Solvently one day i went shopping for records and was very lucky to come across this one. I didn't know it at the time, but right there in my hands was one of the most important albums of the 90s, in my opinion.


This album immediately became a personal favourite, dethroning without hesitation many other artists i had placed way up there on a pedestal. Surprisingly some of them were precisely those who had influenced this one, according to the credits printed on the album sleeve. They include the likes of depeche mode, yaz and the human league, no less. Well, aside from the obvious musical references i have just mentioned, how does Mr. Solvent sound like? Here is, of course, my personal interpretation.


This album consists of a collection of brief but absolutely brilliant synth pop gems where soft naive synth melodies play side by side with lightly distorted and syncopated vintage drum machine rhythms. Delicate and modulated leads ease their way early into each song and disappear gently in the background, leaving just enough breathing space to the whole composition. Pleasant synth pads and original use of sound effects, most of the time drenched in reverb, serve both as accompaniment to the melody and provide interesting transitions between song parts.


Without any need for lyrics, stories unfold and images are conjured to the listener, and what great stories and beautiful images they are. Stories of long forgotten friendships, souvenirs of childhood innocence and playfulness, images of newborns gently waking up in their cribs at the first sight of morning light and summer afternoons spent outside under blue skies.


It is noteworthy that Solvent easily mixes contrasting sounds effortlessly as if they were always meant to go together: the soft and the abrasive, the sweet and the sour, the quick and the slow, all happening at the same time. But in the end, everything is cleverly glued together and produce some of the most memorable synth pop anthems i have ever heard. In total, thirteen songs that leave the listener feeling lighthearted, young again, and a tad melancholic.


And so solvently i am still listening today, and will continue to do so for many years to come. I am not alone, i know that solvently many are in fact listening. And hopefully you will too. Thank you for the music Jason!

Album:  Solvently one listens

Artist:  Solvent

Label:  Suction Records

Released:  1999


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