Tag: Glitbiter

GLITBITER Interview

Photo by Cameron Loewenstein

GLITBITER is the musical vehicle of Los Angeles-based musician and vocalist Florence Bullock.

Following the release of her three song debut EP ‘Short Stories’ in 2017, GLITBITER went on to collaborate with BETAMAXX on the track ‘Skyhigh’ from the acclaimed album ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ and remixed Canadian popwavers PARALLELS. Meanwhile, she also joined North American avant pop combo DEAD ASTRONAUTS for their most recent album ‘Silhouettes’.

With all these new found experiences to develop her own brand of “Dreamy synthwave for the dark soul”, there then came the impressive six song mini-album ‘Glass & Steel’, a fine showcase for an appealing feminine take on the synth form boosted by previous schooling in more traditional forms for that vital musicality.

Taking time out from rehearsing for her first live gig in quite a while and releasing a brand new single called ‘Fall Apart’ written for the ‘Of Tears & Blood’ podcast, Florence Bullock spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about the importance of being GLITBITER…

The ‘Glass & Steel’ mini-album has been a while coming as your first release ‘Short Stories’ was released in 2017?

Yes, I know it’s taken more forever to get new music out! I’ve had the songs on ‘Glass & Steel’ ready to go for ages, but there were lots of ups and downs with people who were potentially going to work on it with me, and frankly, a good deal of procrastination. Ultimately, I realized I just had to do it myself. Luckily, since 2017, I’ve stayed fairly active by playing live shows and doing some collaborations with some amazing people.

Photo by Cameron Loewenstein

How do you look back on the ‘Short Stories’ EP and how you’ve grown as an artist and producer since?

I’m still immensely proud of ‘Short Stories’. I had never released any music up until that point, and really had no idea what to do after I had written and produced the songs. Mixing and mastering were still an enigma to me, so I asked my friend Mike Balboa (who, incidentally mixed ‘Follower’ and ‘Turn’ off of ‘G&S’) for advice, and he said “Just release the songs. You’ll get better as time goes on”.

So, as I’ve learned countless times since, I did it myself. ‘Short Stories’ is 100% me (mastering included), and even though I know it’s not produced perfectly, people still seem to enjoy it. I had something to show after that EP was released, and it opened new doors, allowing me to make new connections, and grow.

What made you decide to use synths as your tools of expression?

I’ve always been drawn to synthesizer sounds. I didn’t necessarily grow up listening to electronic music, but I think it was some combination of subconsciously taking in some late ‘80s and early ‘90s music, as well as video and computer game music that I found along the way. I was particularly enamoured with music from the game ‘Candy Crisis’, which I found out later was made by a bunch of artists in the Mod scene in the late ‘90s. Also, no joke, I was obsessed with EIFFEL 65’s ‘Europop’ in 1999. Sounds like those really stuck with me, and then, when I discovered Synthwave, it really brought everything full circle.

Also, it was practical for me. After years of piano lessons, and some computer production classes in college, I had the skills to make music with synths. I could also do it all “in the box” and save a few bucks.

Photo by Jerry Herrera

Do you have any favourite VSTs or hardware?

Software-wise, I love Diva, and the CS-80 and Jupiter 8 Arturia emulators. My favourite, for years, has been Dune, which is probably my most used VST. I don’t use a ton of hardware, but I occasionally whip out my MicroKorg, especially for the vocoder. I also acquired an Omnichord, last year, which I’m excited to use on some upcoming stuff – fun fact, I added some Omnichord on ‘Low Light’, which is the first track on DEAD ASTRONAUTS’ ‘Silhouettes’.

There are lots of women now in synth, did that give you more encouragement? Who do you look on as your sisters-in-arms?

Actually, when I started GLITBITER, it was the lack of female presence in the scene that really drove me. There was a clear void that I could help fill.

I’m happy to say that, though we’re still the minority, there are so many other women in the scene, now, and some of those ladies are making some of the biggest waves (pun intended?). Of course, being part of a relatively small group of women, I think we all naturally have a bond, whether we’re good friends, or just acquaintances. But a big shoutout to all the ladies whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and/or played shows with – BUNNY X, Czarina, Dana Jean Phoenix, Danielle of WYNDSRFR, Holly of PARALLELS, Julie of FUTURE HOLOTAPE, Lau, Mecha Maiko, Megan McDuffee and Nina.

So is the ‘Girl In A Storm’ autobiographical?

