Here are some short (for Vehlinggo) recommendations, ranging from expert expressions of horror-synth to lovely synthpop vibes from The Sunshine State to things in-between. It’s not even October yet and I’m already messing with your head. But trust me, for these are all sounds you’ll want to hear.
Vercetti Technicolor – Hard Pill OST
Giallo Disco Records co-founder returns to releasing on his label with this kick-ass score to slasher short Hard Pill. This four-track score is a haunting display of synth work, danceable back beats, and roomy reverb — think techno meets witch house meets your childhood nightmares. Vinyl lovers can snag this OST via the always delectable Dutch label Bordello A Parigi.
Bonus Giallo Disco Records recommendation: In addition to Vercetti’s return release last week, Basque producer WLDV also went home. This time they’ve released the Retribution EP, filled with raw and disturbing Italo Disco revelations. Get ready to fight for your life against dark forces.
OGRE – Murals
The beloved English synth composer Robin “OGRE” Ogden recently released the supremely analogue two-cut, 30-minute EP Murals, recorded on all matters of tape and analogue synths and which sounds somewhat like Tangerine Dream and definitely German.
The bulk of Ogden’s being is composed of music, and so he’s been prolific in releasing scores for films that don’t yet exist (and rescores for films that do). Murals is part of his studies into certain styles, similar to 2015’s arp lab Gradients Live.
“Murals is an all hardware performance, captured in one take to a haunted Tascam Portastudio,” Ogden says on his Bandcamp page. “A sound painting adventure in Kosmische sequencing, improvisation and imaginary landscapes.”
You can also catch Ogden’s OGRE expressions on The Rise of the Synths.
They Came from Rue Morgue (Compilation)
This is an extraordinary compilation that’s poised to splatter your mind all over the walls. Multimedia/multimodal horror-culture powerhouse Rue Morgue turned 20 this year. To celebrate, it gathered some of the finest synth composers, including some of the world’s biggest names in horror-synth, for They Came from Rue Morgue. There is one track for each year Rue Morgue is celebrating. And it’s fucking free to download. You have no excuse not to get it.
Contributors include Giallo Disco Records co-founder Antoni Maiovvi; Zombi; Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss (Tangerine Dream); Makeup and Vanity Set; Nightcrawler; Confrontational (featuring Cody Carpenter); Christine; Repeated Viewing; Steve Greene (Voyag3r) and many other greats.
Curxes – ‘In Your Neighbourhood’
This came to me as a submission and from the opening moments I was thrilled. I love this song. The Isle of Wight-based Curxes’ vocal delivery is in the neighborhood of Lana Del Rey, albeit with more range, smoothly flowing atop a dreamy and kinetic synth-driven electronic composition that exudes suggestions of The Knife and Au Revoir Simone.
The cut is concurrently danceable and contemplative, and is 100 percent blissful. It’s the first single off forthcoming LP Gilded Cage. Keep an eye out for Curxes. (The video below is just plain cool, with a 1970s kids’ show theme.)
PRIEST – ‘White Wing Dove’
“White Wing Dove” marks the return of Floridian synth duo PRIEST — Camille Priest, once known as Madeline, and David Kazyk. This beautiful cut is more of a dark banger than their previous work, but it nevertheless retains their shimmering ability to elevate. Check it out. (Read this interview from 2015, too.)
GGOOLLDD – “Excelsior Springs”
Wisconsin isn’t all Bon Iver and Zola Jesus. There’s also Milwaukee-based electro-pop band GGOOLLDD, who counts Holy Visions (AKA Nicholas Schubert) among its members.
“Excelsior” has fuzzy, fat synths, a moderate-tempo backbeat, and some glistening guitars. Singer Margaret Butler tops this beautiful number with sublimely delivered lyrics that are, I think, about love. Sometimes when I listen to GGOOLLDD I hear elements from the 90s, 2000s, and 2010s, and “Excelsior” doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Perhaps that fusion, when paired with unbridled creativity, is why their work is always fascinating?
Stay tuned for forthcoming EP Teeth.