FILE UNDER: ELECTRONICA, TUBEWAY ARMY CHRISTMAS CAROLS
Apples & Synthesizers
At its most evil, analog-synth fetishist Jason Amm's Solvent sounds about as hellish as a merry-go-round. But that's in no way criticism. If you want paranoid, you've got Gary Numan, and with Solvent, you've got Tubeway Army's Christmas Carols. As on his earlier albums, Apples and Synthesizers spikes its sugar with ultra-syrupy, flashback electro grooves, but this latest full-length finds Amm applying a just-as saccharine, L.A. Look beat to already saturated feel-good synth-melodies. Tracks like "Poly Ensemble" and "For You" ring with a mild, wintry anxiety—shortened days and extended shadows—but still don't break from an overwhelming sense of optimism and hope. Despite being an electronic album, Solvent's isn't making sweeping generalizations about the medium nor trying to herald any sort of renaissance. Rather, Solvent focuses more on a comforting past and a familiar, almost cuddly sort of electro. Apples and Synthesizers is rich with nostalgia-triggering effects, but somehow teases out ideas more interesting than the usual results when indulging your typical guilty pleasure. The detailed compositions and inspiring melodies make Apples and Synthesizers an adventurous way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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