Sophomore's 'Ghost Rider' will have you on the edge of your seat

While most online content creators struggle to find copyright-friendly music to add to videos, Sophomore, almost in defiance of DRM algorithms, takes the opposite approach: he searches far and wide for obscure video, from Canada’s National Film Board archives to police dashcam footage, to augment his analogue synth dreamscapes.

In ‘Ghost Rider’, we ride shotgun for a high-speed car chase in gloriously vintage fashion that can’t help but call to mind the sounds of College and Cliff Martinez in Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Drive, or The Reds in Michael Mann’s Manhunter. Sophomore’s relaxed drum machine rhythms, blissed out arpeggios, and booming, cinematic pads would fit right at home with Italians Do It Better’s faux film score releases, but he does one better by setting the narrative scene himself with a car chase that looks like it could have happened right on the highway nearest to your own home. Despite leveraging an aesthetic sound palette that is no doubt familiar by now to us all, the cumulative effect is as entrancing as it is unique.

If you liked Ghost Rider, check out Sophomore’s other original compositions set to video on his YouTube channel or follow him on Soundcloud.

— review by autonomy

Audio / Visual Magic from Germany's Skull Sized Kingdoms

Making the jump from electronic producer to a full fledged live act is no easy task. There’s the reinterpretation process to make the songs work in the live setting, there’s more gear, more variables and lots of preparation. Just a couple years back Hannes Hümmer took this leap with his synth-heavy electronica project ‘Skull Sized Kingdoms’, joined by friend and guitarist Tim Schleicher to round out the live experience.

Hannes crafts unique sonic soundscapes using Ableton, analog synths, effect pedals, guitars and field recordings. For his debut release ‘Altered states EP’ Hümmer relied on some classic pieces of gear, such as the Juno 6, Moog Sub 37 and Moog Minitaur to a rich and dynamic listening experience.

The 5 track EP features a choice selection of indie, electronic, techno and idm soundscapes. It’s definitely a start to finish listening journey suitable for fans of both live and electronic music alike. And lucky for us there’s even some visual content to along with the album.

The video above ‘Glittermagic’ is the last track of the album and brings the EP to an epic close. Arpeggiated synths roll through increasingly entrancing progressions accented by crisp percussion and soft, euphoric pads. A kind of meditative state sets in mid way through as the audio/visual experience takes control with hypnotic natural imagery from Fabian Willi Simon.

The Altered States EP is out now via Humanized records
Grab it on Bandcamp or stream the album on Spotify

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