Thursday 27 December 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Synthetic Romance" (Ebony Records ‎– EBON 2) 1982

Back in the land of 'Pop' with this very woolworths bargain-bin looking compilation of early eighties UK synth pop.
The notes on the rear of the sleeve are worth a chuckle or two,as if they were written by a businessman who's last foray into the 'pop' market was a Shirley Bassey album.They read as follows:

"Synthetic Romance - for people wanting a collection of modern and futuristic music. The groups are varied, from all parts of the country and all walks of life, with one thing in common - the synthesizer - perhaps the most sophisticated instrument of our century.This album is intended to promote the best new groups performing their own material. It also demonstrates the imagination and foresight of these yet little known musicians. All tracks have been produced by Darryl Johnston for EBONY RECORDS - an independent record company with its own 24 track recording studio - whose aim is to promote new groups."

As I assume you all want 'Modern and Futuristic music' in your record collections, especially using that most 'sophisticated' of instruments, 'The Synthesizer';this array of third division synth -led new wave pop will be right up your alley.
There's a distinct lack of drum machines on this lot, as they emulate the Tubeway Army approach to such things musical, and use an actual drum kit instead of its solid state cousin.This is probably due to the fact that 'Ebony Records (had) its own 24 track recording studio', complete with sound egineer I suggest. Most synth bands had little idea how to mike up a drum kit, which became a dying art towards the end of the eighties.
Ebony Records, understandably switched to heavy metal after this compilation, which wasn't exactly on the pulse of Electronic music in 1982.
I would hardly call the totally unknown bands on this comp 'Synth'in any way, apart from the fact they all had a 'Synth' player in the line up. Basically its all New Wave Power Pop with added Synthesizer to add that missing touch of.....cough!.... 'Sophistication', to the proceedings.
Some people are clueless.....but would you have it any other way? It has a certain degree of charm i guess, as these eleven unknowns bust a gusset to stretch their very limited talents to attain that dream of being number 27 in the top thirty one day.....needless to say no-one here got anywhere near the top 3000 never mind the top 30!?


A1 –Jonny Dee - Stargazer 3:48
A2 –The Truth - System Thinking 2:45
A3 –Those Attractive Magnets - Fade Into Silence 4:49
A4 –Stranger Station - Welcome To The Night 3:12
A5 –Roman Holiday - Waste Of Time 4:17
A6 –Liar - Oriental Lady 4:01
B1 –Low Profile - On The Run 3:43
B2 –Factor 10 - Ever Since You Went Away 3:59
B3 –Biofeedback - As Pure As The Cloth 3:19
B4 –The Motifs - Cameras 3:54
B5 –D.H.S.S. - Together 3:27


Nacho Trisat said...

Great album, The Chain Of Command song it's a hit. "Stargazer" from Johnny Dee is also a hidden gem.

BTW, I've linstening to this album right today

Thanks for posting it

Vlad The Chart Collector said...

Roman Holiday actually realised their chart dream and went almost Top 10 in 1983 :)

Seeing how you champion things synth and minimal I'm sure you have to investigate Stranger Station and Those Attractive Magnets at the very least!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Those Attractive Magnets up next...I thought the Roman Holiday that charted were a different Roman Holiday?...i remember them ...v.crap.

Philip Johnson said...

I wondered if it was the same Roman Holiday, or Roman Holliday* as the chart band called themselves. All that can be said is that it COULD be.

*Probably still playing "Stand By" and "Don't Try To Stop It" somewhere...

Jonny Zchivago said...

Well, i looked on the Roman Holliday's (the one with 2 'L's) website, and there ain't no mention of the track on this I reckon it ain't the hit band at all.....and they did play a reunion gig in 2010 apparently,to a packed house at the Borderline.