. Extended Mix)
Erasure - It Doesn't Have To Be Like That (The Boop Oopa Doo Mix)
The Specials - Ghost Town (Extended Version)
Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free (12 Inch Extended M&M Mix)
Bryan Ferry - Slave To Love (Special 12 Inch Remix)
Thompson Twins - (Bigger & Better) Lies
Debbie Gibson - Only In My Dreams (Extended Vocal Club Mix)

Thursday, 5 April 2018

New Sector One Album "Telecommunication" Reviewed

Sector One, who are from Sweden have just released their new album "Telecommunication" on the
Plonk Music Label.

Sector One is the project name Roland Snickars, who is from Stockholm, in Sweden, uses and
originally started making music under that name in the late 1980s, releasing several albums and EPs.


The first track on the new album is the title track and what a way to introduce the album, vocoded vocals and superb Bass parts and sequencers join forces with warm synth sounds and wonderful choir chords, excellent use of phone sound effects, one of the best tracks I have heard in a long time and I was delighted to be asked by Roland to make a video for the song (link to the video can be found below), it of course tells the story of how we communicate and interact with each other. The track
blends into Part 2 of the song, which continues like an extended 80s 12 inch single, with added synth lines and pads, an excellent way to develop the track, across 2 parts we have 11 minutes of pure electronica that Kraftwerk themselves would be proud of.

"I Hear Voices" originally featured on the Plonk compilation "We Are Machine Pop 3" in a slighly longer format. The introduction is very Kraftwerk, with superb use of pads and choir sounds, working alongside the warm sequencer patterns, it's quite an upbeat track, the sequencer parts that kick in around the 1 min 40 sec mark are simply fantastic and are what makes the track, it drives the last half of the song, It reminded me of a Science Fiction theme tune, another great track.

"A Little Melody" is an outstanding track, superbly crafted sequencers that really are the focal point of the song, strong bass-line and rhythm that hold the track together perfectly, with a sprinkling of synth sounds, vocoded vocals and melodies. This is another song that could easily have been written by Kraftwerk.

Next we have a song devoted to the inventor of Morse code "Samuel F.B. Morse" and what a tribute it is to the man. I once again love the choir chords that introduce the track along with actual morsecode samples, we then get a spoken history of Morse Code, also against the haunting Choir chords which are really effective. The melody line in the track is simple, but my word, does it pack a punch, it sounds beautiful. This alongside "Telecommunication" are my favourite tracks on the album, quite simply it is a masterpiece.

Next we have another track I am familiar with "Kommunikation", which appeared on the "We Are
Machine Pop 2" compilation. A very melodic track set against haunting strings and choir sounds, again fantastic Bass-Line and sequencers on the track, excellent use of Vocoders and voice samples as well. Quite a lot of layers to this song and I like the way it develops.

"Can Machines Be Sad?", of course they can! That said, this has upbeat overtones and has well crafted melody lines. Roland has replicated sounds similar to what you hear on Kraftwerk's "Pocket calculator" to great effect. Fantastic beat on this song too, excellent use of effects on the vocals. First half is, as I say, quite upbeat, and midway through the song the sad elements take centre stage, before the last section brings us back to uplifting "pop". A well crafted track.

The album closes with the track "The Comminucations Satellite", heavily dominated by the rhythm section before we are treated to the melodic parts that glue the track together, Roland is not only good at creating brilliant sequencer parts, he is also very clever at generating melodies, that is evident throughout the whole album. Definitely the most uplifting track on the album. A perfect way to close the album

It should not be underestimated how importnat the Plonk Music Label is on the independent Electronic Music scene, they are home to some wonderful talent, in addition to Sector One they also have on their roster, Datapop, Neon, Deutsche Bank, Maschine Brennt, Unisonlab, Kevin Lux and Kretz. Already in recent months we have seen brilliant albums released on CD by Datapop, Maschine Brennt and Unisonlab and this album fits nicely alongside those.

This is undoubtably Roland's finest piece of work to date, a flawless piece of work and is an album you really must invest in, you won't be disappointed 10/10

You can purchase the album from Bandcamp here, the digital download also includes the HD video of the title track by Gary Hunter:

https://sector-one.bandcamp.com/album/telecommunication

Sector One can be found on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/Oldschoolsynth/

The video for the title track "Telecommunication can be found on Youtube here:

https://youtu.be/txqaaqDkuHM

Find out more about the artists on the Plonk Music Label here:

http://plonk.nu/