For those with a penchant for the vintage synthesizer sounds of Italo-disco , cold wave and new wave synthpop, these are exciting times. While Andy Blakeâ€™s Dissident label is no longer with us, itâ€™s legacy lives on â€“ not just in the work of a whole raft of fast-rising electronic music producers, but also in the development of synthwave.
This superb compilation from Cyber Dance â€“ subtitled â€śthe new electro/disco sound of Londonâ€ť â€“ offers a neat insight into the retro-futurist stylings of Britainâ€™s tiny but impressive synthwave, electro and Italo scene. Itâ€™s as good a snapshot of that scene as youâ€™re likely to find â€“ this year, at least.
Throughout, the sounds are achingly vintage â€“ all late 70s/early 80s flat-pack synths, new wave style and slightly wobbly drum machine beats â€“ but this is more than mere revivalism. Thereâ€™s a freshness and exuberance to the productions that canâ€™t fail to excite. Perhaps understandably, itâ€™s Brassica and Ali Renault who provide the big-name flourish. Brassicaâ€™s â€śLydden Circuitâ€ť is a chiming robot chorus wrapped up in a chic synthwave finish, while Renaultâ€™s â€śDeep Sea Pumasâ€ť is a creaking dancefloor throb that sounds like it was beamed down from the stars.
Yet their are plenty of other stand-outs here from the sceneâ€™s lesser-known names â€“ up and coming artists whoâ€™ve yet to make their mark on electronic music at large. Itâ€™s these contributions that make Messages From The Void Vol 2 so indispensable. Check the slo-mo Italo chug of Martin Astonâ€™s â€śMannistaâ€ť, the back-to-the-future alternative pop of Bill Ambroseâ€™s â€śPariahâ€ť, and the icy expanse of â€śArctic Wolfâ€ť by Glaswegians Meschi; all push synth-heavy electronic music in exciting new directions.