Synthesizer Philosophy

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Silent Diane
Silent Diane (Photo by John Anderson)

Synthesizer Philosophy

Emo's, Jan. 6

While "witch house," a catchall for the darker electronic acts of late, certainly has a nice ring, it's an old sound. In Austin over the last few years, there's been a shift away from three chords toward vintage synths and minimal sounds, a revival of more obscure influences to accompany a less-is-more approach. If anything, double-synth duo Silent Diane sounds like good witches, a combo of wistful lines and doomed drum beats paired with singer Christine Aprile's lovely voice. Along with synthmate Eli Welbourne, looking sort of like Duckie from Pretty in Pink, they channeled the dreamy build-up of 2010's "Riverside" 7-inch, on local electronic emporium Answering Machine Recordings. They're the best Dario Argento soundtrack never made, especially the daggered drone of new song "Spell." Speaking of which, Kevin Attics now fronts trio Spells, an updated twist on the Victorian anthems of his other band Mothfight, the songs louder and more in love with the 1980s. Missions, the new project from Clap!Clap!'s Josh Mills, upped the ante with three synths, plus electronic drums in getting its Depeche Mode on. Neon projections bounced off the wall as the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd tried to dance to Missions' trance. A fine sampling of Austin's new New Wave, but to paraphrase a German philosopher, there are no new sounds, just reinterpretations of old ones.

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Silent Diane, Spells, Missions

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