German DJ and producer Sharam Jey has been working the music business since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he put out his first album 4 Da Loverz. He followed up that effort with the 2009 LP In My Blood. Now nearly a decade later, he is ready again to release a new album, Invisible, which is out today. The record dives into some heavy ‘80s influences with synth pop, synthwave, and touch of acid on records like “Down Under.” It is tied together with thumping bass lines that work for the dancefloor, but also makes for quality at home listening. To prep you for the album, we asked Sharam Jey to list out 10 songs that were critical in the making of the song from New Order, Depeche Mode, Herbie Hancock, Thomas Bangalter and more. Just going through the list and then listening to the album, it will all click.
Flip through the playlist and listen to Invisible below, which comes with features by Dirty Vegas, Little Boots, KLP and more. Pick up your copy here.
1. The Human League - 'Seconds' (Extended Vocal Re-Edit)
This is one of the coolest 80s tracks. It has the typical Jupiter 8 sound, the greatest Roland synth ever. Plus the Roland MC8 drum machine. Perfect. I still play this at my gigs. Especially the extended version, you can take the first 16 bars and loop them and it won’t lose its thrill.
2. New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (12’)
This track played a major part in my youth with its romantic, synth-driven melody pop. Sound-wise it is a really typical 80s dance sound. Of course, especially the Shep Pettibone remix.
3. Depeche Mode - Shake The Disease
This is one of my favorite DM tracks. It’s also a big tune from my youth. It’s all about the voice, chord-changes and the drum programming.
4. Kraftwerk - Das Model
No need for words concerning this one. They are the most important influence for every artist involved in any kind of electronic music. They are from my neighboring city Düsseldorf. By the way, unknowingly I bought a used Juno 60 from their studio a long time ago.
5. Thomas Bangalter - Club Soda
Thomas Bangalter and Daft Punk took house music to the next level. Fat organic beats with an 80s touch. Perfect.
6. Vangelis - Blade Runner Theme
This is probably one of the best movie soundtracks of all time. It has the perfect combination of Emulator, GS1, Prophet 10, Mini-moog, Jupiter-4, if I’m not mistaken. A real sound journey.
7. Herbie Hancock - Rockit
A brilliant instrumental. Atypical for that time. A lot is happening in that track. The synths sound as if they are singing.
8. Gazebo - I Like Chopin
A super Italo pop song from the 80s. There’s a genius synth selection on this track and a romantic vibe. Absolutely catchy.
9. Visage - Fade To Grey
Unreachable synth-collection. Extensive sound through the Yamaha SS-30 CR8 and CR-78 for the analog drums.
10. Art of Noise - Moments In Love
They are a role model. Their sounds and sampling always stunned me. Again the programing and sounds are excellent.