Sort of! Generally, my lyrics are a stream of consciousness – some ideas and phrases in songs connect, and some don’t. For this song in particular, it’s mostly descriptions of images and fears from childhood, with some other stuff that is completely unrelated. In the end, none of it matters, now (“she’s not the same old girl”). But I also change my interpretations of my lyrics, occasionally, so I invite anyone to interpret them how they see fit. I like having lyrics that make people think. Also, funny story, I performed this song only once at a live show, and it happened to be during Hurricane Florence, in 2018.

Photo by Jerry Herrera

‘Follower’ and ‘Turn’ both show a shift move into a more sophisticated use of effects, rhythms and textures?

It’s funny, because I think of those songs as the more straightforward ones on the album. They’re the only two that follow “the formula” (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus). They both have an underlying arpeggio, which gives them more of a fast-moving texture, as opposed to the other songs.

Basically, I think what I’m getting at is… I tricked you into making it seem like these were more complicated than they are! But also, those two were mixed by my friend Mike Balboa, and he knows what he’s doing. His mixing definitely helped bring those two songs to life.

‘Blade’ features some great synthphonic soloing, what inspired that?

I love a good synth melody. It’s one of the main reasons why I love synthwave so much – the fact that I can sing along to synth lines and solos, just as easily as the vocal melodies. Honestly, I’m pretty sure the structure of ‘Blade’ was subconsciously adapted from ‘Subdivisions’ by RUSH. That synth melody after the chorus is one of my favorites of all time – Not technically brilliant, but just a damn good melody. In terms of ‘Blade’, I particularly love how the vocal chorus leads into synth line. It’s something that’s really fun to play live, too.

You opted not to include the interim single ‘See You In The Trees’ on ‘Glass & Steel’, any particular reasons?

I owe a lot of [relative] success to ‘See You In The Trees’, but it was always meant to be a stand-alone song. To me, it’s old news. It’s been so long since I’ve released anything, and I didn’t want to look to the past. ‘Glass & Steel’ had to be its own new thing and I didn’t want an old single to overshadow that.

On BETAMAXX’s ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ album, you contributed to ‘Skyhigh’ which was one of the highlights, how was the collaboration process?

It was great working with Nick Morey and George Hetzer. First of all, it was an honor to be included on that album – BETAMAXX was one of the first artists who I listened to when I discovered synthwave, and to be included among the other power house collaborators MECHA MAIKOVANDAL MOON and Robert Parker was something out of dream.

Nick originally sent me a few songs to choose from, and after playing around with some melodies, ‘Skyhigh’ (which was already named) was the clear winner. I think it took me an hour to come up with the melody and lyrics – it was just one of those things that flowed out, immediately, especially since the music was so great to begin with. After that, there was barely any other back and forth – Just updates from Nick and George, and how the production transformed along the way.

Photo by Cameron Loewenstein

There was that mad metal opera hybrid you did with Gregorio Franco called ‘Awakening’ which brought out another side of you?

This was one of the most fun collaborations I’ve done, thus far. When Gregorio sent that over to me, I honestly didn’t know what to do with it. It was darker, and heavier than anything I had lent vocals to in the past and my normal singing voice just wasn’t quite cutting it for me. It had more power metal vibes, than anything related to synthwave and that’s when I had my aha moment – “Why don’t I just pull a ‘Nightwish’?”.

I studied classical voice for years, and throughout college, so operatic vocals are actually more natural to me than how I usually sing, nowadays. Once I decided to go in that direction, I came up with the melody immediately. The hardest part was re-analyzing how to sing into my microphone – basically I had to be a good two feet further away than normal!

You did a wonderful remix of ‘Vienna’ for PARALLELS 10th Anniversary release of their debut album ‘Visionaries’. There are melodic synth phrases which are similar to Scotland’s WITCH OF THE VALE and their ‘Trust The Pain’; it appears you both perhaps come from like-minded places musically, albeit with an ocean between you?

Full disclosure, I was unfamiliar with WITCH OF THE VALE until this interview, but I totally hear the similarity! Interestingly, vocally, they remind me a lot of AUTUMN’s ‘Grey Solace’, who were in heavy rotation for me around 2003. I listened to a lot of alt / goth music in high school, so I can see where we could have been drawing from similar places!

Back to the ‘Glass & Steel’ mini-album, ‘Out of the Wasteland’ and ‘Fights & Fears’ have folkier overtones, does that come from anywhere particular in your psyche?

