Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019

The amount of amazing music released in 2019 was overwhelming at times. I was able to get my hands on 612 full length albums in 2019. Throw in EP’s and singles and the year was incredibly prolific for the synth-based scenes. I had the daunting task of narrowing those 600+ albums down to just 30. I released a Top 100 first (you can find that HERE) and now it’s the Top 30!

LISTEN TO THE TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2019 SHOW HERE!

I have several rules I use when narrowing down releases to my Top 30 Albums:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it being given to me by the band, label, promotional team, or DJ distribution service. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them. This is one of many reasons why it is so important to get the music to DJs!
  2. To qualify, the release must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions of previous releases, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs. If an album has 12 songs, but only seven original songs, then the album qualifies, but only those seven songs are rated.
  3. All albums are rated using a weighted average so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album would only lose 8 points/song.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus releases.
  5. Any genres represented in my show can make the Top 30.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. I try my best to be objective using the weighted average rating system and when it comes time to delete albums with lower scores, I don’t look at the names of the bands I’m deleting so there’s no chance I’ll bump an album because I really like the band or I’m friends with the drummer, etc. I have no doubt given human psychology that no matter how hard I try or what rules I put in place, I do not eliminate all personal bias. But I guess that’s what makes these lists subjective.

I don’t rank them from 30 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly (given that I start from over 600), and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30.

I hope you give each album and band a chance. If you find something you like then support the band: follow them on social media, buy their music and merch, and definitely go see them on tour!

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019 (in alphabetical order):

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

 

Synthentral Top 100 of 2019

There was tons of great music in 2019. I was able to get my hands on 612 albums in 2019, not including EP’s and singles. I had to narrow that down to just 100 and will have to narrow it down to 30 for my Top 30 show (will be posted HERE).

I have several rules I work with when narrowing down the albums to my top list:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it given to me by the band or label. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I am aware of that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them.
  2. To qualify it must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs.
  3. All albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album only loses 8 points/song. That would obviously be unfair, so I weight songs so every song contributes to a number rating of 1 through 10.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus to 100.
  5. All genres represented in my show can be in both the Top 100 and Top 30 (when it’s released). I try to make sure that all genres are represented, but there are some years where a specific genre just didn’t have any good albums released or the one or two good ones just didn’t stand up to the awesomeness of other genre albums.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. Regardless, listen to the music and give it all a chance. I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to each album title, so give each band and album a chance and listen and support the bands you like!

Making this list is actually psychologically painful at times and there are times when removing an album causes psychosomatic physical pain. Getting from 100 to 30 is the worst of it as you know you’re deleting an amazing album from the list but the one above it got a 9.91 and it only got a 9.89. Hitting that delete button hurts. LOL

I don’t rank them from 100 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly, and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30 for the Top 30 show.

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 100 for 2019 (in alphabetical order):

A Spell Inside - Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

A Spell Inside – Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

Accumortis - Deathwave

Accumortis – Deathwave (LISTEN HERE)

Agent Side Grinder - A/X

Agent Side Grinder – A/X (LISTEN HERE)

Alienare - Neverland

Alienare – Neverland (LISTEN HERE)

Am Tierpark - Kings Of Failure

Am Tierpark – Kings Of Failure (LISTEN HERE)

Arctic Sunrise - Across The Ice

Arctic Sunrise – Across The Ice (LISTEN HERE)

Atomzero - Technophilia

Atomzero – Technophilia (LISTEN HERE)

Black Marble - Bigger Than Life

Black Marble – Bigger Than Life (LISTEN HERE)

Blinky Blinky Computerband - Inner Conflict

Blinky Blinky Computerband – Inner Conflict (LISTEN HERE)

Caisaron - Destiny Encounters

Caisaron – Destiny Encounters (LISTEN HERE)

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Curse Mackey - Instant Exorcism

Curse Mackey – Instant Exorcism (LISTEN HERE)

CygnosiC - Epiphany

CygnosiC – Epiphany (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Daybehavior - Based On A True Story

Daybehavior – Based On A True Story (LISTEN HERE)

Elz And The Cult - Psychodrama

Elz And The Cult – Psychodrama (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Eric C. Powell - TRUE

Eric C. Powell – TRUE (LISTEN HERE)

