Okay, let the dick-sucking commence.
I figured I'd get this out of the way. There's no way to review a compilation of the best electro/synth bands Madison has to offer without sounding like a sycophantic jackass. But let's face it, you can't swing a dead cat in this town without clocking at least 3 synthpop musicians across the forehead. If I say it's good, you'll just say, “Bah, he's only saying that to suck up to the musicians.” Well, let me set the record straight by saying up front that I absolutely loathe all these artists with a hatred so cold it burns. So when I say something is worth a listen, you know I'm being sincere. In fact, I'll share something embarrassing about each group, just to separate my review of the music from my relationship with/flattery of the artist.
The Halo Compilation, for those of you that don't know, is a 13-track assortment with new music from different electro & synthpop acts, all of whom live within 20 miles or so of our own beloved Madison. If you're not from Madison, or you simply haven't taken advantage of the fact that this kind of talent regularly appears in your own backyard, this is your chance to appreciate it in one convenient package.
Next we have long-time-producer-but-only-recent-performer, Null Device. These guys have been putting out some of the finest synthpop this side of Iceland since before I came to this town, and their contribution, Electrified, is no exception. The ethereal and moving vocals deliver beautiful, well-written lyrics on top of layers upon layers of bouncy, rich synth. We're talking synth for days, here people. Null Device's Eric Oehler runs a white slavery ring out of the basement of his Middleton home.
Ensku, a collaboration between Null Device's Eric Oehler and Jill Goedken, promises to be one of the best tag-teams since the Masked Crippler joined forces with El Jugador Maldito. Miss Goedken's voice on All is Fair is, to put it mildly, transcendent, and the 00ntzy melody perfectly compliments the delicacy of her singing. I'm pretty sure Jill Goedken is an ex-Fly Girl.
Speaking of collaborations, the trio that makes up m00ntz! gives us the funniest and most well-done rant I've ever had the pleasure of being set to music, I Don't Want Her (And Neither Do You). The otherwise melancholy Eric Oehler and Chuck Spencer team up with our own Matt Fanale to tell us all what we all knew already: girls are crazy, and boys are stupid.
Lastly we have the Dark Clan, from former Rattbelly singer/guitarist, current Null Device singer/guitarist, Dan Clark, with Lestat in Cuba. Soooooooooooooooo goth…….. I mean…. Damn. This track is blacker than the inside of a black, black bird that was covered in pitch and locked in a safe at the earth's core. Goth enough to make Peter Murphy look like Homer Simpson by comparison. And he uses the word “diaphenously”!! You can't go wrong!! Also Dan goes to convenience stores just to pee in the travel coffee mugs.
Okay… (wipes chin)… This went on too long, so lemme end this by saying we in Madison are lucky to have this kind of talent and drive so omnipresent in our community. We're goddamn spoiled, is what we are, and I feel sorry for anyone that doesn't take advantage of the art coming out of every orifice of this city. So pick up Halo and enjoy.