This month’s guest chart is a bit special. We have Swedish synth-pop & electronic producer Cape Lion in to select his 15 best synth tracks of October. With the chart, he selects loads of new music by the likes of Parallels, Magdalena Bay, B-COM and himself. Cape Lion released a new song “Deceiving” on 11/11, which you can pick up here and hear at the end of the chart. However, more importantly, let’s get to the chart, which he selects and describes.
See past charts here.
1. Parallels - The Magic Hour
The movie is coming to an end. In slow motion, we see the silhouettes of our two main characters walking down the beach as the sunsets. In the background, we hear this track, at least in my imagination. Toronto-based trio Parallels gives us this glittery, synthpop gem. It’s like a warm 80’s hug.
2. Black Boiler - Le Congre
Straight from Black Boiler’s new EP Ball Trap comes this bass throbbing beast of a song. Right when you’re waiting for that 909-kick to come in with a four-on-the-floor, Black Boiler surprises us all with these swinging disco drums. Nice turn of events!
3. Tobtok, Simon Field & Oliver Nelson - Is It Real (feat. Salena Mastroianni)
My fellow Swedes Tobtok, Oliver Nelson and (our Norwegian neighbor) Simon Field has no time to spare with this one. Straight from the first second, Salena blesses us with some timeless house vocals while the whole track effortlessly builds towards that 90s hook that we’re all so fond of. Is it real? Yes… and catchy as hell!
4. Magdalena Bay - Killshot
It’s Bri...Magdalena Bay Bi**h! Jokes aside, this duo consisting of Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin has undeniably put in a bit of late 90’s Britney flavor on this one. That being said, the whole track is filled to the brim with shiny, sparkling synths and all sorts of clever production tweaks.
5. Zosia - Matter
The first time I heard this one my first thought was, “This could’ve been a Muse song.” Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about chord progression and melodies - well written and quite beautiful. Let’s all keep an eye on Zosia!
6. Power Glove - Nightmare
Power Glove is back in full effect with a scary new EP. Like most of their tracks, "Nightmare" sounds like it was taken straight out of your favorite 80’s horror flick. It starts off with some really spooky synth pads and quickly evolves when the 16th note bass kicks in. You’re in for a ride - a scary one!
7. Andrea Lacoste – Hass (Alejandro Molinari Remix)
This one is fun! Alejandro Molinari has made an Italo-oozing version of Andrea Lacoste's otherwise quite industrial “Hass.” There’s something about the German language that just makes it work so well in this setting. Just wait through the initial 3 minutes of synth bonanza and you’ll hear what I mean!
8. The Frost - Nothing Matter When You Dance
Saint Petersburg based label Soviet Recordings has been putting out A LOT of music lately. While it’s sometimes easy to get lost in their catalog of sweet releases, sometimes you find that little gem that catches your attention. This time it’s in the form of “Nothing Matter When You Dance” from The Frost’s new release. It’s just smooth sailing synthwave all the way through. If you want to continue your carefree dancing session you should also check out the B-Side, “Drive Night.”
9. Younger Than Me - No Regrets
The Italians sure know how to make some heavy stuff. “No Regrets" just mangles on with the darkness like there is no tomorrow. Is this techno? Indie Dance? I don’t know, but I do know that I both want to dance and headbang at the same time. Nessun rimpianto!
10. Aimes & Perdido Key - Bad Chemicals [Wonder Stories]
Sleazy Techno, that’s the self-proclaimed genre of this track. I mean, I get it, it’s sleazy but in a very good way. Right out of the gate we’re introduced to a wall of resonant bass patterns, ominous samples, airy pads, and a noisy 909s. It’s playful, “vibe-able,” and sleazy… in a good way.
11. Ivan Starzev & Max Lyazgin - Bali Ubud (Magic Surfer Rework)
I never got the whole ASMR thing, so when people whisper straight into my ear I don’t get the good kind of shivers. Other than the initial whispering chock, Magic Surfer has slowed down and adapted Max and Ivan’s uptempo dance original into a nice, glossy nu-disco number.
12. B-COM - On The Road
This must be my favorite of the month and I’m so happy that I stumbled upon it. The excitement builds with the twinkling arpeggio synth. And then, what do you know, the drums kick in with a blues shuffle. Love it!
For a lot of kids In Sweden in the late 80’s / early 90s, Friday nights meant that our state-owned TV-channel played cartoons - Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, Ducktails, you name it. This track just touches that nostalgic nerve that transports me back in time to my family’s brown leather sofa with my little bag of sweets and weekly can of soda. It’s so good!
13. Futurecop! - Breakfast Cereal
“Breakfast Cereal” is just the sweetest thing that happened in October. Futurecop! has given us a gift in the shape of an 80’s glitter bomb with beautiful sparkling FM-bells, silky chord stabs and the cutest vocal performance. If you’re like me, not a breakfast person, you can at least listen to "Breakfast Cereal" and get an energy boost that lasts at least until lunch.
14. Jasper Mitchell - Valor
My favorite track from Jasper Mitchell's new album Her. It’s straight forward, eerie, overly side-chained, lo-fi, hi-fi and everything in between. Just a straight-up nice chillwave tune. A bespoke score for these cold November nights.
15. Cape Lion - Deceiving
Apart from a couple of toppled dictators, a bit of shameless self plugging has never killed anyone, right? So here we go - my contribution to the warm fuzzy world of synth music. Hope you like it!