Update: A couple days after I posted this, Highway Superstar went and gathered some people for quite the anniversary surprise.
Today marks the fourth anniversary of Vehlinggo. This is a good opportunity to catch up on interviews, reviews, news, and epic mixes you might have missed from the past year, because a ton of important stuff happened between the site’s third birthday and today. A lot of good things are coming in this site’s fifth year, too, but let’s stop and have a look at this past year.
For one thing, I launched a podcast on the venerable Damn Fine Network, which is pretty wild. There was also the first Vehlinggo Presents release, that included artists involved in horror film The Eyes of My Mother, remixing Cassius, co-writing new material with Information Society, and creating the theme song for Chelsea Handler’s erstwhile Netflix show. Oh, and Dana Jean Phoenix wore a Vehlinggo logo tee in her latest music video. The Golden Gate never looked so cool. Those are but a few cool things. Read on and have a pleasant time.
(Feature Photo: From left: Marko Maric of Synthetix, Ernest Mancia of Future Holotape, Aaron of Vehlinggo, Jazzi Marcat of Synthetix, and Julie Chang of Future Holotape.)
Here are the interviews in descending order of publication date. Are you even ready for this? I didn’t realize how awesome this was until I wrote it all out.
Nov. 9, 2018: Synthwave artist Roxi Drive, a newer face who is poised to make some waves.
Oct. 29: Film composer and legendary sax player Colin Stetson (Hereditary).
Oct. 2: Mac Quayle, composer for shows like Mr. Robot and American Horror Story, and former member of Cliff Martinez’s composing team (Quayle worked on Drive.)
Sept. 27: Ian Hultquist, composer for Assassination Nation and many other films and TV shows. Also was in Passion Pit for years.
Sept. 21: Anoraak, a profile centered on the 10th anniversary of his seminal Nightdrive With You. It’s the first in what will be several Valerie Stories. This is an important piece for me.
Sept. 19: Federico Jusid, longtime composer of some of the best in Spanish and Argentinian cinema is doing more American work as of late.
Sept. 5 and Aug. 30: A pair of features on the groundbreaking NEON retrofest in Rhode Island. One focused on the homecoming/reunion element of the three-day event and the other on the shows.
Aug. 12: Daniel Davies discussed the making of his solo album Events Score and also gave some hints about his work with John and Cody Carpenter on the Halloween score.
June 13: The renowned Deru. We talked about his work scoring the YouTube show Impulse and the Marvel podcast centered on Wolverine.
June 6: Cliff Martinez returned to Vehlinggo in one of my best pieces, written about one of my favorite musicians. Just read it.
May 10: Cobra Kai composers Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg did a Q&A that was quite enlightening.
May 7: Vandal Moon, one of the most underrated post-punk/new wave revivalists out there. FM-Attack produced his stunning album.
May 3: Composer Nathan Barr and I said goodbye to The Americans, one of my favorite shows of all time. His score for it is so very memorable.
April 22: French House legend Lifelike, in his second Vehlinggo interview, discussed his then-new EP Miami Nice.
April 3: Metavari discussed how to be dark by embracing joy.
March 20: The Mad But Soft power of Mecha Maiko.
Feb. 21: Teeel returned with a profoundly special new album and we dove into it.
Feb. 20: Duo Dream System 8 make 80s-heavy synth-pop that resonates. They talked about their project and their lives. David Klotz, one-half of the duo, would know a thing about 80s-inspired art — he’s a music editor for Stranger Things. That same day, synthwaver Tokyo Rose did a Q&A.
Feb. 13: The Ritual composer Ben Lovett tells the story behind the making of the score for the Netflix horror film.
Feb. 2: Steve Green wondered if reality isn’t real.
Jan. 28: Scored to Death author and podcaster J. Blake Fichera talked about interviewing decades worth of horror film composers. That same day, NewRetroWave founder and CEO DJ Ten did an interview about his newest album.
Jan. 22: The Eyes of My Mother composer Ariel Loh went through an extensive rundown of the making of his nuanced and engaging score.
