Tag: Synthdecade


SYNTHDECADE SyndicatorBack in May 2015, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s radar pointed to a German band from Frankfurt, which formed in 2012 and promised to “revolutionise the Electronic Pop music sector”, SYNTHDECADE.

Self-proclaimed as “the next generation of synth”, which always invites interest and curiosity; the band, who already seem to have lost a member in Marc Renard on keyboards (perhaps he got tired of waiting!) is now consisting of the vocalist Rick Pleasant and programmer/keyboardist Sean Dexter.

Three years is a fair amount of time to write a decent album, especially one that has been heavily pushed on social media, with the accompanying photographs of immaculately groomed band members, pouting away at the camera, as if advertising a new aftershave.

Both tracks, which have been released with accompanying videos for the enjoyment of hungry electronica fanatics, ‘Lighten Up The Darkness’ and ‘Facing My Fears’ enjoyed more than moderate success, establishing the direction in which SYNTHDECADE had been heading. Heavily influenced by DEPECHE MODE, CAMOUFLAGE and DE/VISION, with these guidances clearly palpable on both songs, the hope was for ‘Syndicator’ to sound more original and fresh, and, indeed, to usher “the next generation of synth”.

‘Warm Welcome’ creates an interesting intro to the production, with steady, authentic beats, promising a dose of “the good stuff”, but is immediately followed with the, by now, familiar, ‘Lighten Up The Darkness’, totally CAMOUFLAGE-d up. The clean sounding ‘Perfect Day’ is an apt attempt at immaculate production, as is the following ‘Love & Understanding’. The latter, an electronic ballad, is skilfully executed, both musically and vocally, leads into the second previously issued track, ‘Facing My Fears’.

FRONT 242 meets PET SHOP BOYS on ‘Your Soul’, whereas ‘Back Again’ floats seamlessly over the sound of the harp, interwoven within magnificent synth. ‘Change Your Life’ is ultimately synthpop in a bottle. Melodious and dancey, it is much like its follower, ‘Open Your Mind’. The guitar is introduced on ‘Sons Of The Broken Bottle’ with some more or less harsh, trashy sounds. The track comes across as an eclectic mix of many genres and is messy at times, creating confusion and a departure from the otherwise electronic feel of this record.

SYNTHDECADE 01 by Carsten Riedel‘Angels Are Calling Me’ opens with an über interesting sequence, returning to the elegant synth dominated template. It’s possibly the most interesting track on the album, with DE/VISION, CAMOUFLAGE and DM influences audible. This time, however, the song is as original as it gets; nothing is pushed to sound like something else and French horns wrap up the track, adding to the deepened mood magnificently.

The twelfth track, ‘Home’ brings back the uptempo feel, perfect for dancing, punctuated with a clever drum pattern and gentle piano. The closing ‘Facing My Fears’, this time in the ‘Hypnotic Mix’, concludes the production, thanks to a magnificent synth and cleverly enhanced vocal, at times sounding as if DE/VISION’s Steffen Keth bumped into the boys from Italy’s EIFFEL 65.

Anyone claiming that they’re reinventing the electronic music is perhaps dreaming, and maybe “all men are dreamers”. The claim that “the new generation of synth” is ushered is also a far-fetched fantasy.

All this said, SYNTHDECADE have pleasantly surprised; while one expected a blueprint of CAMOUFLAGE with added elements of DEPECHE MODE, shamelessly delivered with a ‘Syndicator’ sticker on it; one has got a grown-up, well produced and excellently balanced album, which is worthy of recognition of, clearly, hard work and proficient studio skills.

Well done SYNTHDECADE, you’ve obviously done your homework.

‘Syndicator’ is released by 15c Avenue via the usual digital outlets



Text by Monika Izabela Goss
30th November 2015


SYNTHDECADE formed in Frankfurt in October 2012, going straight into the studio with an idea to produce an album which would revolutionise the “Electronic Pop music sector”.

Bred on the likes of DEPECHE MODE, CAMOUFLAGE and DE/VISION, and quoting those as their main influences, the trio promise to turn out pieces that will be difficult to resist, if what you like is the darker electronica.

They like to describe themselves as the Next Generation of Synth and define their production as modern, creative and melancholic, yet danceable. The band consists of Sean Dexter, who is in charge of programming and keyboards, Rick Pleasant on vocals and Marc Renard on keyboards. Signed up by 15c Avenue, two songs have been issued already with corresponding videos.

‘Lighten Up The Darkness’ was out on 12th January this year, featuring elements borrowed from DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Dream On’ video, presenting the band clad in dark leather and looking beyond cool, as well as incorporating a beautiful, mysterious blonde. Musically, elements of CAMOUFLAGE’s influence are clearly palpable, making this a rather engaging and striking tune.

The latest single ‘Facing My Fears’ was released on 24th April, and, again, opens with an elegant synth sequence and vocals resembling those of CAMOUFLAGE’s Marcus Meyn. Like a quasi ‘Enjoy The Silence’, the stark video features a blackened background with marching soldiers in a scene reminiscent of ‘People Are People’ and creates a perfect background to this highly competent song.

The impressive production on both numbers stresses the studio skills of Sean Dexter and promises a rather inviting proposition to those who love the likes of DEPECHE MODE and CAMOUFLAGE. Hopefully the upcoming album ‘Syndicator’ will have innovative elements of its own, something which SYNTHDECADE are surely capable of.

‘Facing My Fears’ is released as a digital single by 15c Avenue



Text by Monika Izabela Goss
9th May 2015