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Synth Single Review: Dynamite Stranger, "Synth Ranger"

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

Artwork for Dynamite Stranger's new single, "Synth Ranger"

Artwork for Dynamite Stranger's new single, "Synth Ranger"

Sometimes it’s the warmth and openness of synth music that I find compelling, but I am also drawn to the more robotic and synthetic feeling that it can create. Dynamite Stranger’s single, “Synth Ranger,” is a good example of using those synthesized, clinical sounds to good effect.

The first synth we hear is distinctly “computer-sounding" as it plays widely spaced notes that seem to be randomly playing a pattern. That pattern is soon joined by deep washes of bass and a robust rhythm. What seemed random has now established a cohesive and very robotic sound played on that computer-like synth. A second synth line comes in, establishing a wandering melody over those technological sounds. The solid beat and the deep bass that doesn’t rumble as much as it supports the track from the bottom up.

I am intrigued by the relative coldness and robotic nature of this track. It has a kind of intensely cybernetic sensation to it, dominated by all things mechanical and electronic. I mentioned warmth in relation to synths at the top of this interview but in this case they felt icy cold to me, producing quite a different sensation.

That techy sound generated an interesting mental image for me. I conceive of the “synth ranger” in the tile as a cyborg-like figure come to deliver justice to a broken world. It sounds like the Synth Ranger is arriving to clean up those miscreants with robotic efficiency. Obviously I don’t know if that’s what Dynamite Stranger intended but that was the story I constructed out of the music.

Synth Ranger brought all of its various sonic elements to bear in an effective way. I also thought that it had an infectious groove that made me want to shake my butt (in a very robotic way) and I enjoyed his celebration of the colder, more technological side of synth-based music.

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