Espermachine - Delicate Corruption

Espermachine – Delicate Corruption (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Felix Marc - Substance

Felix Marc – Substance (LISTEN HERE)

First Aid 4 Souls - Keep This World Empty

First Aid 4 Souls – Keep This World Empty (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Front Line Assembly - Wake Up The Coma

Front Line Assembly – Wake Up The Coma (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Glitch Black - Age Of Machines

Glitch Black – Age Of Machines (LISTEN HERE)

God Module - The Unsound

God Module – The Unsound (LISTEN HERE)

Grendel - Ascending The Abyss

Grendel – Ascending The Abyss (LISTEN HERE)

Hante. - Fierce

Hante. – Fierce (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Human Steel - Invaders

Human Steel – Invaders (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Interface - Where All Roads Lead

Interface – Where All Roads Lead (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Kounter Mezhure - Valkyrie

Kounter Mezhure – Valkyrie (LISTEN HERE)

Ladytron - Ladytron

Ladytron – Ladytron (LISTEN HERE)

Lazer Station - Weaponizer

Lazer Station – Weaponizer (LISTEN HERE)

Loewenhertz - Traumfaenger

Loewenhertz – Traumfaenger (LISTEN HERE)

M73 - Tainted

M73 – Tainted (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Marta Raya - Reflection

Marta Raya – Reflection (LISTEN HERE)

Massive Ego - Church For The Malfunctioned

Massive Ego – Church For The Malfunctioned (LISTEN HERE)

Mavroskeleto - Biomachine

Mavroskeleto – Biomachine (LISTEN HERE)

Mental Exile - Ride The Madness

Mental Exile – Ride The Madness (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Minuit Machine - Infrarouge

Minuit Machine – Infrarouge (LISTEN HERE)

Miss Ballistic - Blood And Glitter

Miss Ballistic – Blood And Glitter (LISTEN HERE)

Missing Words - Moment To Moment

Missing Words – Moment To Moment (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Nature Of Wires - Modus

Nature Of Wires – Modus (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

NeuroWulf - Endurance

NeuroWulf – Endurance (LISTEN HERE)

Nórdika - Winterheart's

Nórdika – Winterheart’s (LISTEN HERE)

Occams Laser - Occult 89

Occams Laser – Occult 89 (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Parralox - Genesis

Parralox – Genesis (LISTEN HERE)

Poizon Party IV - Hell Dial

Poizon Party IV – Hell Dial (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Psy'Aviah - Soul Searching

Psy’Aviah – Soul Searching (LISTEN HERE)

The Purge - Honesty

The Purge – Honesty (LISTEN HERE)

Reality's Despair - Human Transitions

Reality’s Despair – Human Transitions (LISTEN HERE)

Red Flag - Endless

Red Flag – Endless (LISTEN HERE)

Reflection - Umbra

Reflection – Umbra (LISTEN HERE)

Reliant - Songs From The Heart Of Solitude

Reliant – Songs From The Heart Of Solitude (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

RROYCE - Patience

RROYCE – Patience (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

S Y Z Y G Y X - Is That All There Is

S Y Z Y G Y X – Is That All There Is (LISTEN HERE)

Saft - Allting Har Ett Slut

Saft – Allting Har Ett Slut (LISTEN HERE)

Sea Of Sin - Unbroken

Sea Of Sin – Unbroken (LISTEN HERE)

She Past Away - Disko Anksiyete

She Past Away – Disko Anksiyete (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

[:SITD:] - Stunde X

[:SITD:] – Stunde X (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Spray - Failure Is Inevitable

Spray – Failure Is Inevitable (LISTEN HERE)

Stahlgeist - Escape Reality

Stahlgeist – Escape Reality (LISTEN HERE)

Synthax Xtructure - Don't Look Back

Synthax Xtructure – Don’t Look Back (LISTEN HERE)

Tamaryn - Dreaming The Dark

Tamaryn – Dreaming The Dark (LISTEN HERE)

Terminal Danger - Looking For Strange

Terminal Danger – Looking For Strange (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

TR/ST - The Destroyer – 1

TR/ST – The Destroyer – 1 (LISTEN HERE)

Tragic Impulse - Echoes Of The Unseen

Tragic Impulse – Echoes Of The Unseen (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

unitcode:machine - Tyranny

unitcode:machine – Tyranny (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

Vestron Vulture - Unscarred

Vestron Vulture – Unscarred (LISTEN HERE)

Watch Clark - Couch

Watch Clark – Couch (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

Wingtips - Exposure Therapy

Wingtips – Exposure Therapy (LISTEN HERE)

Wolf Club - Frontiers

Wolf Club – Frontiers (LISTEN HERE)

Xarah Dion - Plein Nord

Xarah Dion – Plein Nord (LISTEN HERE)

 

Synthentral’s Top 33 Albums of 2018

Synthentral‘s Top 33 Albums of 2018!

