In recent times, we've been inundated with releases that can be best described as synthesizer porn - records that celebrate the distinct sounds of vintage synths from the halcyon days of experimental disco. "Philomena", a kind of synthesizer symphony in three parts, is real hardcore. Each of the three parts bristles with shiny melodies, tough appreggios, colossal chords and fuzzy, drum machine beats. The first part takes a more straightforward Italo disco approach, and the second a kind of John Carpenter-on-Valium vibe. The third part, meanwhile, goes for the money shot via some Sally Shapiro style vocals and sticky Eurodisco grooves. Just lie back and think of Alba.
Out on his own Aube Records, Roland Sebastian Faber takes a step back into time with this EP and conjures up three magical cosmic disco tunes that put many modern synth-pop producers to shame. Opener Loffelkinder has an authentic spaced out sound among it's guitars, drums and enveloped synths that instantly remind of early 80's Giorgio Moroder and a host of other maverick producers. It's as funky as it is grandiose, with tight drums and bubbly synths underpinning some wild theramin action and some nifty key changes along the journey.
Gropiusstadt's brassy arpeggios are instantly familiar to anyone with a keen ear for experimental late-70's production and the addition of smooth bluesy guitars just makes it more intriguing! Not only does Faber get the sounds right, he also gets the melodies and arrangements bang on too, creating something that's definitely retro yet also something that makes perfect sense in 2010. Morgengrau is the most downbeat of the three tunes up for grabs and also the one that sounds most contemporary, as gurgling synths rise up and down over the chorus with dramatic effect. These are too well-crafted and unusual to ignore, and they come highly recommended to anyone with an appreciation for cosmic past and present.