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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

L’Empereur Enters the Fight!!

Old Games - New Players!

Every now and then an artist or team will reach out to us here in Skyecity way above the clouds, sometimes they drop us Soundcloud links...and sometimes they really really impress the whole team.

L’Empereur have entered the realm of Darksynth with their EP “Roman After All” and it went straight onto the tubes for some quality treatment! This EP could not have come to me personally at a better time. The infusion of history & archaic influence has sparked a huge interest in me recently, being able to mastercraft sounds from a long gone era and mould them into the futuristic genre we are all here for is something that not only have I not seen before, but something I was HOPING existed. Stay tuned for a full breakdown of our 3 favourites from the EP below:

The EP opens with “knights Of The Temple” (at least in the soundcloud listing order), a well rounded journey of a track. The flow between the stages are clean and crisp, which is important for an over 5minute song! The bass line is dark and punchy that grips you from start to finish, never straying out of its own lane to break the narrative. The mids are effervescent and whispy providing the signature darksynth sound that the big players in the industry commonly go back to time and time again. Remember with dark synth that simple mids and a strong beat are your core aspects, let the highs carry the team through the track. Speaking of, the lead line in the upper frequency is transparent as glass, its exactly where it needs to be which is front and center. It’s piercing to a level that screams “here I am, follow me to greatness” and never becomes too much. Honestly the track was a banger to open to, loved the flow, loved the movie lines in the breakdown, very strong start to the EP!

Ok L’Empereur we need to talk. “Darksynth Dracula” 3rd track on Soundcloud. I feel like my brain was at some point invaded by some cosmic deity and my darkest needs for a synthwave track sucked directly out and beamed to France for you to create. The constant rush, the dread, the nostalgia, its the track I had dreamt of but could never find. Its a clear cut favourite for me from the EP. When this track is playing I’m teleported back to my childhood with Castlevania on full volume as I start my 5th or 6th attempt at the boss. A seriously strong contender in the scene and a track that all retro video game fans will have an instant connection to. My personal pick for best on the EP

The most outlandish and distinct track on the EP in our ears is “The Age Of Rome” and this one is a true curveball. An exploration into what I am now going to call TribalWave! The carefully blended sounds of Conan the Barbarian, Age of Empires, and synthwave massively caught us off guard. Modern drum tracks encase the antiquated drum tracks, synths encase the harps and strings, its such a strange mix kinda works! After dropping in bass breakdowns and some choir tracks L’Empereur are on to a winner with a hugely identifiable sound signature and one that will leave you both puzzled and amazed. Seriously just trust us on this one and give it a listen, you will be converted!! (Wololo)

In conclusion we loved this EP, it provides a strong foundation for the new composer L'Empereur to build from and develop in line with. Their unique angle on composition and cross contamination of genres creates such a fantastic aura that I believe this budding artist is going to be one to watch for the future! We cant wait to hear more from them and look forward to getting in touch again.

Be sure to check L'Empereur out on Bandcamp or Soundcloud so you can experience the whole EP

Remember a share for me is a share for you, enjoy! And keep sending me them tracks

*Reviewed using the Schiit Modius DAC / Loki PreAmp EQ / Valhalla 2 OTL Tube Amp / Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro Headphones*

Monday, December 7, 2020

I’m Back, Baby - 'The Bad Dreamers' Quick Look

 The bad dreamers, where have you been all my life!

As many of you know, over the start of COVID era I decided to take a break BUT I’m back baby let’s fire up the tubes and see what chaos you have in store for me.

I decided to have a trawl through Spotify and see what I have been missing out on when I came across a group called The Bad Dreamers. They seemed to have a good solid fan base established already so I thought I would check the hype out.

Digging a bit deeper David Schuler, the front of The Bad Dreamers, is more than established. He has accomplished many many things from Grammy Nominations to Film producing! Now I was getting excited.