Well, I wasn’t consciously going for folk, but I’ll take it! My mom listened to a lot of folk rock when I was growing up (James Taylor, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel etc), and that has influenced me in some shapes and forms. ‘Out of the Wasteland’ is in triple meter, which you don’t find too much in synthwave, but is much more common in folk songs. As for ‘Fights & Fears’, I wanted a more laid back song, that sort of flowed onward, and evolved into an organic structure, and different modulations. Not sure if that’s from my folk psyche, but the concept is a step away from what I’ve generally heard in synthwave.

Photo by Cameron Loewenstein

Do you have a favourite track, either your own or any collaboration so far? What makes it so special for you?

I would say my favorite track is ‘Out Of The Wasteland’. I wrote it ages ago, and it has literally taken me years to get it to its final state, which I am finally happy with. There’s a simple counterpoint melody between the vocals and a synth bell sound in the chorus that I’ve always loved.

Also, the lyrics happen to be a metaphor for the song and its evolution, which was not even initially intended. I like simple melodies, and when things fall into place, and ‘Out Of The Wasteland’ checks all of the boxes.

How have you found taking your music out live because presenting synthwave in that environment is one of its inherent challenges?

Instrumental electronic music is hard to translate into a live setting. I’ve seen countless synthwave acts essentially just “hit the play button”. But I feel that I have an advantage, because my songs have vocals. Sure, I have a backing track – I’m basically a one-woman band, on stage, and I can’t play every single part, but being able to move from behind my keyboard, and sing to the audience allows me to connect to the crowd in ways that instrumental-only acts can’t.

Of course, playing and singing live has its own set of challenges – I can’t sing or play a keyboard part 25 times until it’s perfect – I have one shot. Also, coming from a classical voice background, amplified performance was a completely different ballgame for me. Getting used to singing into a microphone and being able to comfortably hear backing tracks is still something I’m learning to perfect, but I absolutely love the challenge.

Photo by Jerry Herrera

Now you have built some profile and momentum, will the next body of work be sooner rather than later?

I have an upcoming show on June 26th! I’m opening for my friends WYNDSRFR, who incidentally just released a stellar album called ‘Golden Years’. Hopefully more shows will follow after this one. Playing (and seeing) live shows is the thing that I’ve missed the most over the last year and a half – they’re little social hubs where I get to see friends, and meet new people, and I’m stoked that things are opening back up again.

Also, yes, I mentally got over a big mountain with the release of ‘Glass & Steel’, so there should be more from me sooner rather than later. I might have an additional single, and a few collaborations on the near horizon…

Your hopes and fears as the world comes out to play again?

Again, I’m hoping to play live more, and hopefully not just in California. I’ve previously done some traveling to play a show, here and there, around the US, and that has been the most fun. I’m definitely looking forward to more opportunities to fly around, meet new people, and play tunes.

Fears? I tend to be optimistic (maybe too optimistic?), but any fears about the upcoming year have been drowned out by excitement. Let’s leave it at that.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its grateful thanks to Florence Bullock

‘Glass & Steel’ is available as a digital mini-album via the usual online platforms including from Bandcamp at https://glitbiter.bandcamp.com/album/glass-steel

https://www.facebook.com/glitbiter

https://twitter.com/glitbiter

https://www.instagram.com/glitbiter/

https://soundcloud.com/glitbiter

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6aUb5Zujn6ZsAuzuxepUsv


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
23rd June 2021

BETAMAXX Interview

BETAMAXX is the Pittsburgh-based musician and producer Nick Morey whose work is inspired and created by vintage synthesizers.

In acknowledgement of his artist moniker, the first BETAMAXX album was entitled ‘Lost Formats’; released in 2012, it became acknowledged as a trailblazing example of synthwave in the wake of the Ryan Gosling movie ‘Drive’ and its acclaimed soundtrack.

Meanwhile, his 2014 remix of TANGERINE DREAM’s ‘Love On A Real Train’ brought wider recognition and enhanced his reputation.

Despite a short publically announced hiatus in 2015 following ‘Plug & Play’, he returned refreshed after a profile boost with his track ‘Redlining 6th’ from 2013’s ‘Sophisticated Technology’ being included in the soundtrack of the Sci-Fi martial arts comedy featurette ‘Kung Fury’.

2017’s ‘Archaic Science’ was like he’d never been away, but it was 2019’s ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ featuring vocals by VANDAL MOON, GLITBITER and MECHA MAIKO that realised the crossover potential that had been itching to get out since the first BETAMAXX releases.

