Thursday 18 September 2014

Review: Tourdeforce - 'Jedem Das Seine'

'Jedem Das Seine'

Italian synthpop act Tourdeforce, AKA Christian Ryder, carries on the traditions laid out by acts such as Frozen Plasma, Client and Covenant with his brand of accessible and hook-laden electronica. But Ryder has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep things interesting on his latest outing 'Jedem Das Seine'. Fleeting hints of ambient and the darker innovation of 80s synthpop, and even a little new wave guitar work coupled with a broad palette of subject matters for lyrical fodder really help to draw the listener in. But what is most noticeable is just how good the synthwork is on here. With the project starting back in 2004 it is obvious that Ryder takes his time and really gives every detail his full attention.

This is most evident on songs such as 'John Lennon Was A Warmonger', 'History is Written by The Winners', 'Adolf Hitler Platz', 'Human Geometries' and 'No Other Forms of Life', which show off an exceptional talent for songwriting and a strong ear for a catchy melody.

What is most impressive though is how quickly Ryder can turn the record on its head. Firstly with the divine dark ambience of 'La Nuit De La Enchanteresse' which is an excellent change of pace from the dance-friendly rhythms of the rest of the album. He then pulls another surprise out with the unexpected harsh ebm closer 'Decreptitude' which slowly builds from sinister piano part into a a rather groovy dark tune.

In terms of production, it is as solid as you could want. It's clean and modern with a subtle mix that balances out the dance potential of the songs and their more laid-back pop sensibilities quite nicely. But with songwriting and performance as good as this it would have been a shame if the production fell behind.

'Jedem Das Seine' is a very strong album. One that is respectful to the history of synthpop, but not afraid to shake things up and do a complete 180 into another genre. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from Christian Ryder in the near future.  

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