I ignited the valves in the amp and sat down to listen. A blind selection off the artists front page of Spotify landed me on ‘Hit Me Harder’, a 5 minute track from the 2018 album ‘Songs About People Including Myself’. Immediately I noticed the shear quality of production here, the curse of proper listening gear is often the highlighted sensitivity to mastering (and when it goes wrong). Luckily no issues. The dulled bass, the swirling synths and the silky silky smooth vocals in the first third are marvelous. A comic being drawn in your headphones of the lyrical story being unfolded; one of fear, betrayal and the turning of the tides. As I like to say “don’t bring a fart to a shit fight”, really listen to the track and it will all make sense.

The real lightning bolt of the song is at exactly the mid point and damn nearly blew my skull out. Punchy! Dynamic! Such depth and focus! The sinister tone shift can catch you unaware and propel you into a fight for your life. Suddenly you realise what the 2.45 minutes of build up was for, the cataclysmic last half of the track. A growing orchestra of highs develop in the final third, delivered alongside a haunting synth piercing through the dark bass. As quickly as it escalated, it calms to a finish.


What an absolute diamond of a track to find. Enjoyed every second and immediately went hunting for more. The Bad Dreamers latest offering seems to be the ‘Unspoken, Unbroken’ EP which will be filling my phones for the next 45 mins. A quick search of the artists social media seems to hold promise of more and more. ‘Space and Time’ is fast approaching and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for us.

Guys, I know I’ve been away but I’m hoping this little taste will reinvigorate my love for the work. Please hold fast with me whilst I find my feet again, for everyone that stayed THANK YOU for every newcomer THANK YOU and for those who haven’t heard of me yet THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

Remember a share for me is a share for you, enjoy! And keep sending me them tracks

*Reviewed using the Schiit Modius DAC / Loki PreAmp EQ / Valhalla 2 OTL tube amp / DT770Pro cans*

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Kaidoorn - Legend Of A Hero - A Pre-Release Look

I Need A CyberHero!! [19th June Release Date]

Kaidoorn's latest 'Legend Of A Hero' is a real cast back to the italo-disco days of the 80's with a Hard Rock twist. Heavy pounding bass, deep rich synths and a very impressive vocal line really tie this package together. Let's dive into it together

The faded, muggy approach to the overall track really enhance the atmosphere. Opening slow, low, and powerful with some beautifully done rustic and strained vocals by Lukkysparxx swoop you in to the beat of the track. you can really feel the passion behind every word which is always a joy to see. This Hard Rock Heavy Metal approach was a dream team waiting to happen. The delivery of the lines tied along with the musical prowess have melted and molded into its own beast, the right amount of wave, the right amount of rock. We love it.

The tune drops and bass thumps at around a third in. The build up was totally worth it, jettisoning the listener directly into cyberspace at lightning speed. The bouncing vibrant waves teleport straight from keyboard into your ears, the bass a beating heart of the track, and a hook that will push you from behind into the kaleidoscope that is the unexplored galaxy.

The lyrics tell a story of a fighter, a defender, who protected an unnamed city from an invading force. The vocals by Lukkysparxx are delivered with power and dedication, with harmonization exactly where you would want them, and on second (or third or fourth) listen you will be shouting the song of the valiant hero as you rocket down the empty, neon lit highways! This is the first vocals we have heard in a Kaidoorn track here at SkyeCity Synth and we dig it!

To close, 'Legend Of A Hero' is a body rocker, one to get you pumped and let your imagination fly. Top pick for a gym workout playlist but will always be at home in your driving list as well. We really like how the producer and vocalist have created a new dimension in our minds, all the way down to the one person who can save it. Will we ever find out more? Stick around and find out.

Kaidoorn - Legend Of A Hero will be releasing 19th June 2020 please see the below links for the artist and keep up to date.

*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla OTL tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Meteor - System Failure

System Failure is an Overriding Win!

