Watch: Roladex – Glass Statuette

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Bright colors intertwined with VHS-quality and other psychedelic enjoyment. Together with the technology of yesteryear, Roladex have done good in their homage to where their influences come from. With their 80’s-infused synth-pop sound and their carefully executed visual FX create a hypnotic atmosphere which is almost exclusive to music-videos from that decade and before the 2000’s. You will find no polished turds á la big business labels and their PR-menagerie here. Not to mention their song “Glass Statuette” on their newly released split with ((PRESSURES)), which is saturated with the mesmerizing duo’s eloquent vocals whose delivery hypnotize you, as the spastic arpeggio rhythm continually rolls in the foreground – an aquatic melody seduces you. You can’t help but start humming the lyrics in a repetitive fashion. I also think the video captures a bizarre vein that Roladex don’t capture as well with their music, which seems to me when I listen to it to be in all seriousness, but the video itself adds that tongue-in-cheek vibe that music-videos used to give. Either because they were abhorrent in their silliness, or simply delivering a positive nerve in the musical delivery – which in Roladex’s case is true – as you also can’t help but smile.

It would’ve been great if this split-release could’ve featured a music-video by ((PRESSURES)), too. Because then it would’ve been more than two songs that you keep on the repeat. But with that said, I think the track “The Voices” complements “Glass Statuette” very well. I think ((PRESSURES)) are the ones whom deliver the futuristic touch to this release, as the B-Side coincides with Roladex’s passionate nostalgic reflections both in track and video. “The Voices” almost touch cold-wave territory, but instead of going into the coldness and reflections of that – there’s a clear disco-vibe to the whole she-bang. With vocals that soothe your soul, together with a steadfast drum-machine rhythm and cosmic synthesizers – I would say that the A-Side gives more hope for us in the future. Though a lot of melancholy can be heard in both tracks, the bleaker side is when Roladex comes on, but I’m not sure anymore after having seen their music-video. All of this might be my hypnotized me talking, but they’ve charmed me with their other side of the coin. Both tracks are complementary as I’ve said, but one wouldn’t stand with the other and they display different characteristics. I just wish they would’ve included the music-video with the release and also made a music-video for ((PRESSURES)) track. That way, their likeness and difference could’ve been visually represented as well as musically.

Since this is a joint release by Medical Records and Disko Obscura, you can either choose to order the limited edition 7¨ in thick transparent yellow, or transparent urochrome vinyl. It’s your choice whether you’d like to go with Medical Records or Disko Obscura, but they both have their unique take on it and if you’re a collector then you should go for them both. You can order the transparent yellow version here, and the transparent urochrome here. Stream both tracks digitally down below and watch the music-video above.

Spotlight: Roladex – Anthems For The Micro​-​Age

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Two people participatory in retro-futurism. Texans, synth-poppers, VHS-lovers, retro-lovers – a lot in common. The granular imagery from the VHS gives off a mystic visual representation, maybe even a leery introduction for those whom almost have a fetish for technical progress. A current that has been actualized more and more when we entered the 2000’s, a shift that you might’ve noticed but didn’t care too much for. Tyler Jacobsen and Elyssa Dianne have a lot of things in common, their common denominator being; Roladex. It should be so more enticing then the name would ever suggest. Synth-pop with a retro-fantastic touch, infusing lovely melodies with the charming disco-vibes, quickly shifting focus into their lovely rhythm – moving into their minimalistic undertones. Equate that to their latest release “Anthems For The Micro-Age“, which was released on the 13th of February on Medical Records. Harnessing both the qualities of the long-lost, but now re-emerged – minimal synth of yesteryear. This release can also be seen as a compilation of tracks from earlier releases. If you hold a grudge against analog synth-pop, this is probably not the spot for you.

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From 2013 to 2014, Roladex released their first single “Pink Halloween“, with remixes by Police Des Moeurs and Tiger Team being featured on it. The label back then was AMDISCS, and it was released in May of 2013. After that, a Mini-EP titled “Love Surgery EP” was born, featuring contributions from TSTI, Video Look, REDREDRED and Some Ember – released by the label Beko, in June. Then, the notable label Night People got it together and they got their first cassette put out there. The name of that cassette was to become “Cathode Rays“, whereas the name was taken from the first track on that release. Later on, in 2014, as it has been said – they got released by Medical Records, on vinyl. Which birthed the album, and rather compilation, of tracks that would come together under the title of “Anthems For The Micro-Age“. A lot of tracks that had been previously released were also featured here, but as new versions re-done for the release – like “Love Surgery” as A3, and “Scan Lines” as B4 – taken from their release “Love Surgery EP”. Whilst the track “Pink Halloween” appeared as B2, taken from their first single with the same name. The tracks from their cassette-release “Cathode Rays”, the track with the same name being represented as A2, also got featured on this compilation. “Blacklit Disco” is A4, “Empty Streets” is A5, and “Anthem For The Micro-Age” is A1 – and also the track that the album is named after.

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With this, their latest release, only the tracks “Color Channels” on B1, “Single Cell City” on B3, and “Nuke It Out” on B5, could be considered to be new tracks. One could say that the release represents all they’ve done so far, but also how they’re looking into the future a little bit more. They know themselves that there’s a lot in store for them, and as this compilation becomes even more anthemic in both a semantic way – it also represents a slight bit of how anthemic their tracks also can be. This might be their current state, but take it for what it is, because they’re evolving. You will be satisfied with how they are, and you should take them as they are. A duo couldn’t be much more of a perfect match – in fact. If you want to support them, look for their earlier releases, but do also buy the limited edition vinyl-release from Medical Records – if you want a cross-section of what they sound like, and what they are. Buy it down below.