Introducing COMPUTER MAGIC

Based out of New York State, producer, label owner and songwriter Danz Johnson is COMPUTER MAGIC.

A Japanophile or “shinnichi” as the locals like to put it, Johnson actually released her first album ‘Scientific Experience’ as a Japan only release in 2012. A prolific musician, a series of EPs filled the interim period before her 2015 long player ‘Davos’ reached Stateside retailers. From it, songs like ‘Fuzz’ and ‘Give Me Just A Minute’ recalled the early adventures of LADYTRON, while ‘Hudson’ hinted more at the leanings of DUBSTAR.

COMPUTER MAGIC’s self-explanatory ‘Obscure But Visible’ EP released last year has been hailed as her best body of work yet and it has been given a promotional boost thanks to a fabulous video for vibrant synthpop of ‘Been Waiting’. Directed by Anise Mariko with animation from Abi Laurel, the futuristic giddy innocence of ‘Been Waiting’ is superbly captured in this visual accompaniment, which more than illustrates Johnson’s love of the Far East,

Of the remaining tunes from ‘Obscure But Visible’, STEREOLAB fans will delight in the vibey ‘Dimensions’ and wispy naivety of ‘Lonely Like We Are’… in fact, listening to these two songs, it is actually quite difficult to identify Johnson as American! Meanwhile, the short but sweet lo-fi Latin romp of ‘New Generation’ springs a surprise before the more indie sounding ‘Gone For The Weekend’.

It’s a light-hearted, varied collection of songs without a doubt and a fine introduction to the appealing kooky world of COMPUTER MAGIC.


The ‘Obscure But Visible’ EP is released by Channel 9 Records as a 10 inch vinyl EP, cassette and download

http://www.thecomputermagic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/computermagic/

https://twitter.com/zdanz

https://www.instagram.com/danz_cm/

http://computermagic.bigcartel.com/


Text by Chi Ming Lai with thanks to Adam Cresswell
27th May 2017

Introducing SOFTWAVE

Impressing recently at Synth Wave Live with a very engaging performance were Danish duo SOFTWAVE.

Already supported by Artefaktor Radio who co-hosted Synth Wave Live, the Herlev couple of singer Catrine Christensen and music producer Jerry Olsen released their first EP ‘Together Alone’ in Summer 2016.

A six track collection of appealing Nordic synthpop, it includes their debut single ‘Follow You’ and the solid live favourite ‘Awake But Still Asleep’.

With debut releases often being like dress rehearsals in public, SOFTWAVE have learnt very quickly and a few months on, have actually managed to improve on the EP’s best number ‘On & On & On’ with a throbbing alternate reworking by Olsen for a remix version of the EP. As the video illustrates, it is a hope filled electronic tune with the positivity mantra: “In a world of circles, she goes on and on and on…”

‘Together Alone – The Remixes’ features five of the original EP’s tracks over nine remixes and while these vary in accomplishment, ‘The Light Behind My Eyes’ in particular benefits from a remix courtesy of David Burdick which adds a chirpier paced Europop groove.

Like their Scandinavian neighbours TRAIN TO SPAIN who they could be most compared to, SOFTWAVE are greatly inspired by the sequenced superpop of Vince Clarke. Their optimistic outlook is to “make sense of today’s relationships, while exhibiting strength and patience when it comes to fighting for it and the one you love”.

Meanwhile, SOFTWAVE have entered into a partnership with a local car-dealer who are organising a huge event which they have asked the duo to perform. There are hopes that this could lead to a tie-up with a major car brand… well, it worked for Synth Wave Live headliner NINA so why not SOFTWAVE?

As well as working on their debut album, SOFTWAVE will be featuring on ‘Electropop.12’ released by Conzoom Records and are planning to open for some bigger artists.

SOFTWAVE’s promising synth laden sound is another sign that in some parts of the music world, it’s like acid house never happened and for this, The Electricity Club is extremely grateful 😉


‘Together Alone’ and ‘Together Alone – The Remixes’ are available as download EPs from https://softwave.bandcamp.com/

SOFTWAVE play the Drop Inn in Copenhagen on 29th June 2017

http://www.softwavemusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SoftWaveMusic/

https://twitter.com/SoftWaveMusic

https://www.instagram.com/softwave_music/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
12th May 2017

Introducing ANNEKA

From Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, the Brighton-based collective that brought you GAZELLE TWIN, comes another enticing songstress by the name of ANNEKA.

Having already opened for EAST INDIA YOUTH and guested for other artists including STARKEY, ITAL TEK and FALTY DL, Anneka Warburton’s avant pop has now come to full solo fruition with the release of her first EP ‘Life Force’. The brooding title song begins sparsely with the breathy air of HANNAH PEEL before pulsing sequences and a cacophony of voices penetrate through to create a cavernous atmosphere.

Captivatingly cinematic, its imaginative narrative comes from the perspective of an android with a plea to “give me flesh, give me blood, it’s what I need”. As it progresses, ‘Life Force’ becomes more ritualistic, but with a subtle percussive fervour rather than tubthumping.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic video provides an appropriate cerebral visual accompaniment that compliments the mood in each of the song’s various mini-movements.

Of the other tracks, sampled voices dominate ‘Caramel’ like OMD at their most experimental, producing a synthetic sound sculpture that is delightfully odd but accessible. The eerily funereal ‘A Strange & Distant Town’ aurally documents the end of a destructive relationship in a collage of chorals.

A haunting soprano intros the EP closer appropriately titled ‘End Of It’. Taking a leaf out of the early work of GAZELLE TWIN, it is the apocalypse presented as a unsettling but dreamy soundscape, layered with raw vocals and assorted technological treatments.