I normally do Top 30, but I could not in good conscience remove three more albums from my final list. Just getting down to 33 from the initial 500+ was hard enough as there was so much amazing music released in 2018.

Here are the criteria I used to qualify for the initial list of over 500 albums:

  1. Albums only: no singles or EP’s.
  2. The album could not be a remaster, re-release, remix or compilation album.
  3. The album had to have a minimum of 7 original songs.

I narrowed the 500 to 96, then to 47, and finally to 33 using the following:

  1. Did I want to listen to every song on the album and not fast forward or skip any songs?
  2. Did I want to listen to the album over and over again?
  3. Did the album make me “feel.”

I fully admit that the final three criteria are subjective and you may have chose a different Top 33 for 2018. Looking at some of the Top lists already put out I’m in disagreement with quite a few of them because art is subjective and music is art. I waited until the very end of 2018 to make sure I gave albums released in December a fair chance at the list.

I did not break the Top 33 down from 33 to number 1. I will list them (and play a song from them on the 12/28 show) in alphabetical order by band.

Check out the albums and if you like what you hear, then support the band: buy their albums, like their social media pages, and definitely go see them on tour!

Top 33 Albums of 2018 in alphabetical order by band name. Click on the band’s name to go to their social media page. Click on the album title to go where you can listen to and purchase the album. You can listen to the show featuring one song from each album HERE.

Aïboforcen, “Sense & Nonsense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APSÜRDE, “Inglourious Heroes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Code, “Perspektive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashbury Heights, “The Victorian Wallflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Binary Park, “Life On Lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blume, “Ashes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caustic, “American Carrion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cesium_137, “Rise To Conquer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmicity, “Twice Daily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Covenant Of Thorns, “Shadows & Serenades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CTRL, “0009:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiant Machines, “Delirium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo Over Voices, “Bittersweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electro Spectre, “A Man-Made Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Lied To Us, “Presence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gunship, “Dark All Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halo Effect, “SHOUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johan Baeckström, “Utopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korine, “New Arrangements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mitra mitra, “Marionettes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neuroticfish, “Antidoron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Haze, “Love Is Chaos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norderney, “From Fiction To Reality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nórdika, “Venus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occams Laser, “New Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radioaktivists, “Radioakt One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solitary Experiments, “Future Tense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train To Spain, “A Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity One, “Awakening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V2A, “Gravity Killer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VNV Nation, “Noire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wice, “Wice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xenia Beliayeva, “Riss

Top 30 Synth Albums of 2017

TOP 30 Synth-Based Albums/EPs from 2017!

This list was very hard to do. There were so many amazing albums, EP’s, and singles released in 2017. In order for an album to qualify, it had to be in my library. I get music a lot of ways. A lot of times promoters, record labels, and artists send me their music so I can play the music. A lot of times I have to buy the albums. Sometimes the artists offer the albums up for free on their web page, Bandcamp, or other sources.

All those sources resulted in having 4,396 unique album/EP/single entries from 2017 that I had to go through. That’s a daunting number and it should be noted that there’s no way I have all the new music released in 2017! There is no doubt in my mind that I missed some new music that may have ended up on this list if I had it in my library.

Narrowing the list down:

In order for an album to qualify it had to be new material from the musician/band. So the first thing I did was remove any remix albums. The second thing I did was remove any compilation/best of/greatest hits albums. The third thing I did was remove any singles where the song was part of a later or earlier album. Doing those three things dwindled the number of unique entries to 3,477. Still a daunting task.

Next step was to go through each of those almost 3,500 entries and rate them from 1 to 10. Then I deleted everything that I rated 8 or below. Entries required a 9 or 10 to make it to next round. This processes narrowed the unique entries to 76.