Despite his zest for collaborations, having also previously worked with PERTURBATOR, ARCADE HIGH and PRIMO THE ALIEN, the new BETAMAXX record ‘Sarajevo’ is a much more reflective solo offering with no vocals or vocoder, a soundtrack to an imaginary film centred around the Bosnian city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Nick Morey kindly chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about synths and stuff in his career as BETAMAXX.

What got you interested in making music with synthesizers and who were your influences?

Good question and kind of a long story. I attribute my initial interest to Madonna’s ‘Immaculate Collection’ which was given to me on cassette by my mother at a very young age. In my late teens, I heard the track ‘Eyes Without A Face’ by Billy Idol and was smitten by the sounds and melodies that I heard. I took a trip to my local CD store (Coconuts Music, which is long since defunct) and I asked the clerk about this song. He responded “Ahhh, that’s Billy Idol with that rich synthesizer sound…” which made me realize how the music was created and how much I loved music from the 80s.

Fast forward to 2010, a good friend of mine showed me some very early “synthwave” from artists like TESLA BOY, FM ATTACK, MITCH MURDER, GRUM and MIAMI NIGHTS 1984 and I was hooked immediately. At that point, I was committed to taking my shot at making this type of music. I had already had some DAW production skills making techno and other random electronic music. By early 2012, I purchased my first truly amazing synth – the Roland Juno 60, which I still own to this day.

How do you now look back on your 2012 debut album ‘Lost Formats’, that’s a great title?

Honestly, very fondly. I still pop it on now and again and feel the energy and excitement I had back then. It finally got the proper pressing it deserved a few years back, and has since sold out. I think it will be remembered as one of the classic early synthwave albums.

‘La Cabane Noir’ from 2013’s ‘Sophisticated Technology’ featured PERTURBATOR, how did that come about as it’s a lot less heavier than the material he’s become well-known for…

Wow, I haven’t thought about that in a long time.

James and I used to chat back in the day before he got huge. And, don’t get me wrong, I am super happy for him and I think he’s a super genuine and funny guy.

I believe I reached out and simply asked him to throw some parts on it and it ended up working out.

You retired in 2015 but then Gary Numan did so in 1981… what happened there? Are artists still very much vulnerable to burn out despite history having demonstrated that applying too much pressure on musicians can lead to all sorts of issues?

This is not the first time I’ve been asked this. 2015 was a really difficult year for me personally. If I would have met 2015 “me” now, I probably would have kicked my own ass. I attribute it to a low point in my life, but I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made. Artists can be fickle at times, as a good handful of artists get swallowed up in their own emotions. I’m glad to still be producing music.

‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ could be considered your breakthrough record in that it reached audiences outside of what could be considered the synthwave scene, why do you think it was able to crossover?

Generally speaking, I like mixing things up. I like to experiment and crossover genres, especially new wave, house, Italo and post-punk. I happened to connect with Blake Voss of VANDAL MOON through my good friend Shawn Ward from FM ATTACK, and became instant friends. ‘Never Sleep Again’ was proof of this, considering it’s not much like anything else I’ve ever created.

As well as VANDAL MOON, you worked with some diverse vocalists such as GLITBITER and MECHA MAIKO to achieve the variation in styles that were collected on ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’, what was the collaborative process like with each of them?

For these specific tracks, I started with various instrumental ideas and reached out to them to see if they were interested in working with me. Thankfully, all parties agreed and I let them essentially do whatever they wanted, stepping back from a creative control standpoint and letting them have fun and do their thing.

The ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ instrumental could be considered a refinement of the synthwave form but do you think the term has become too restrictive artistically?

Yes, I do. I feel like that term gets thrown around quite loosely, and I don’t really feel like I fit into that category so much anymore, being that my sound has been more or less consistent over the years.

I haven’t found the urge to start writing polished, carbon copy radio pop with a grid, a palm tree and a sunset on my album cover.

‘Disco Dreamgirl’ does what it says on the tin, was the track’s muse a real person?

I’m not at liberty to say who that is! *laughs*

So after ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’, what inspired you to compose a largely downtempo instrumental concept album such as ‘Sarajevo’?

I was really itching for something new to create and a new style to dive into. I’ve been in love with BOARDS OF CANADA’s music since my early 20s and decided that I wanted to take a crack at writing in that style. I looked at the gear that I have and realized that was totally possible, if not for some hard work and experimentation. The first track I wrote was ‘Sarajevo’, the title track on the album. I had just purchased the reissue of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 which provided a lot of inspirational sounds right off the bat for this record.

But why the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, because for example, there have been two films ‘Cool Runnings’ and ‘Eddie The Eagle’ made about events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics? It’s perhaps not an obvious subject, or is it?

