Synth enthusiasts must have been veritably jumping with joy of late (would a synth enthusiast do that sort of thing?). There’s been a deluge of synthesiser-based music – even erstwhile guitar punk bands have swapped their sound for something a bit more moody and retro. Now, out of sunny California stalks this Frank Alpine character, making sounds with such dark vibes they could probably blot out his native sunshine; his main weapon of choice, of course, the humble Casio keyboard. Alpine uses dance beats, dirge-like drone and organ lines that could have been plucked from B-Movie horror reels, David Lynch films or vintage video games to concoct tracks that are part No Wave, part electro punk, and even a little krautroky, mainly due to the highly camp spoken vocals, chanting slogans such as, “my heart is grey”. Alpine is riding the synth wave, and he’s doing it old school.

By Polly Rappaport

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