I then re-rated the remaining 76 entries with a much stricter ear. After the re-rating I removed anything below a 9. That left me with 47 unique entries. Then I had to do it again until I got down to 40 entries. At this point, removing anyone from the list physically hurt my heart. The amount of awesome goodness on that list of 47 and 40 was painful as I removed one after another.

Now that I had it down to 40, I had to remove 10 more, who are the honorable mentions. As hard as it was getting down to 40, removing those 10 more was even more difficult!

The Caveats:

  1. Music is subjective. There is a really good chance that your list would be completely different from mine. I did not use any criteria like record sales, listening stats, or anything that would require me to hire someone with a Master’s Degree in musicology.
  2. My criteria for the initial rating and re-rating was asking two simple questions:
    1. Do I want to listen to this album on repeat or just once and listen to a different album?
    2. Are the majority of the songs on the album listenable? The more I wanted to listen to an album on repeat and the more songs on it that were listenable, the higher the rating it got (weighted for singles and EP’s of course). Narrowing those down to just 40/30 was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be for sure.
  3. I am sure that I will get a lot of “But what about Band A and album B? How could you not list those?” See #1. Music is subjective to the listener.

There was a lot of amazing new music put out in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is just as awesome!

2017 TOP 30 SYNTH-BASED ALBUMS (alphabetical order):

3FORCE — Resistance
3Teeth — _shutdown.exe_
AM Tierpark — Trashy Luxury
Angelspit — Black Dog Bite
Arian 1 — Signals
Blakk Glass — Trial EP
Christopher Anton — Connected
CRYSEHD — EP III
deZeption — Mature
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration
Elektrostaub — Birthday And Death
Funker Vogt — Code Of Conduct
Gary Numan — Savage: Songs From A Broken World
Grendel — Age Of The Disposable Body
Hexheart — Midnight On A Moonless Night
Lorelei Dreaming — Banshee
ManMindMachine — Point Of Departure EP
Missing in STARS — Echo Point
Night Drive — Night Drive
Priest — New Flesh
Reflection — Lumen EP
Schwarzschild — Radius
Stilz — Starcrash
T.O.Y — Pain Is Love
Telekon — Hope for Believers
Torul — Monday EP
Wiccid — By Design
William Control — Revelations: The White EP
Xenturion Prime — Humanity Plus
Zynic — Neon Oblivion

2017 SYNTH-BASED HONORABLE MENTIONS:

C-Lekktor — Out Of My Way
Crüxshadows, The — Astromythology
Dav Dralleon — Depths EP
Forces Of Light — Darklights
New Division, The — No Pride In Paradise EP
Orange Sector — Endzeit (Deluxe Edition)
Slave Republic — Songs For Sinners
Sonic Reunion — Turning Point
Vainerz — Patient
Watch Clark — First Week of Winter

Social Media Advice For Bands

I’ve been asked for advice now and then about certain social media activities for bands: sometimes from bands and sometimes from fans. I certainly don’t espouse myself to be some kind of expert. What I can say is that I have 30 years of experience running groups and doing social media outreach for organizations (majority non-profit). There are way too many things to cover and tons of nuance, so I’ve decided to do a list of ten things: things I’ve noticed pages (bands and non-bands alike) do or not do over the years. Take this for what it is: friendly advice from someone who wants you to succeed! Or ignore me completely. After all, in the long run, it is your page and your band and your decisions to make.

