Saturday, 27 October 2018

The New "Best Of 2012-2018" by Exciting Valence Reviewed

Exciting Valence is the music project of David Ehrke, who is from Germany, and his brand of Synthpop/Italo Music is both melodic and infectious.

He started the Exciting Valence project in 2011

I first came across David's music in about 2014, when I heard the tracks "Coming Home" and "It's
Never Too Late", that appeared on the brilliant album "Desire".


The Best of album starts with the track "Here I Am", which showcases his music perfectly, beautiful sequenced melodies intertwined with a great italo disco bassline and solid rhythm section overlayed with beautiful fragile vocals.

Italo Disco takes centre stage on "80 Summer", once again David shows his skills as a maker of
wonderful catchy melodies, the song definitely has a warm summer feel and is very upbeat, the warmth of the pad sounds, certainly play their part.

Next we have the excellent "Coming Home", which has been heavily re-worked for this release, the
remix loses non of the character of the original, it still instantly hits you, this is more of a synthpop track, superb sequencer melodies and driving bass-line and a good solid vocal, superb song I could listen to over and over again. Next we have "It's Never Too Late", for me, David's finest moment, so many layers to this track, I love the Korg M1 Choirs on the song, they make this track something special. So catchy and melodic, with excellent synth parts and probably his best vocal performance, listen to this track and you will instantly be drawn in as it builds up, awesome track.

"Electric Radio" is full on italo disco, a pulsing bass-line and superb rhythm section, excellent use of pads and synth brass stabs and of course melody lines, the rhythm section is what makes this track for me, superbly constructed. "A True Story" is next, very upbeat with it's fantastic bass-line and beautiful synth melody parts, also great use of sequencers, a bit heavy on reverb for the vocals. "Memory" has quite a haunting start to it, with etheral chords, then it's full on dance, a wealth of synths working to their maximum on this song, lots going on, with plenty of melodic sections, again a solid vocal, another big favourite of mine. "We Call It Love", from the moment this track starts you know you are listening to something really special, brilliantly constructed, with such good use of melody lines. For the melodies, think OMD. The hookline in this track is amazing, simple but very effective due to the synth sound David has used. Definitely a highlight on this collection. Synthpop brilliance!

The second half of the album kicks off with another infectious feast, the upbeat "Once Upon A Time", a track for the dancefloor and it packs a punch, as with all the tracks on the album,
superbly produced. The chorus is so unexpected but delightful, strong melody lines throughout,
something David really excels at. David's vocals against the atmospheric music palette and Sequencers, work perfectly. Next we have "Thank You", another track that reminded me of OMD in
parts, a beautiful soundscape, I especially like the melodic sequencer parts and melodies he has
created, another one of those catchy songs you are immediately drawn into. A good strong vocal as well, in short brilliant synth work!

"The Way To You", another track from the "Desire" album, sequencers are on overdrive here to very good effect, a full on dance ensemble, David certainly knows how to get just the right synth sounds for the synth parts in his songs, a blistering fast paced track, another highlight on this best of collection. "Land Of Tomorrow" is again upbeat, with fantastic pads and a memorable chorus line, has an atmospheric feel about it and is a track that wouldn't have been out of place on "Desire". This is one of my favourite tracks on the album, it is faultless, the use of pad chords is exceptional, great rhythm section, sequencers and melodic hooks. A very strong vocal by David make this track a real joy to listen too, another big standout track.

"Found And Lost" sees us back in italo Disco mode, a throbing bass-line and powerful drums, strings and choir sounds, once again, used to great effect, I also like the bell melodies, they work really well over the dominant pads/strings and choir sections. A more stripped down song that works perfectly, David is having such a good time he even starts whistling the melody on the song.......you will to!

"Exciting Dreams", I haven't heard before, but I love the minimal drum start, that is maintained throughout the track and soaring pads which provide the backdrop for the powerful vocals, of course we have the simplistic catchy melody part, this is a heavily stripped down track, however, the rhythm and synths make this a very interesting song to listen too.

The standout "Human Company", one of David's recent tracks and showcases how good he is at constructing a song that has an impact on you when you listen to it. A beautiful melodic track that has influences of both Italo Disco and synthpop, it is a track that really packs a punch. The album closes with "The Sky Is Never Blue", this has also been re-worked and is a much better song because of that. David throws the kitchen at this song, a wealth of sequenced melody lines, melodic hooks, layered synths, pads, all working together to great effect, David's new vocals on the track definitely make this a very impressive track, he couldn't have ended this collection any better.

What an outstanding album, an album he should be very proud of. His music production is outstanding and the way he constructs his songs is truly incredible.

Such a warm sounding album with infectious melodies on every track, it is a collection that is worthy of the title "Best Of".

An album I highly recommend 9.5/10

The album is available here:

https://excitingvalence.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-of-exciting-valence

The album "Desire" is available here:

https://excitingvalence.bandcamp.com/album/desire

Visit the Exciting Valence Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/excitingsynthpop/

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