Synth Pioneers Pt. 1

Posted by Sam


Hello, ISO Massive. I’m Sam – Scott and Jakub may have mentioned me before as SV4. I’ve worked with Jakub for a long time at Ghostly, and I have the distinct pleasure of releasing Scott’s work as Tycho on my label. Today, Scott and Jakub have humored me with some column space.

My musical history is all over the place from Hip-Hop to Italo to IDM to Funk, and i’d love to bring some of my favorite lost/forgotten gems to the table…

What i love about the ISO50 headspace is that it evokes a long-forgotten, if not imaginary, past. To my ears, these songs all share that elusive quality: it’s music from a time you think you remember, but were never alive to see.

Paul Hardcastle was a jazz guy with an electro hip-hop influence; dude was nice with a drum machine. You can still hear “Rainforest” and “19” on both late-night urban radio and at your dentist’s office. Daniel Wang put me onto this track and I later found the LP at a used-record store in Berlin. I’ve never found the opportunity to DJ with it, but it’s amazing to pretend there’s an audience that would want to get large to this.

Paul Hardcastle – Stop The Clock


Mike Oldfield is best known as the guy who made “Tubular Bells,” the eerie synth classic which was later adopted for the Exorcist movies. This cut is amazing – it makes you want to drive a speedboat as slow as it will go and watch the coastline.

Mike Oldfield – Foreign Affair


The Alan Parsons Project catalogue has some of the best “dad pop” of the ’70’s and ’80s. Parsons, a studio wizard with a great beard, was a production maverick and could write an amazing hook (“The Eye In The Sky” will make you feel like you’re at the mall waiting for your mom to run errands circa 1985). This track became big in disco DJs’ crates because of its endless groove and largely instrumental composition.

The Alan Parsons Project – Mammagamma [Instrumental]

Marc Moulin is criminally underrated and passed away last year. He is perhaps best known as part of the pioneering Belgian electronic group Telex, who have been immortalized by their Italo-style classic “Moskow Diskow” Moulin’s Placebo Years CD was reissued a few years back by Blue Note in Europe, but it deserves a much wider re-release. Moulin’s own work is more on the jazz-fusion side, but it’s heavy on the electronics, which is probably why he’s been sampled a lot – especially by J Dilla.

Marc Moulin – Balek


12 Comments Leave A Comment


Rent says:

May 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

“Stop the Clock” is so hard! I love that song…fantastic selections here Sam.


Alex / HeadUp says:

May 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Right on with music enabling listeners to experience an imaginary past…I swear I have memories from another life, I can see and smell and hear sounds I never actually did when I listen to anything from WWII-era jazz to disco.


KS says:

May 6, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Awesome…the more music posts here the better! Thanks for sharing your picks and your label SV4. I love APP as well.


Tardlovski says:

May 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm

lushness. dig the selections and especially the commentary – “it makes you want to drive a speedboat as slow as it will go and watch the coastline.” lol


Michael says:

May 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I love Mike Oldfield and his early work – especially Amarok. Would be worth a cut out here too.


WH says:

May 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

“The UK progressive rock musician Mike Oldfield claimed that a melodic element of “19” had been copied from a sequence of his multi-million selling concept album, Tubular Bells, and a settlement was made.”

Look at that. Interesting.


Tardlovski says:

May 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

dude, i’ve been rocking to that hardcastle track all day.
i’ve been trying to get it on p2p but can’t seem to find it. so bad ass.