Apples & Synthesizers
Building on an already illustrious career that has involved labels such as Morr Music, Ersatz Audio, and his own Suction Records imprint, Toronto's Solvent (Jason Amm) has completed his most accomplished and compelling work yet. It's been three years since 2001's Solvent City, and Solvent has been busy studying the science of synthesis, and hopes to reaffirm the magic of synthesizer pop music, not as a half-baked and hollow trend, but as a form of high art.Apples & Synthesizers is also Solvent's most diverse collection to date. Four of the thirteen tracks have the new addition of vocals, carrying on in the tradition of the original new wave masters, but clearly individual and contemporary in their execution. "Think Like Us" has been described as Skinny Puppy gone booty, while "For You" brings a depth of emotion that has seldom been wrought from vocoders and synthesizers. Fans of Solvent's earlier work won't be disappointed either: Apples & Synthesizers is not drastic stylistic departure for Amm, but a natural and timely progression, shifting the styles he explored on previous records to create a striking mix of joyous melodies, voltage controlled precision, and dark bass lines that swirl about on the surface. The ubiquitous "My Radio" (which originally appeared on Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau) is a perfect example of this formula, as the mournful vocal refrain gives the song both a wistful undertone and an insanely catchy hook.Two versions of the album are available. The concise LP version avoids repeating tracks from the Radio Ga Ga 12" series, while the CD version is fully-sequenced.