Album review: Rough Trade Shops: Synth Wave 10

Uber-cool compilation series harvests this year’s hottest bleep merchants, with mixed results.

The go-to source for discerning music fans (and accountants keen to look cool), Rough Trade Shops’ series always offers an exciting journey into its genres.

It runs the gamut from Blank Dogs’ blissful sweet trail Heat & Depression, via the hypnotic drum-and-synth workout Preuss from Xeno & Oaklander, to Cold Cave’s bass-propelled I.C.D.K. where synth notes bend, twist and stretch into your cortex.

Everyone will find some duffers - I hated Crystal Castles’ Empathy, a wispy dreamscape ruined by a jarring loop as bright and ugly as a Lego block sticking out of a dove’s backside - but new discoveries more than compensate.

For me, the maelstrom of drums, dark guitar and synths on S.C.U.M.’s Ocean Of White was well worth the search.

3 stars

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