Dec. 20, 2017: Electric Youth were the subject of one of my best profiles ever. It’s a can’t-miss, cornerstone piece.
Dec. 2: Halt and Catch Fire composer Paul Haslinger and I said goodbye to one of my favorite TV shows of the past several years.
Nov. 20: Swedish synth star Waveshaper did a quick Q&A about a unique project he was working on. It’s retro in style and substance.
Here are the podcast interviews in descending order.
Season 3 – Episode 7, Sept. 22, 2018. Guests Dana Jean Phoenix and Absolute Valentine discussed their NEON Festival experience and their latest releases.
Season 3 – Episode 6, Aug. 18. Le Matos were the guests on this episode. They premiered a track from and talked about the score for Summer of ’84, a new horror film from the directors of Turbo Kid.
Season 3 – Episode 5. July 21. Synth musician and director Pilotpriest (AKA Anthony Scott Burns) and I talked about Burns’s beloved albums, such as Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, his current projects, and his work with friends Electric Youth.
Season 3 – Episode 4. June 23. Interviews with Deadly Avenger and Mecha Maiko.
Season 3 – Episode 2. April 28. An interview with beloved synth composer Xander Harris, who’s coming off a traumatic experience, and Highway Superstar.
Season 2 — Episode 1. March. (Pre-Damn Fine Network) Features an interview with Timecop1983. (I think this was also the episode that showcased a previously unreleased Miami Nights 1984 song.)
Nov. 19, 2017: (Pre-DFN) A third anniversary podcast episode featuring Col Bennett of FM-84 and Tony Giles of the Damn Fine Network and Lakeshore Records.
I also hosted podcast episodes for Lakeshore Records, interviewing Videoman composers Robert Parker and Waveshaper and director Kristian Söderström; and also returning to Cliff Martinez for a Birth.Movies.Death premiere.
The Other Goodies
Honestly, there’s just too much to write about by way of reviews and premieres. Just go down this review rabbit hole, but do take a pit stop for pieces such as the one on The Midnight’s Kids, the essay on Tess Roby’s Beacon, the screed about the Mandy soundtrack, and on the Annihilation soundtrack. There are more that are worth reading, but they’re too legion for me to recount here.
For premieres, let’s just say that readers were welcomed with gems such as the temporary return of Sally Shapiro, a new Maethelvin cut, a video for Ryuichi Sakamoto (as remixed by Electric Youth), Highway Superstar remixing Samantha Fox, a Rob Simonsen score cue for Love, Simon, a massive Dead Shack sneak peak, and some Graham Reznick, among so many others.
For exclusive mixes, turn to none other than Johan Agebjörn or Forgotten Illusions or Highway Superstar, or perhaps Timothy Fife? Or more?
Nov. 19, 2014: ‘Save the Day’
Vehlinggo seems older than 4. That could be because I’d spent a fair amount of time with the conception and planning of it in the year or two prior — fits and starts that didn’t coalesce into a public post until Nov. 19, 2014.
On that day I posted this review of College’s Save The Day EP. This was before I had The Logo and back when the site’s design was a bit more mundane. But I was fresh off the vibes of seeing Electric Youth live — a life-changing experience — a week earlier and just couldn’t sit on launching Vehlinggo anymore. About two weeks into launch, I posted a review of Futurecop!’s lovely Fairy Tales album, which Futurecop! shared on their socials, thereby helping to establish an audience for the site.
About a week later College would perform a show in Manhattan, with Nola Wren coming on stage to perform “Save The Day.” It was a compelling show. I wrote a review of it — one that in retrospect isn’t as well-written as it should have been. Anyway, College shared the review on his Facebook page, which played a big role in building traction for this site. I’d finally get The Logo, designed by Discodust and Valerie Collective artist Alexander Burkart, a couple months later.
There’s some history for you. (So many people have helped make this website work over the years, and this is just a snapshot. One day I’ll be honorable and do a proper list.)