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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*

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Synthetic Dimension - Supernatural

A Chorus That Possesses Your Brain!

Synthetic Dimension is a 3 piece synth-pop band with flair, passion and great production. Their latest single 'Supernatural' dropped a few days ago, 28th April, on Spotify and also has a fantastic video launched on YouTube.

Ok we're just going to come straight out and say it, Supernatural has been stuck in our heads all day. The first time the chorus hits, you will be hooked. The songs opening shows promise from the start, with subtle keyboard plinks, a solid drum track and ghostly voice clips. The buttery vocals come in at ~0:30, the singer Eduardo Zabani having a distinct 80's punch about him. Somewhere between Tony Hadley and a young Miles Kennedy. Incredible talent shown in vocal range and ability, and that chorus will get logged in your noggin for the rest of the day!

The live guitars performed by Murilo Politori fit the atmosphere of the track from beginning to end. Haunting in the background for a lot of the song but bringing with him a solid rockin line that boosts the single into cyberspace. Time to shine with a piercing solo at ~2:55 brings him center stage. We always love a solo from live guitars! Bonus points.

Yuri Camargo Dr Andrade is the synth-meister of the group, widening the sound stage with deep bass and dotted ethereal highlights. His work from the off is apparent, he has poured some love into this track. The beat is always progressing, with the lazer precision and elecro-movement he adds he really cements the group's work together.

Strong work from the group, a very enjoyable track that leaves a ghost behind in your brain and will have you singing hours after. Serious shower song material!

Poseeeesss me nooooooooow. :D

Spotify and Artist link below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla 2 OTL Tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Friday, May 1, 2020

LeAndre Moon - Moon Vol.1

LeAndre Moon Explosive Debut Album!

Virginia based LeAndre Moon released the debut album Moon Vol.1 this week onto Spotify. The producer has been creating music from a young age but his opening onto Spotify has only just begun. The album boasts an impressive 11 tracks of varying length but is plenty to get a good feel for what this artist is all about.

First track up for review is 'Chantie', 5th on the album. Opening the soundstage wide with piano, bells, and synthesizer drones. At ~1:08 there is a shift of scope as a fast, lively hip-hop drum line breaches the room with a bang. The bass line pounding in the underground and an impressive hook in the upper mids really gets your blood flowing. Secular fills from each prominent instrument after the ~2:00 mark cement the track in your brain, with balance shifting left to right like each character getting his own speech at the stage front. The final third has a deep minor horn, think blade runner 2049 (I know I know, but it's true). A fun one to jam loud on the tubes, very very much enjoyed.

The final track of the album entitled 'Saylor' took us by surprise, with a much more prominent grime vibe. The bass threw us back in the chair thinking we had the wrong song on, but as the cyber-choir started to fade in we realised we found something special. This isn't a mix we've seen before, it's dark and mysterious, slowly trudging forwards. Boss battle music for sure. The strings are welcomed to bring in some much needed peaks, but for being only a 2 minute track all the elements blended together to make a fantastic take on the genre without favouring one side over another. Brilliant.

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla 2 OTL Tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Master System - Episodes

Master System is now called System Glow!

April 26th brought us the debut EP 'Episodes' from Master System onto Spotify, Texas based Michael Schadow's first leap onto the popular streaming platform. A 6 track EP created from the producers Soundcloud musings with snazzy artwork and from what we have found a potential strong backing.
'Back Then' the first track opens buttery smooth. Fluid and jazzy notes fill your headphones. A relaxing well paced journey into future-past. Room (or head) bouncing bass rythem with an interesting swirl of cowbell, synths, and a well rounded drum track to boot.

'Distance' opens with slightly more weight and is the longest track on the EP at 5:20. Heavier and darker than track one but at the same time more melodic. The blur of piercing highs and lively bass create a flavour of city cruising constantly pushing the track onward. The bridge at ~2:30 plays out double time, with swirling broken chords and a rocking lick front and centre. Octave changes build the tension going into the final quarter which hits with a bang. Guitar can be heard growing in the background for that little bit of spice. Nice! We always love hearing solos in songs with guitars. Soothing raindrops fade the track out, 100% one for the drop-top on a sunny day.

'Montage Racer' with its classic 80's beat is the meat of the EP in our eyes. Classic drum track from the off. Droning rockstar guitar opening rapidly growing into what sounds like a battle between the two front men. Balance changing left and right like a conversation of strings, its incredibly well done! ~1:25 hits the synths hard with catchy mids before continuing the Fender conversation from before. Final quarter is clear cut wave material throwing in some interesting lines that catch you off guard before abruptly ending at 3:50. An unfinished argument. We hope to see a build on this song, possibly a part 2 in the works?

'Amethyst's calming and content nature is a welcome breather in the EP. A subtle flash in time with a river lake flow carrying the listener between tracks. Impressive key strokes and high bells steady the heart. Strong percussion developments in the final third, being a short song, but it completely achieves what we believe it was supposed to...Chill

'Jumpin' is jamin! the strong slap bass hits you straight away with a funky synth riff straight out of a bygone time. Crystal highs accompany the mid section of this track with again some interesting choices in instruments. A blend of woodwind, synth and bass creates a dynamic that we haven't come across before, but we like it. The end is gentle and refined, ending literally on a high. Great work!

