Monologue #7: Bassoon dreams, sci-fi themes

Fans of Canadian synth purveyor Soft Riot will be thrilled to learn of Marcel Wave’s appearance as a bassoonist on his new limited edition CD “You Never Know What Might Come Next“. I can be heard in the middle 8 on the urban dystopia-inspired track ‘Mass Exodus’. I haven’t been playing bassoon very long – I started it in January 2013, hiring a Czech instrument  from Howarth’s in London. The bassoon has been described as one of the most difficult instruments in the orchestra and its sound has been likened to a sea god singing. It’s the only instrument that cannot be synthesized according to Synthesizer Patel, so it seemed an obvious choice for me. I was taken with it instantly and was lucky to find a good teacher to get started in London. After relocating to Sheffield I replaced it with a fine German Schreiber bassoon from Windstruments, a woodwind and brass emporium nestling in the West Yorkshire countryside. It’s the only shop in Crossflatts apart from a curry house and Tesco’s. It has a whole separate building full of bassoons… I also play bassoon on the Marcel Wave tracks Lady in Pieces and Les Nuits Sans Kim Wilde, which can be heard on Soundcloud....

Monologue #6: Der Hammer returns

Sheffield synth nite Der Hammer is back, this time at Harrison’s (1864) bar. After the distressing closure of Dada Bar to make way for a restaurant, DJ JJD and I combed the streets to find a venue that was suitable. Harrison’s was chosen due to having more of a cocktail bar ambiance (and I did sample the cocktails on my reconnaissance visit). There are plenty of indie nights at rock pubs here, but that’s not what we wanted to create. I’ve prepared a new mix as an indication of what delights may await patrons. Swathed in the mercurial glamour embodied by my favourite synth stars, it spans time and space from the 80s to the present day, from New York to great Casablanca, from Gina to Gino. Obviously I couldn’t resist sidling in between Lana Del Rey and John Sex… But then again who could? JJD has also curated a selection on Mixcloud....

Monologue #5: Festive novelty free download!

Marcel Wave wishes all fans a Happy Christmas via the medium of a festive novelty song in a synth/am rock hybrid style. It makes heavy use of a Roland JX-3P and a recording of some sleigh bells. It’s free to download from Soundcloud over the coming month, as Marcel’s gift to you all. Just click the little arrow in the top right corner of the Santa cat bow picture. Let’s hope the title won’t prove prescient! Ho ho...

Monologue #4: The Nights without Kim Wilde…

Visit the Soundcloud to hear the first cover ever attempted by Marcel Wave: a version of French pop star Laurent Voulzy’s 80’s hit, Les Nuits sans Kim Wilde. To compare notes, the extraordinary video for the original song is here, showcasing the narrator’s descent into obsession via talking robots, alcohol and a pinball machine adorned with Kim Wilde’s face. It would have been impossible to match the high-gloss production of the original, and in any case, the point of a cover is not to make a carbon copy. So this version is atmospheric and ethereal, more languid than frantic, with bassoon and lush, drifting synth layers. The outro draws on an interview with Kim Wilde from Marcel’s cherished personal copy of The Face from 1982, purchased second-hand many years ago. “Take it...

Monologue #3 – Der Hammer >> Triumph of the Synthetic

Der Hammer, the club night organised by Marcel Wave and Soft Riot, was a success on Friday. Sheffield lived up to its reputation as a city that appreciates synth music, showing enthusiasm for the DJ sets by Marcel Wave aka Lady Boy, Soft Riot and Less than Zero. The italo and dreamwave tracks seemed to cause particular excitement. It was pleasing to see people enjoying music which was unfamiliar to them (Ronny, Data, new acts like Mirage and Fantastisizer), as well as the classic 80s and current chart hits (the Human League, La Roux, Heaven 17 etc.). Less than Zero got patrons throwing serious shapes in front of the smoke machine with their italo set. The Silent Age gave a theatrical gothic performance featuring feathers, confetti and balloons! Soft Riot’s cinematic minimal soundscapes also held the audience’s attention. The Dada Bar proved to be the ideal setting, so Marcel and Soft Riot plan to host another installment of Der Hammer there in January. A few bands have already expressed interest in playing, but other offers are welcome so feel free to contact Marcel at queries@marcelwave.net, or via the Facebook,  if you think your band may be suitable. For those unable to make it on the night, Marcel’s sets are on the Mixcloud. Over two hours of synth, italo and electro delights!...

Monologue #2 – DER HAMMER – Sheffield Synth Party at the Dada Bar, Friday 21 Nov.

DAS IST DER HAMMER! For this club night named after a German expression of enthusiasm (they must love hammers), Marcel Wave has joined forces with Soft Riot to bring Sheffield a synth party worthy of its pedigree as the origin of much of the UK’s synth-pop heritage. See Der Hammer’s page for more info. Although the city has given the world bands such as the Human League, Heaven 17 and Cabaret Voltaire, upon moving there from London last summer, the two compères formed the impression that the Steel City was lacking a synth night of its own. Acting as DJ Lady Boy, Marcel will be playing synthesized music old and new, ranging from early 80’s new wave and italo to current electronica, via turn-of-the-century forms such as electroclash and Romo. For a taste of what will be on offer, see a recent Lady Boy mix for a basement party on Marcel’s Mixcloud. Guest DJ’s Less than Zero from London will also make an appearance. Live music (and lights and smoke) will be provided by Soft Riot, Canadian purveyor of off-the-wall minimal synth, and the Silent Age, a dramatic local synth/goth outfit! Admission is free, and the party starts at 9 pm, going on until 2 am. Venue: DADA, Trippet Lane, Sheffield S1 4EL (more info here) T: 0114 276 2930            ...