Once again, a long story… I’m a big enthusiast of brutalist architecture, specifically 80s and prior angular / geometrical style structures. I was looking at architecture online, and stumbled upon “Hotel Igman”, which you see in the cover of the album. I became intrigued about this building, and started reading more in depth about the history of it. I also was fascinated by the fact that, in modern times, it’s a completely bombed out shell of its former self. After I discovered the ‘84 Olympics, I was compelled to write something that I felt about it, and the various stories I have read about Sarajevo. It just seemed right to me and the music sort of poured out of me.

‘Igman’ is a key track as that hotel has becoming something of a symbol now in its derelict state?

Yes, I’d say so. I think it was an absolutely stunning piece of architecture then and even now. It drew me in immediately and needed to know the whole story. I’ve watched several YouTube videos of people exploring it. It blows my mind.

Had there been any particular archive photographs or videos that you imagined soundtracking, like your own film documentary on those Games for any of the tracks?

I kind of did a deep dive into loads of footage from the ‘84 Winter Olympics and was inspired by a ton of things that I saw, particularly Bill Johnson’s run, as well as Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean’s performances on ice.

How would you have constructed a track like ‘Downhill’ which celebrates Bill Johnson’s gold medal victory in the Downhill event?

I wanted at least one track that was suspenseful and intense. After watching some footage of downhill skiing in Sarajevo, I found the clip of Bill Johnson and could feel the excitement in the announcers’ voices. It was totally unintentional, but I felt that sample absolutely needed to be included in the intro of the song.

The ‘Sarajevo’ title track actually applies some dub echoing, what had been on your mind to shape the track in this manner?

Good question, this was also completely unintentional. The friends I’ve showed that to seem to all say it’s a very “industrial” track, but I guess I just don’t hear it that way. I wanted to lay something down that was really dark, ethereal, and heavy. The CMI sampler I used seemed to compliment the bridge of the song.

‘Ceremony’ closes the album with a slow waltz and it has this elegiac Arvo Pärt ‘Spiegel Im Spiegel’ feel about it?

Truth be told, I am not at all familiar with that artist, although I very much look forward to checking that out. I wanted to portrait a very emotional track with drifting (sliding in and out of tune) synths to give it an almost “unsettling” vibe. I think it’s kind of a beautiful track, and it would suit well in a specific movie scenario.

You have a fine collection of analog synthesizers, do you have any particular favourites?

Why thank you! Yes, I’ve been collecting for a number of years now. I’d say my Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 is to attribute to a lot of my sounds. It’s an extremely versatile synth with a lot of amazing real time features that are easy to get inspired by.

Sequential makes amazing products, which I would recommend to anyone in the market to buy a thick, meaty analogue synthesizer with useful features.

Is there a synth you desire and is there any particular reason?

Not to sound cliché, but I would love to own a real Jupiter 8 someday. Other than that, I’m actually really happy with the gear that I have. I feel like I honestly have too much, but that is usually good for when I’m bored with my main stuff, to switch out to and experiment with.

What do you think of these copycat synths that Behringer are making?

Honestly, not super into them right now. Behringer makes some quality basic musical products, but I’m not super sold on their synths. One of my best friends swears by their 808 clone, but I haven’t played with it yet. I was really disappointed with the Deepmind 12, unfortunately. Programming wasn’t very friendly and I didn’t care a lot for the sounds, it also sounded very thin to me. That all being said, I’ll always give them a chance. Some of their clones are super intriguing, but generally are not available for demos at retail stores.

How do you think synthesizer music is developing now?

I don’t feel it’s going in a great direction. Most artists now are focusing on the same equation to make it big. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the bottom line is that I’m just not seeing a lot of artistry involved, and it’s more or less a “copy and paste” methodology and it seems to really work well for some people. I refuse to not put extremely serious though into what I put out, regardless of potential backlash.

You have both self-released and worked with record labels, do artists these days still need one? How do you see music distribution moving forward?

I feel that, if an artist can’t afford to press their own record and or tape or whatever, go for a label if they’re interested.

You have a strong relationship with Shawn Ward aka FM ATTACK and he has done some additional production on ‘Sarajevo’ as well as being your label boss at Starfield, but have the two of you considered doing a full album together as a joint effort?

Oh yeah, for sure. And I wouldn’t call him my boss in affiliation with Starfield, he’s one of my tightest homies. We confide in each other quite a bit and stay in contact regularly. I’m blessed to call Shawn a good friend of mine. Right now, it’s kind of hard to be able to do a fully collaborative album for the both of us, although that would be really rad to accomplish sometime down the road.

