viA fAntAsticA is J.T. and Gaia de Voxx on a DIY synth pop journey. J.T. is Justin Toland, erstwhile purveyor of loops and found sound on Recordiau Peski and self-released cassettes under the name Location Baked. Gaia de Voxx is his droid vocalist.
2 any 1 is the debut album by viA fAntAsticA. It’s about songs, tunes, accessibility, reaching out. Influences range from mass market and under-the-radar 80s synth pop ( Yazoo, Human League, Fad Gadget ) to contemporary Puerto Rican electronic indie ( Los Wálters, Buscabulla ).
2 any 1 began as an imaginary soundtrack to a 21st century kitchen sink drama set in the faded seaside resort of Porthcawl. That was the inspiration for the Italo disco stylings of ‘Meet me at Sidoli’s', the electronic surf rock of ‘Never surf again’ , lover’s lament ‘Not waving but crying’ , and the incidental noir of ‘Fog and mirrors’ . When Covid scuppered those plans, the album began to take a different shape: less conceptual, more personal, more free-ranging.
So there are songs and tunes about Cardiff communities and community action, including ‘Row Town’ (Roath), ‘Rebuild the Poets’, and ‘Agents of Change’ , which nods to Toland’s found sound roots, with its field recording from a Save Guildford Crescent demo.
There are tracks based around loops and inspirations, including ‘Must be built’, which searches for the essence of the Hacienda nightclub, ‘Swim-up bar blues’, ‘Cowley’, and lead single ‘Onstage, right now…’.
And above all, there are things that just sound good and sound right, like ‘Gwawr' , like ‘Stomp stomp’ . So we’re releasing them, releasing this album – 2any1 – in '21. Are you listening?
"chuntering machine-driven backing somewhere between early 80s minimal synth and mid-80s electro...expansive array of semi-ambient keyboards and proto-techno rhythms." Buzz Magazine