  1. Unless you have directly harmed someone (emotionally or physically) you should not apologize on your social media (or on stage for that matter). Having technical difficulties? Been absent a bit too long from your page? Post the wrong thing? Don’t apologize. Instead, thank people for their patience or understanding. What sounds better, “Sorry about the technical difficulties everyone” or “Hey, thanks for your patience as we get this sorted out!” Thanking your listeners/page visitors puts the ownership of being awesome on them. It let’s them know how appreciative you are for their behavior and not how apologetic you are for yours. Don’t say you’re sorry for not posting in a long time, instead thank your readers for their patience.
  2. Don’t put your personal drama on your band’s page. It sucks that your band is broke and can’t afford to pay the rent. It sucks that last night’s venue short-changed you or only let you perform for ten minutes instead of the planned thirty. We have all been there. Post that stuff on your personal page if you must, but your band page should not be where you are complaining about your personal life (even if it’s band-related). It’s not that people don’t care, per se, it’s that people have their own personal drama they are dealing with and the majority of the “that sucks” or “sorry to hear that” posts are just that: posts that are meaningless. Air that out with your friends on your personal page (or your actual real life friends) and not on your fans.
  3. Along the same lines as #2, do not talk smack about other bands on your page (or on stage). By all means call out egregious behavior like racism, homophobia, etc., but just because you don’t like a band doesn’t mean a damn thing to your fans. That only risks isolating some of your fans who do like the band your talking bad about. Music is mostly subjective and whether or not you like it does not mean others will not. For example, I would never say that a comedian is bad: I say instead (because it’s true), that the comedian is not funny to me. So I would never say that Band A sucks, just that Band A’s music doesn’t appeal to me or “it’s not my thing.”
  4. Make sure your About section is filled out as much as possible. Provide a link to your Bandcamp page or Soundcloud page or main web page. List your band members and what they do (keyboards, vocals, guitar, programming, etc). Specify your genre(s) and fill out the “bands you like” or “influences.” In the About section on Facebook, make sure you fill in a “username.” The username should cause your page to come up immediately. Have someone check for you who is not an admin. If they put in @bandabc and it comes up with six different pages, then you need to modify it. It amazes me how many bands don’t think about this. You want your fans and radio shows and DJs to tag your band and the easiest way to do that is to have an @username that definitely comes up with your band and not something else. You may have to modify it to @bandabcofficial or @bandabc.info or similar to get it to come up immediately in a tag. Play with it until someone can tag your band easily in Facebook. If you luck out and user FB “username” matches your Twitter handle: BONUS POINTS!
  5. If you’re going to use an image to bypass Facebook’s algorithm that forces you to “boost your post,” that’s fine, just don’t forget to include a direct link in the first comment. Don’t make your fans search for the event page or manually type in the web page that’s in the image.
  6. You don’t have to respond to every fan’s comment, but you should at least post in the thread where fans have commented. Something along the lines of “Thanks for all your feedback everyone” or “Keep the comments coming, we love and appreciate your input!” Even a simple “thanks” from you can make a fan’s day.
  7. If your band’s page is tagged by a radio show, DJ, magazine, or genre supportive social media group (the page itself, not readers or fans of that page), then you should at a minimum like their post. You should consider posting a “thanks” of some kind in the comments. You should definitely think about sharing their post: not just when it’s only about your band, but when your band is included among others. The scene is equally as important as your band. Without a scene, your band has no support network. Sharing this stuff introduces your fans to other bands and vice versa. It increases awareness of the scene and increases the fan base across the spectrum.
  8. Speaking of the scene, it is important that you support the scene. You are not an isolated band. If there are no other scene bands, no clubs, no scene fan groups, then there is no fan base for you. Don’t be afraid to tag other bands in the scene (especially if sharing a radio show or magazine that mentions them). Don’t be afraid to introduce your fans to other bands or share music you like that isn’t yours. Hopefully the band you tag is just as awesome as you are and will reciprocate.
  9. There is nothing wrong with posting things that aren’t “professional” if you are willing to engage your fans with fun things. Don’t post something like “What’s your favorite holiday meal” and then not interact with those who respond or not posting your favorite holiday meal as the first comment. It’s perfectly fine to have fun with your fans on your page and interact with them in ways other than sharing your videos or events. If you do, you need to actually interact with them. Don’t ask them to participate if you are not going to participate.
  10. Last, is politics/religion. There are definitely bands out there who are political in their stance and their lyrics and that’s perfectly okay. If you are not one of those bands then you need to weigh the risks of posting political or religious stuff on your band’s page. You risk isolating some of your fans. Obviously there are legitimate reasons to isolate some of your fans (like a band posting that anyone who is a racist should not be their fan), but if you’re not going after the big fish of racism, homophobia, etc., then be careful. Use your personal page for politics/religion unless you fully understand the ramifications and consequences of posting on your band’s page. I’m not saying don’t do it: what I’m saying is understand the fallout that can come from doing it.

Best of luck to all of you as your pursue your musical dreams. I want all of you to succeed. I want the scene to be stable and thriving and full of amazing talented folks! Keep making music. Keep doing what you’re doing! Keep the synth-based scenes alive!