V/A – Synthétique

A compilation full of French synthpop bands, most of which I did not know before. The young French label BOREDOMproduct assembled 12 acts with related musical styles, with quite some promising contributions. The compilation features exclusive tracks or remixes.

Some of the groups seem to be inspired by modern electronic pop, while others have firmer roots in 80’s electro or new romantic pop. Synthpop is not a musical style in which innovation plays an important role. It’s just about good poppy electronic songs which you can dance to and soft emotional vocals which you can sing along. There are not really weak spots on the album, though I must say that it’s sometimes hard to discern between the bands, many of them sound more or less similar, in the lines of Depeche Mode or Mesh. Then again, I’m not the biggest synthpop expert, so perhaps more experienced ears would hear more subtle differences.

I especially like the tracks by Thee Hyphen (reminding of Depeche Mode, with some modern sounds), the atmospheric Nouvelle Culture and The Three Cold Men, who indeed sound pleasantly frozen. But my absolute favourite is the addictive minimal electro by Celluloide, with female vocals. A bit of a pity that none of the songs is sung in French, I think that could made some tracks more special. Nevertheless a solid compilation with some interesting new names of which we might hear more in the future.

artist: V/A
label: BOREDOMproduct
details: cd, 12 tracks [BDMCD02]