Artist: Various Artists
Title: We Love Synthpop
Release Date: 17th September 2012
Label: ScentAir (Physical), Foundry Records (Digital)
‘We Love Synthpop’ is a double album compilation born from a Facebook group initiative. The idea was to promote bands around the world with unreleased and exclusive tracks and remixes made by bands from Sweden, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Austria, Greece, Italy, USA... There are a few names known (Tourdeforce, Davos, Brand New Day, People Theatre, Sebastian Komor, Channel East)... and a lot of yet unknown, but promising acts for sure.
I ain't going to go through the 30 tracks in detail, but those we can mention in the pretty good ones (“good” to me meaning not trying to copy all vocals manners from Gahan / Keith / Naghavi / Bell, and not sounding like poor Eurodance act that would haven't even pull out a record in the worst days of the 90's) are: Bradley, Le Plan, with a very interesting voice, SilencioPersonal remixed by People Theatre, Cylix remixed by ForeSin, Synthetixxx remixed by Mental Discipline, Diskarnate, A Blue Ocean's (one of my favourite), Nadia Sohaei, Vaylon, Inter-Connection, Davos, Sharon Next remixed by Sebastian Komor. The Ok-ish tracks – to me, pleasantly listenable and with potential: Cold Connection, Dawnfine, Tourdeforce (feat Lisa P. Duse), Arachnophobias that could have sounded absolutely amazing but the mix is really too weird to me, Nova Pulsar (great voice, nice song, but lake in the production), Technique (would have deserved a better drum) and Theatre Of Masquerade.
In the less interesting: Vanished, ETH, Head-Less remixed by Channel East, Vainerz, Four8ties, Future Project, all of those sounding poor cheap Euro-dance to me, Brand New Day (not that much the track in itself that is quite good, but the sound and production really sound like a poor demo badly encoded), Xanthippe (sorry, can't make it with the voice)... And probably the worst to me... Nouvelle Culture with the most awful voice I've heard for a long time, The Mystic Underground with this poor Andy Bell alike vocal on top or even more poor Eurodance. And there's the UFO I don't know in which category it can fit : The Thought Criminals, which to be honest, sounds like... a punk band that would have discover a couple of synths in their garage and doing a crossroad between Sum41 and the Beach Boys. At least it made me smile, move my feet and I must confess I kind of liked it.
To sum it up, I found 12 very good tracks, 7 OK, 10 that I don't like at all and... the UFO. Considering this is a low price compilation (9.99€ on iTunes, 11.95€ on CD at Poponaut), I guess we have here a pretty decent deal and I would recommend any Synth-Pop lover to go and grab a copy of it. After all, my view is not universal. And on top of that, the initiative deserves to be applauded: a bunch of indie guys pulling out this project that resulted in a presence of many weeks in the Top 5 of Poponaut's bestsellers, a festival in Oberhausen with some of the acts (Xanthippe, Theatre Of Masquerade, Le Plan, reinforced by major acts Psyche and Waiting For Words, sadly not on this compilation). And to be fair with the bands I didn't really like, compiling beginners with experienced bands or producer is a challenge in itself, let's be honest to them. A second volume is already announced. Maybe the “We Love Synthpop” team should go on fewer tracks but only keeping the best ones?
We Love Synthpop Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/290257171034075/
CD available at Poponaut
Digitally available on iTunes, Amazon...
Total: 7 / 10