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