This sampler from the good folks at Ninthwave presents a tantalising glimpse of the future of synthpop as most of the bands featured here are either unsigned or have just started making their way up the synthpop ladder.
As such this is a good way to get aquainted with some up and coming acts including Provision, whose excellent New-Order-influenced "Breathe" gets the album off to a flying start and the equallu solid lowtechnicians (this is how their name is printed on the cover!). Likewise, Purveyor's "Now One" and A Modern Effigy's "Image Of A Fool" will have widespread appeal among you synthpoppers as will Xero-G's excellent "Too Much" (taken from their unmissable debut album "Are You Weightless?"). E:Moderne's "Wonderlust" has a go at bridging the areas between synthpop and dance, an area that other artists have proved to have much potential and although this is a solid enough offering I'm not 100% sold on his vocals which sound like someone having a go at karaoke, a bit of remixing might be in order here! Eight To Infinity and Shane Savant (who seems to have the new romantic look down to a fine art) both provide a bouncier happier synthpop brand.
A few UK acts also make their mark including the hard-edged electro of The Sepia and the synthpop of Macondo, an Essex-based band whose vocalist doesn't bother to disguise the fact with a half spoken/half sung style that is far too lightweight for it's own good. Some good grooves make this band one to look out for if you don't mind the vocals. More interesting are Blind Before Dawn whose restrained but dancey style should also have much appeal.
With User On The Grid we're in the realms of minimalistic dance and whie they manage to mix techno and industrial well enough the minimalistic style might put some off. Etikemic mix a kind of free jazz with electronics while Cliffwalk's "Your Last Surrender" sounds interesting but a bit messy, as if it were a demo (and a pretty rough one at that!). With work this might mature into something interesting. Mark Lane's "The Walloon Love Song" is an offbeat little ditty (he's a counterpart of the old Mute bunch which might account for that!) while, ringing the changes slightly, Faux Furnishings' "Safeway (Single Edit)" closes the album with a nicely chilled-out trip-hop vibe.
This compilation proves itself required listening for those who wish to expand their musical horizons and hopefully further entries in the series will see many more bands making their mark.
Artist Link: http://www.ninthwaverecords.com