Ceri Shaw



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viA fAntAsticA's debut album '2 any 1' a voyage of synths, loops, samples inspired by grassroots arts movements of Cardiff and Manchester

user image 2021-03-09
By: Ceri Shaw
Posted in: Music


viA fAntAsticA  release their new album  '2 any 1'    on the 29th of March. It is preceded by the lead single  ‘Onstage, right now....’  a tapestry of percussive loops, synth waves and found sound samples that reassembles early 90s rave culture and echoes of 60s pop, and makes it vital, it's an intriguing introduction to the aural voyage viA fAntAsticA will take you on throughou t ‘2 any 1’.  Watch the accompanying video  here.  

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

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