Meteor is a Rock/Punk/Synth/Dark fusion headed by the amazing Jorge Reyes out of Columbia's beautiful Medellin. Here at Skyecity Synth we love seeing this level of passion and dedication to the genre even when its a part time side hustle. Meteors latest album System Failure was released on May 10th just gone and its been in our ears constantly! The blend of music used is captivating and addictive. Here are our favs from the album:

Suit Jacket Society

This track will shake you up in the morning, consumed best with a strong black coffee and a Marlboro Red. Don't let the short intro fool you into boosting those speakers, what begins as calm and quiet soon changes into a bone shaking dark, deep, skincoating ooze of style and substance. The dirty drums and bass line a constant in the song really digging into your soul, the effective use of stops and gaps puncturing your momentum as you cant help but headbang. the short bridge in the centre leading into some gritty guitar licks that really further the track. The synth lines are monumental leaving behind a real retro taste that we are all craving. In a sentence, Suit Jacket Society is badass and is to be treated with respect.

Stray Dogs

Stray Dogs begins faded and low, before dropping the listener right into the centre of a gunfight. The bass is grimy and broken, the mids are crystal and fluid, the tempo of the song is well paced with a driving force that glues your headphones in place. The crackles & sparks that fly through this track are forever stuck in our memory, some serious atmosphere building and world creating has gone into the craftsmanship of this one. The use of balance giving the track a 3D feel, the subtle barks and sirens in the distance, the drums OH THE DRUMS yes, they need to be heard to be believed. Absolutely fantastic this is going straight into our playlist. A top track pick for us off the album, amazing work from the part time producer.


a guttural chant opens the track, giving us some idea of what is going to hit us before flying fast into a slapping bass led riff that throws you back in your seat. Its funky, its groovy, but its still got that tinge of darkness to it that embodies the album. The mid-section is light and playful filled with electrostatic and hopefulness, a brief rest in the tune before throwing us back into it. Flares bounce left and right and the epic guitar appears centre stage, you can almost feel the smoke machines and lazer lights begin to go off in an abandoned warehouse repurposed as a grungy biker hangout with a stage at the back. The track is the bouncier of the 3, perfect for the car, perfect for the house, still maintaining that dark mystery present across the album.

If you are after something with punch, something with weight, density, metal, whatever you want to call it, THIS ALBUM needs to be on your radar. We here at Skyecity Synth knew what we were getting ourselves into and we were still blown away. The crisp mastering, the surgical precision, it was a great experience all round. Meteor has won a lifelong fan in us and we hope to hear more from him soon.

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!

*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla OTL tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Kaidoorn - Streets Of Arcadia

Review and Song Both Short But Sweet

Italian based Kaidoorn released the new single Streets of Arcadia April 3rd and we think it deserves a place on your listening radar.

Just over 3 minutes of pure and simple world building atmosphere, fond memories dreaming about space travel and a radiant Tokyo future. Addictive drum tracks and piercing highs emphasize the emotion of interstellar travel to us. The hook in the midsection of the orchestra is prominent throughout the song, giving a sense of urgency and drive. Dotted dark synth patterns can also be heard along the course, giving a real meaty weight to the track and cementing it in your brain.

It's short and simple, as some things need to be. Streets of Arcadia is going straight into our driving playlist for those midnight runs around a neonglowing metropolis, weather it be earth or another planet, and we encourage you to put it into yours too! Very promising work from the producer, we hope to hear more from them in the near future.

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!

*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla OTL tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Monday, May 4, 2020

Mantus - Miami Nights

Outrun Isn't Overdone Yet

Amsterdam based Mantus has been releasing on Spotify for just over a year. The producer shows great dedication to his music with numerous EP releases over that year, with his latest Miami Nights releasing today! We are going to have a look at the 6 track EP and see if there is something unique suited for our playlist.

Amsterdam Vice

The opening gambit on Miami Nights is Amsterdam Vice, dark and deep bass lines start us off, creating a moody and gritty atmosphere. The cowbell and phazer kick in to lighten the mood and really open up the track. The drumbeat is steady and prominent. The hook around a minute in is catchy and punchy with displaced highs to increase the evolution of the song. Fade echo to close, a good intro track for sure!