The final song on the EP is 'Daily News'. Before hearing we were hoping for something pounding, something to make us move. Circling Swirls and a news article cutting talking about...Facebook! "turning on your home computer" to read news. Champion start. ~0:45 punches deep which is what we were looking for. Heavy explosions and a catchy rhythm grab the listener by the coat. The lul at 1:43 creates tension before dropping us right back into the action. This whole track would feel right at home in an action movies credits

Over all the EP was enjoyable, each track had its own unique take on the genre that left a lasting impression. Synthcity are impressed with this debut and cant wait to see where the producer goes next.The important question from us is "Will there be a part 2 to Montage Racer?"

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Fiio E9 Solid State/DT770Pro cans*

Distant Reality - Portal

Greek Guitars & Screaming Synth

Distant Reality is Greek produced band with an interesting history on Spotify. The 2018 'Choices' EP is safely in the instrumental Metal camp, the 2019 'Eternal' Single begins the interesting blend of heavy guitars and cosmic synthwave. We are here to discuss the latest single 'Portal' released April 18th (quarantine madness taking over yet?)
Mixtures of chugging guitars and retro synth are becoming a real hit amongst the crowd, and with good reason. The blend easily matches and compliments each style to create haunting or beautiful tracks that leave lasting impressions.
'Portal' opens with a growing bassline and crystal cut synth loop, but at ~0:30 the rocking guitar starts to kick in. The live drums begin afterwards with an impressive fill to get you in the mood. The tempo, flair, and depth by the first quarter will have you fully invested and your head banging. The build is well constructed with elements of Avenged Sevenfold showing proudly front and centre. The bass in the back slapping and drums full of charisma pulling the track together. Very impressed so far!
The bridge at ~1:40 we felt needed a little more spice. The synthesizer was a little static, some variation or punchy effects would have suited here but that's not to say it took away from the vibe of the track. Moving on from this we cannot emphasise enough how good it sounds to have live drum tracks! The beat is consistent and heavy. At ~3:00 palm muting and deep bass guitar give us a memorable breakdown that is super melodic, catchy and heavy! Another minute in we get a guitar solo! Yes perfect!
We love it, Distant Reality has pulled it off here with such a melodic body rocker of a synth/metal track that goes to show two worlds colliding can bring great news for fans of both. If they continue along this vein I am sure they will pick up some dedicated fans along the way. Top pick for driving.

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla 2 OTL Tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Retroplay Spotify Gold

Retroplay - One To Watch! 

Retroplay is a hidden gem deserving of being discovered. Even with a limited Spotify tracklist, the Sweden based producer has made a distinct impression in my headphones and is definitely one to add to your queue.

The first available track is 'Voices', starting strong with a strong staggered bassline after the iconic VHS sound effect used widely across the genre. Fluid highs swirl around the headphones creating a euphoric dream-scape atmosphere. Tension building at a minute in along with tempo, then follows the deep pounding drums. Wow what an intro! Solid kicks and sharp hi-hats pierce through the waviness of the background. The bridge contains a welcome piano track to calm listeners before the drop. The bass starts to fade back onto the picture, then the drum beats resurface and the track is opened up on an elevated sound-stage. A real headbanger! Highly recommended for your driving playlist.

The second available track is titled "Hollow" and from the off has a much darker sound. Radio feedback and a booming deep low line opens the song before an eerie top note riff kicks in. The highs tie the intro together and break into broken chords with a deep drone backdrop. A real intergalactic feel to this one. Short builds do well to further the track into the bridge at ~1:20. The drop a little further at ~1:45 teleports me right back to the arcades. Bright lights, Mortal Kombat cabinet games, smells of stale popcorn. What a treat! The rest of the song is much of the same but don't take that as a negative, you will be right back in that arcade till the fade out close of the track.

Like we said at the start, a real gem found on Spotify and earns a worthy place in your playlist be it for home audio or out in the Testarossa. Very much looking forward to future developments by Retroplay.

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

*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla 2 OTL Tube amp/DT770Pro cans*

Retroplay Music

Phantom System - Violet

Brazilian Synth Artists 4th Album Release

Phantom System is an artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil who back in recent March released their 4th album 'Violet'. A well produced and vibrant sounding synthwave delight featuring chills and dreams that are out of this world. Songs such as 'Xenovox' will make your skin crawl as you picture up scenes of Ripley from Alien attempting to escape. A slimey head bobber that would be perfect for midnight crusing down the back ally's of any neon-lit metropolis.

'Violet Eyes' opens with a punchy dotted and echoed sub bass riff that really blows open the rest of the song. The lead hook is inquisitive and brave, it's really paid off here as it creates the vibe of urgency. Carefull driving to this one, watch out for speed traps (and monsters!)

In a refreshing contrast to the two previous songs mentioned, 'Lady Of Space And Time' begins with a calming and soothing rhythm, Slowed tempo, crisp highs yet still a beating heart drum track underneath. Constant midsynth in the background across the track create a flowing atmosphere. This song is the "safe room" of the album and was a welcome bridging point.

The real meat of the album comes in from 'Choose The Red Pill', a 10:10 long feature track last on the album. First quarter does well at driving forward the dark and grungy atmosphere. There is a tone shift at ~3:00 introducing ethereal bells in a haunting melody that furthers the track into the abyss. The breakdown 2 minutes further into the track hits hard with bass and hihats, some serious octave builds follow feeling like a decent into madness.

This album would feel right at home coming from bookshelf speakers closely pressed between the volumes of by H.P Lovecraft. A fantastic ghostly work that, for me, clearly depicts the failing of a poor wretches mind, in this plain of existence or another. A serious listen for fans of sci-fi horror, craving a soundtrack to depict their love of existential dread.

Spotify and Artist links below. Please follow us for more reviews coming soon!
*Reviewed using the Topping D10 DAC/Schiit Valhalla 2 OTL Tube amp/DT770Pro cans*