CFFNDRGGR - Vengeance
Released: July 30
I don't write about synthwave much but after I heard this latest single from CFFNDRGGR, I had to admit that this was pretty great. This single has all the elements of a great Halloween season track complete with the dark and spooky synths carving out a haunting melody. But just when you think it's going to be one of those slow-burn cerebral tracks with a bit of percussion, you suddenly get slammed upside the head with some heavy riffing guitar that ramps the track up into an industrial powerhouse. Save this one for your Halloween festivities.
Sooji - First Loves #2: Sequential Prophet 10
Released: September 12
This recent single from Melbourne-based artist Sooji is a musical testament to her first encounter with the Sequential Prophet 10 synthesizer. A selection of bits and pieces of the sounds she squeezed from it as she explored the sonic possibilities it was capable of. The extreme variety plays out over the course of a roughly 15-minute experimental track that drifts from lush textures and half vocalizations to bizarre and otherworldly pings and oscillating blips. Experimental to this highest possible degree.
Quizzik - dodging bullets 101
Released: September 30
The first single released on 6plusten Records by Brazilian experimental electronic musician Quizzik, dodging bullets 101 is a wonderfully varied and energetic track that successfully incorporates several genres including elements of dubstep, IDM, and even some oddball acid bass. The entire track has an interesting progression as things begin slow and build up into a track that leans heavily into the late-90s acid house style while also throwing a good deal of hyper-glitchy goodness to shake things up. For me, it's that incorporation of the acid bassline later in the track that I particularly enjoy as it feels like it should be out of place, but fits in so well.
Murgamade - Uma Causa Sua
Released: September 15
On Uma Causa Sua, Mario Cascardo (a.k.a. Murgamade) tells the story of a fire that destroyed thousands of priceless artworks in Rio de Janeiro in 1978. In telling this story, Cascardo chooses to do so in two parts. The first part of this story is told through the voices speaking about it in the immediate aftermath in a beautiful sound collage of recorded news segments and short musical interludes of an unknown origin. In what I could find on the subject, these musical pieces could be that of the musical group Aguia that performed there the night of the fire. If so, this adds a bittersweet quality to the music present.
For the second part of this story, the voices disappear completely. Instead replaced by similar snippets of music with an assortment of different ambiance that is difficult to pinpoint in origin. The music as well is not the same quality as the previous track. Heavy manipulation of some kind is more present here. It is almost as if the music can't seem to fully get started at times. It seems to produce a kind of strange, sad, even wistful quality to what is heard. I may not be familiar with the story itself, but Cascardo's retelling of it is about as compelling as any documentary.