Archives for posts with tag: bummersynth

Lttle PhnxDay 19 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from a 2013 release on the now-defunct Crystal Magic Records (CMR) from LTTLE PHNX called “Luvrs Disc Ours”

“Let’s not forget” is the closing refrain on this warm throbbing piece of melancholy synth-pop under music shareware operating system name LTTLE PHNX (“Little Phoenix” for those who need vowels to help their pronunciation). Sadly there will be no more LTTL PHNX upgrades as it this version is no longer being supported by its creator Lucy Beeler.

However, there is a new music creation entity recently emerged from the ashes of LTTLE PHNX, known now as Feng. Descibed as “lo-fi low-key pop; keyboard confessionals undulating waves of maudlin-soaked reverb” Feng promises a continuation of the synth-pop symphonies in miniature.

Last time I saw LTTLE PHNX play was at Taste Merchants in Dunedin in 2015. The light-show was a projection across the ceiling of a video  of the earth from the orbiting space station. The angle of the projection meant the video was stretched and distorted, warped around the ceiling architecture. In its own strange way, it was as disorienting and mesmerising as the sounds emanating from the PA system.

Here’s “Luvrs Disc Ours” performed in session too:

Lttle Phnx

PopLib featured Lttle Phnx, the vowel-deprived operating system name for Wellington synth-pop producer Lucy Beeler, back in 2013. There’s a new, and different sounding EP release not long out – “Pyrexia” is its name.

This is all kinds of perfection to my ears. The lead synth part zinging around from ear to ear in the middle of your head here reminds me of Alan Rankine’s soaring crystalline guitar parts from the classic Associates’ debut album “A Matter of Gender”. This is a very good thing.

Another thing these 4 songs share in common with the music of those Scottish post-punk adventurers is a clean minimal production and sparse but perfectly assembled arrangement which leaves space and creates atmosphere and room for those soaring melancholy vocals. Or, as the CMR label write-up explains it, with cyber-erotic perfection: “reverb-wet crystal-encrusted caves of longing”.

Weirdly, there’s another Scottish 80s alternative reminder – The Blue Nile – in the lush 80’s synth sounds employed here and in the feeling of dancing-by-yourself late night sadness it all evokes. I mean sadness in a positive way; as being more comforting for an introvert than the anxiety of dancing with others.

I realise these (possibly annoying/ unhelpful) references say more about my music collection (and state of mind) than anything in the subconscious of Lttle Phnx/ Lucy Beeler, so don’t take them to heart. It’s just a random observation.

Once you’ve listened to enough music it often starts triggering weird un-connected memories associated with times, places and life – and other music (which is associated with times, places and life too). Which is one of the pleasures of listening to new music.

You know the sensations a familiar record will evoke. But with new music your responses are unpredictable and sometimes unexpected & take you where you may never have been before. I like that. I like this too. Thanks Lttle Phnx for these “four intimate moments where time refracts off of the precious walls.”

Lttle phnx

Day 10 of the 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month Bandcamp challenge comes from Auckland via the electro-pop of vowel-deficient Aucklander Lttle Phnx but, in this case, remixed by Suren Unka. I prefer this over the album the song is from mainly because of Suren Unka’s softer dream-pop edges and more liquid sounds. It’s a free download.

If you want the original Lttle Phnx you can head to the Crystal Magic label bandcamp page and get an album download or CD-R of the album (with free download).

The album is cool – it’s got that kind of cheesy 80’s digital synth thing happening and there’s a slow, cold, slightly dark undertow of melancholy and ennui which I like. I’m undecided on the album (as a purchase) but I did like this song from January enough to want to buy it – although I couldn’t because of a problem with the Lttle Phnx PayPal account. The intent was there at least.

What won me over with ‘I wud di3 4 u (vs†rvl 3†3rni†y)’ was not just the resigned soft minimalism of the song but also the all-you-need-to-know tag ‘bummersynth’.

[PostScript: Lttle Phnx has kindly made the song available as a free download… so go for it, but also check out that album please]