BioBuilding on an already illustrious career that has involved labels such as Morr Music, Ersatz Audioand his own Suction Recordsimprint, Toronto's Solvent (Jason Amm) has completed his most accomplished and compelling work yet, Apples and Synthesizers, released this summer on Ghostly International. It's been three years since 2001's Solvent City(Morr Music), and Solvent has been busy studying the science of synthesis. Solvent wants to show you the difference between Apples and Synthesizers, and in doing so 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 and 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 Puppygone 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 and 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 Ghostly's Disco Nouveaucompilation in 2002) is a perfect example of this formula, as the mournful vocal refrain gives the song both a wistful undertone and an insanely catchy hook. Apples and Synthesizers will undoubtedly keep Jason Amm in the much-deserved limelight of the electro-pop scene. His delicate touches and humanistic approach to what many see as a cold, impenetrable genre will surely find legions of new fans, be they those who just want to dance or those who seek a deeper, more studied approach to electronic music. -For any fan of synth-pop, electro and melodic electronic music -