Your recent single with PRIMO THE ALIEN ‘Watch Me’ was a rather groovy concoction, is this an indicator of a future direction for you?

Hopefully! I really dig the groove of that track, and I think it succeeded in a lot of ways. I feel it’s a lot different from anything I had previously released, and it felt good to scratch that itch. I’m not the greatest into diving into “the funk” but I think I did right by ‘Watch Me’.

So will your next album be a pop / dance oriented one or would you like to develop the more ambient side of your music as showcased on ‘Sarajevo’?

Honestly, I really don’t know enough to tell you the next writing style I’m going to be focusing on. It will be interesting and heartfelt, whatever that may be. Lately I’ve been really enjoying the ambient stuff.

What’s next for you, what are your hope and fears for the future?

Looking forward to collaborating with friends and building something, whatever that may entail. I won’t be straying from producing music.

I would like to go on tour again soon, but I likely won’t be booking any dates this year due to the pandemic. I really miss traveling, seeing the world and meeting new friends.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to BETAMAXX

‘Sarajevo’, ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ and most of the BETAMAXX back catalogue is available in various formats direct from https://betamaxxmusic.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/betamaxx80s/

https://twitter.com/betamaxx80s

https://www.instagram.com/betamaxx/


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
19th May 2021

GLITBITER Glass & Steel

GLITBITER is the musical vehicle of Los Angeles-based musician and vocalist Florence Bullock.

Classically trained with a love of esteemed songwriter Jimmy Webb, she describes her style as “Dreamy synthwave for the dark soul”.

One of her forays into the North American synthwave scene included her contribution to BETAMAXX’s ‘Lost In A Dreamworld’ album on ‘Skyhigh’, with the song’s vibrato treated vocal stabs on the coda being a particular delight. There was also a cameo in the video for another BETAMAXX track ‘Never Sleep Again’ which was fronted by gothwavers VANDAL MOON.

Meanwhile, when PARALLELS celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their debut album ‘Visionaries’ with some specially commissioned remixes, GLITBITER’s sparking rework of the song ‘Vienna’ was the best of the bunch. More recently, she joined DEAD ASTRONAUTS for the recently released ‘Silhouettes’ album with ‘Thorns’ being one of the highlights.

Having issued a promising three track EP ‘Short Stories’ in 2017, GLITBITER has taken the next step with a six song mini-album called ‘Glass & Steel’. This title is an appropriate pointer to its contents and the first thing instantly noticeable is the leap in sonic progression compared with her earlier work.

The melancholic folk-laden opener ‘Out of the Wasteland’ adopts a slow swing template and recalls Scotland’s WITCH OF THE VALE or Sweden’s Karin My but enhanced by speedy arpeggios and prominent synthbass drones. More four-to-the-floor with a driving bass triplet, ‘Turn’ gallops into the sunset with a rich display of vocal prowess.

Featuring a soaring sweeping synth solo that is a total delight, ‘Blade’ reveals an angelic crystalline quality to a more archetypical synthwave template although GLITERBITER puts her own stamp on the form, learning lessons from her association with BETAMAXX.

Much more ringy in tone, ‘Girl In A Storm’ applies an interesting use of stuttering rhythm at its start before embarking on its syncopated journey while swathed in folky overtones.

With a meaty rhythmic construction that doesn’t overbear, ‘Follower’ pulsates wonderfully while also providing space to breathe for the gloriously emotive vocals. ‘Glass & Steel’ ends with ‘Fights & Fears’, a lush set piece that includes bright and bent synth passages to take the listener into another zone.

With all the songs written, produced, performed and primarily mixed by GLITBITER except for ‘Turn’ and ‘Follower’ by Mike Balboa, ‘Glass & Steel’ is an impressive debut long form release that avoids most of the synthwave clichés to showcase GLITBITER as an electronic talent for the future.

Dark without being doomy and eschewing the shoegaze distortion or tune aversion that mars the majority of dreampop, ‘Glass & Steel’ provides an appealing feminine air to the synth form with a few traditional elements for that crucial facet of musicality.


‘Glass & Steel’ is available as a download via the usual digital platforms including
https://glitbiter.bandcamp.com/album/glass-steel

https://www.facebook.com/glitbiter

https://twitter.com/glitbiter

https://www.instagram.com/glitbiter/

https://open.spotify.com/album/3zormHJrj6eZdjAFE7ljZs


Text by Chi Ming Lai
3rd May 2021