Solvent Apples & Synthesizers

Solvent Apples & Synthesizers
Self-described "robot music composer” and Zimbabwe-born Toronto resident Jason Amm might very well be one of the best melody makers working in electronic music today. Along with some-time collaborator and similarly minded electro rejuvenator Lowfish, Solvent has made a name for himself by creating his own blend of electro-pop that eschews the cold and ironic tendencies of the electroclash scene for the emotional warmth of early ’80s synth pop, a sound he’s been crafting and perfecting since debuting in the late ’90s on his own label, Suction. On Apples & Synthesizers, Solvent’s third full-length and debut for the rightfully buzzed and admired Ghostly International, brings his "modern meets vintage” techno vision to further fruition by bringing vocodor vocals to significant prominence in the mix. For the most part, the move works well — tracks like the nostalgic and yearning "My Radio” the touching and sentimental "For You” benefit from Amm’s vocodored observations — but on the ominous and scathing "Think Like Us,” or the goofy and loose "Remote Control,” he almost takes it too far by coming close to stepping on Trans Am’s toes and losing the focus of his expertly catchy song structures. The real candies on Apples, however, are Solvent’s genius instrumentals. "Operating Ease,” "Instructograph” and "Science With Synthesizers” run along at gleeful paces and introduce joyous new elements at virtually every turn. These tracks feature the kinds of melodies that will get stuck in your head for days, but they’re so energetic and fun-loving you won’t want them to leave. (Ghostly)