I thought this time I’d do a personal review of the Lazerdiscs Synthwave Event that just happened in Birmingham, UK. A fun night was had by all with support appearances by other hitters in the Genre like 80s Stallone, Aeronexus, Rogue Neon, LA Rock et al.
Hope you enjoy this little review and in the meantime if you’d like to follow some more news, reviews, gigs and other fun stuff please like my page ‘Synthronicity’
Something intrigued me about this event when it was announced sometime back, so much so that I made it a point to fly from my little bolt-hole in Dublin, Ireland to attend. Not sure whether it was the Artists Gig List that was in itself impressive but I’m sure it was in part the boundless enthusiasm from the chief organiser and Lazerdiscs Community Manager: Darren DeToni and his inate love for the genre that I wanted to support.
I met Darren the night before in local Pub in Birmingham to catch up on his plans for this event and it was clear to see from the outset that this was very important to him and also not least that it was quite hard work to put together and maintain.
Lovely little touches such as the Beer produced solely for the event from the Brewery on site alongside some retro arcade games made it an already more inclusive set up, not to mention the space in which the gig was held albeit outdoors, gave it a more house party back garden feel which I really enjoyed.
The acts on the bill where already mostly known to some – all of whom are signed to Lazerdiscs records.
Lazerdiscs are a Synthwave Label established in 2016 managed by one of the founders of Drive RadioDarren De Toni who I mentioned earlier in this review. The label itself is primarily focused on emerging music styles most notably Synthwave, Retrowave, Outrun & Darksynth.
A heavy hitter already signed to this label that most of you know would be Absolute Valentine – more about him a little later. Lazerdiscs Records are also brilliantly supported on the scene by such acts as Robert Parker & Waveshaper which I’m sure you’ll agree are two great names to have in your corner.
Act 1: Sierra
Admittedly I hadn’t heard of Sierra in so far as the genre itself has quite a lot of emerging talent which even to an eye trained consistently on the scene some will inevitably slip by your field of vision. An Electronic Music Producer from Paris her sound is unlike any I’ve heard before which makes it already impressionable.
Her music invokes post-apocalyptic landscapes, pure escapism if you will, albeit to a vast wasteland but she takes you there nonetheless and her sound just envelopes you. Searing, punchy, dark electronic beats that command your attention.
She was the perfect opener for sure and definitely an act I’ll be revisiting again and again. To put it simply she has a gritty very earthy sound that shook the ground where you stood.
This lady’s prowess on the Synthwave scene is already a much talked about value. Known worldwide, Nina grew up in Berlin but is now based in London, her early influences include Depeche Mode and she counts Kavinsky as one of her fans..I mean WOW..right? Her achievements already as an artist are quite formidable chief amongst them all the major brands who use her music including Mercedes Benz, Adidas, Net-A-Porter and Hugo Boss who used the track ‘My Mistake’ in all of their stores ‘worldwide’!
I’ve seen both Nina and Laura (her awesome drummer) live quite a few times and each time I leave the front of the stage with having experienced an actual gig, the music itself it very infectious and grabs you from the instant it starts. Track listings on the night included, Beyond Memory, 80’s Girl (co-written and arranged by Sunglasses Kid) and My Mistake. The gig was made all the more enjoyable by Nina and Laura’s commanding performances and their interaction with the live audience which is always a treat!
What can I say about this man that hasn’t already been said in the countless reviews and specials done on the music this guy produces. He is an ‘absolute’ scene stealer from the moment he appears on stage and his sheer joy in being there with the music he creates draws the audience completely in.
Absolute Valentine (Johann Derime) hails from Marseille France, he’s a music producer with an 80s flare with roots based in Electronic Dance & Retro Romance. Much like Nina he’s renowned in the scene for quite a while and has headlined and supported some incredible Synth Festivals and big names within the scene itself. His new creation Police Heartbreaker has been well received and has hits such as Bad News and the title itself ‘Police Heartbreaker’.
He was an amazing addition to Lazerdiscs Synthwave Gig List in so far as we don’t often get a chance to see this guy play our neck of the woods. We almost didn’t get the pleasure owing to an Air traffic Control Strike but I won’t bore you with that story.
Take a listen to this...
See! Awesome to say the least and great to capture.
OSC was a perfect ending to a great evening and delivered a great set. His new 7 Track Album ‘HIM’ is a must to listen to and they treated us to tunes off the album as well as previous releases to include ‘Girls on Bikes’ and ‘HER’ which at the time of writing was just about to drop! There was a brilliant mix of instrumental and vocal the latter of which was provided by Caterina Corneglio who flew from Italy to be there and I’m so glad she did. Such a great voice!