Chasing The Illusions

Chasing The Illusions is along the same tempo as the first, more flange on the intro with a growing electrostatic presence. The swooping mids of the background elevate the track and the drum line is funky and moving. Ethereal notes going into the final quarter before dropping the listener right into the meat of the track. The subtle keystrokes of an electro-choir exploding the track from good to great, very promising work from the producer here!

Miami Nights

The title track of the EP Miami Nights fades into view with that distinct 80s vibe before jumping off the diving board into some real italodisco groove. A smile will appear on your face as the complimentary notes swirl in your headphones to this one. Synthpopy bridge kicks in and you are transformed back to the neon arcades and drop-top drive ins before a build going into the final third. Another great drop back to the happy-go-lucky tune that finished the song with carefully placed highs to really give off that summer vibe.

California Cruse

California Cruse is going to be the calm track of the EP. Dark and rich from the start elevates your senses ready to hear more. Synthboards open the range slowly with more and more being added to the soundstage as the track grows. The mid way point brings in the strong drums turning this into a body rocker. Not many more developments from here though which was a shame, the vibe was right but maybe some solo work on the keyboards would have transformed the track. Still a great one to chill to, whack it on a "studying" playlist for sure

Night Drive

Night Drive brings us to the final two of the EP. Beginning with some great tonal work to invest the listener as the kick-drum smashes in. Here is the keyboard work we were looking for in the previous song! Flowing and lucid they dance around the fader, filling the room with nostalgia. Steady building bridge at the center before a powerful drop with twinkling highs and electric baselines. This is our top pick for a power track off the EP, get it on your playlist.

Final Lap

Final Lap, aptly named, takes last place on the EP track-list. With an overall Outrun feel we can hear the roaring engines roll by in the background before the drop into the race ourselves. Fantastic use of emotion to develop the lines and create that sense of urgency. Suddenly we are back in the stands, watching nervously as the guzoline tears past us. Thrown back into the driver's seat for the final quarter with expanse in dynamics that makes the blood pump, and it's over as soon as it started. Make no mistake this is a rush of a song and we love it! Really put us into the cockpit of that racecar.

Overall the EP is well produced and mastered, released on Spotify as of today, and contains a good handful of memorable moments! Top picks from our side would be Chasing The Illusions and Final Lap. Make sure to check back in the future for more good work from the producer, one to watch! 

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!

*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla OTL tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Betamaxx - Watch Me

What A Singalong!

Pittsburgh based Betamaxx released the new single Watch Me on May 1st to the delight of their already dedicated fan base. The single boasts killer vocals from the talented Primo The Alien adding an incredible depth to the track that we are going to dig into now.

The pacing of the beat is fast and nimble. Bouncing around the sound stage and creating a rushed rhythm from the beginning. Great use of samples for the intro allowing the listener to join that funky 80's groove. At ~0:15 Primo kicks in with her dotted stance making the track really fly down the runway. The built makes tension, gradually growing with more and more lines being introduced till the chorus at ~0:45. It's incredibly catchy! Instantly printing into your mind ready for a sing along when Primo comes back round for the second.

The muted bridge around ~2:00 is a welcome calm point that serves to give a wider view angle of the track, really expanding the imagination of the listener. We're then thrown back into the action, like the continuation of the car-chase the deep synths push the track onward with amazing force and body moving ability. The slapping bass guitar adds so much to the drop, really teleporting you back in time, and Promo's pipes really open up in the final third. Crystal clear highs powerfully delivered getting the listener really into that funky promiscuous fashion before the close of the song.

All in a fantastic track with a great level of production and a range of dynamics that will suit a lot of fans in the genre. Highly recommend getting this one into your playlist.

Spotify and Artist link below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Fiio E17k Alpen DAC AMP Combo/DT770Pro cans*