Short but sweet, the ‘Life Force’ EP is a fine introduction to ANNEKA that possesses a ghostly escapism that creates time and space to think.


‘Life Force’ is released by Anti-Ghost Moon Ray and available as a download with a 10 page digital art booklet from https://annekamusic.bandcamp.com/album/life-force-ep

http://annekamusic.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/annekamusic

https://twitter.com/Annekamusic

https://soundcloud.com/annekamusic

http://www.antighostmoonray.com


Text by Chi Ming Lai
1st May 2017

Introducing LIZETTE LIZETTE

LIZETTE LIZETTE is Lizette Nordahl, a gender neutral Swedish / Peruvian producer and performance artist whose first mini-album album ‘Queerbody’ was released in January 2017.

Having started out in a more rave inclined environment and even issuing an EP entitled ‘Raveland’ in 2012, LIZETTE LIZETTE has now ventured into more synthy climes.

The concept of ‘Queerbody’ is a rallying cry against the “conservative and male-dominated” synth scene in Sweden which has showed signs of stagnation in the last 18 months. Strong messages are always best delivered with a tune and the mini-album has the air of KITE is all over it, which is not entirely surprising as its co-producers are Nicklas Stenemo and Christian Berg from the acclaimed duo. One of the highlights from ‘Queerbody’ is the epic ‘Rest’.

Duetting with Stenemo, ‘Rest’ is a wonderfully refined pop statement from LIZETTE LIZETTE, with swirling synth sounds and the widescreen Nordic atmosphere which makes electronic music from the region so appealing. It actually has an optimistic mood of acceptance despite the melancholic tone, with Senemo’s majestic growl complimenting Nordahl’s assertive snarl marvellously.

Meanwhile, the powerhouse of ‘Future’ originated from a track that Christian Berg hadn’t used for KITE and recalls the pulsating tension of ‘I Can’t Stand’ from their ‘V’ EP. The equally dynamic ‘Slow’ also emerges cut from a similar satisfying cloth. But the thrills don’t end there!

Full of feisty energy, ‘Freak’ is a tremendous declaration of frustration as LIZETTE LIZETTE announces “I know that I am strange…” – to illustrate the song, Nordahl has conceived a video directed by Emerson Berglund based around a Jerry Springer talk-show format with local comedian Johan Wahlström playing the host.

Throughout ‘Queerbody’, the lyrics exude bitterness and betrayal with the opening song ‘Easy Street’ specifically attacking those perceived to have had a privileged ride in life… The Electricity Club can connect with this one in relation to the clueless posh boys who proliferate the world of music journalism. Then there’s the electronic drama of ‘Scapegoat’ which comes from a similar kind of mindset while the more haunting, reflective tone of ‘All You Stole’ rounds off an impressive mini-album.

A fan of NIRVANA and HOLE before discovering the charms of VISAGE, SOFT CELL and DEPECHE MODE, the varied influences of LIZETTE LIZETTE on ‘Queerbody’ blueprint an exciting forthright direction to take electronic pop in the future. REIN indeed now has a rival…


‘Queerbody’ is available as a download direct from https://lizettelizette.bandcamp.com/releases

http://lizettelizette.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lizettelizettequeer/

https://www.instagram.com/lizettelizette/

https://soundcloud.com/lizette-lizette/sets/queerbody


Text by Chi Ming Lai with thanks to Deb Danahay
Photos by Izabella Englund
17th April 2017

Introducing MOLINA

Denmark’s Rebecca Molina confesses that she “draws inspiration from the old 70s synth scene and blends it with its intuitive and quirky pop melodies”.

Taking you to “a dreamy atmospheric production, with a classic pop form, which is dominated by vibrant industrial drums”, the Copenhagen based multi-instrumentalist debuts with her atmospheric EP ‘Corpus’ which presents six tracks of experimental synthpop.

These songs skilfully combine the future and the vintage years of electronica.

MOLINA writes, produces and even creates videos to accompany her music, which puts her in line with the Canadian synth starlet GRIMES.

‘Dream Original’ kicks off the production wth harsh snare tones, various drum rolls, whistling, classic sounding synth and that chaotic representation is indeed as original as it gets, before ‘Are They Gold?’ Various influences are palpable here, ranging from DEPECHE MODE through AND ONE, AVRIL LAVIGNE and I AM SNOW ANGEL.

‘Vaporised’ is a vocal interplay extravaganza, while ‘Hey Girl’ is a melodic gem that GRIMES herself would be proud to put down her own name to. ‘Meat Monster’ again brings the old and new together, with a sublime use of synth and a haunting vocal; TEARS FOR FEARS meets GOLDFRAPP as hand-in-hand off, they walk off into the bright synth future.

First single ‘Salvation’ closes the EP with further sonic border bending and a refreshing self-confidence exhibited by the artist when it comes to, not only her own creativity, but also her body and innate ability to create music.

For MOLINA, this release is “a tribute to me and my own body, and what it can show me mentally and physically. That’s why I called it ‘Corpus’… it’s about letting go, enjoying the present and praising myself for who I am without having any disgrace.”

And so she did; MOLINA has taken the sound of vintage electro and combined it with fresh, quirky and futuristic experimental approach. If it worked for GRIMES, it will certainly work for her.

Now Denmark for sure joins Norway, Sweden and Finland in the field of artful synthpopia.


‘Corpus’ is released by No3 via the usual digital platforms such as iTunes and Amazon

https://www.facebook.com/corpusmolina/

https://www.instagram.com/rebbemolina

https://soundcloud.com/corpusmolina


Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
26th March 2017