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Live Review: Ten tracks that represent Synth Babe Records

2 February 2017 | 5:12 pm | Lloyd Crackett

Anya Trybala, the babe behind NINOOSH delivers an impressive Soundcloud Wrap in the lead up to Synth Babes Records 'Babes of ... Melbourne Part B'

NINOOSH aka Anya Trybala is one the those busy people who can't be content in just one job. The music industry is too large and complex to ever be doing just one thing in it, especially since identifying how skewed it can truly be and how she wants to change that. Anya's the moody music maker from Melbourne, now based in Malmö, Sweden and she's got her synth-twinkling fingers in pies all around the world.

One of her coolest projects is Synth Babe Records which she launched after she was inspired to go for it after Jessica Hopper's Bigsound 2015 Keynote speech. The label aims to veer from the norm, the mainstream and the usual - both sonically and personally - seeking not only to provide a platform for women, gender-diverse producers and artists but direct help in developing skills.

With exactly that aim in mind, Synth Babe Records has teamed up with Node Techno Collective to create Babes of... Melbourne Part A & B (Part A released earlier this year) that is not only a celebration of diverse talent but a fundraiser for the  International Women's Development Agency. Featuring on the compilation are a number of amazing artists from all around the world, including: Mara (Australia), Anya Tryabala (Sweden), Hester Min Één (Belgium), Mila Chiral (Germany), tchntx (Australia), Mila Dietrich (France), The Fleurs (Sweden), Sunmoonstar (US), FXWRK (US), Magnetospher (Iceland), Miss Natasha Enquist (Germany) and Ninoosh (Sweden).

To celebrate the incoming collection of absolute banger tunes, Anya Trybala has put together 10 of her favourite tracks by producers and artists that she feels truly represents the label. Get involved with the label here.

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1.Fever Ray - When I Grow Up

"What can I say, Karin Drejer Andersson AKA Fever Ray is my musical hero. I bought the Fever Ray album back in 2009 when I was studying in Sweden then saw her show in Gothenburg and was just so dazzled. I also love The Knife but there was something special about this album. I still listen to it and this is my favourite song. She is fiercely independent and she was the driver for me starting my own label - on their website for Rabid Records they say they don't take artists on and to just start your own label. So I did. Thank you Karin!"

  1. Ninoosh - Palms (Ok Sure Remix)

"Akaysha, AKA Ok Sure, met through Evan Carr, who had the very excellent midnight show on PBS 106.7 FM called The Art of Bleep! in 2015. We played a few shows together and I liked her dark, brooding sound. After Akaysha came to my show back in January 2016, she asked if she could remix my emotional, slow-burn of a track Palms. I said 'heck yes!' and this beauty came out. It was the first single we released on Synth Babe Records, along with the original version of Palms."

3. Hija Di Mama Flora - Ballad of the Stars

"Iara Torres AKA Hija De Mama Flora is a budding producer and 'singing sunflower trapped in the human form' based in Mexico. She makes beautiful, emotive synth pop and her track Ballad of the Stars features as track 1 on the SBR Volume 1 compilation. It gives me so much hope somehow after a very strange 2016 and we're launching the animated film clip soon.

Her story behind the song...."While laying on the grass outside a little cabin on Arandas, Jal after going through a heartbreak, I was inspired by the stars to create something to ease the pain of it all. I went back home, turned on my Yamaha, clicked on the "Cosmic" preset and three chords later, was composing the song, layer after layer of more synths and samples and beats, along with all the voices in my head, drowning in delay and reverb"

4. Electric Indigo - A1 - sept

"Electric Indigo is a composer, sound artist and activist who launched the awesome network female:pressure in 1998, which is a network of a few thousand women in the electronic music scene communicating and supporting each other. I joined the network early last year and was overwhelmed by the awesome amount of talented folk from across the seas. I've met a lot of my music girl gang through this network and the conversations range from event opportunities, activism in the industry, new releases through to questions on how to cope with being a mum on tour and dealing with sexist idiots and attitudes.

This track is lifted from an EP Electric Indigo launched a while back - I love the intricate details she weaves through while incorporating lots of beats and goodness."

5. Yolks - Return to Sender

"Return to Sender by 21-year-old Melbourne-based producer Yollks was included the track on SBR Volume 1. She has an incredibly unique voice and sophisticated production nous - and she loves eggs, as do I!! She will play at Loop in Melbourne as part of the Electundra X Synth Babe Records X Node Techno Collective evening on March 2 with Rabbit Legs, MAYA and SFBM - see event here. Yollks has only just jumped on the music scene with Return To Sender as her first ever release. It’ll be exciting to see where she goes!"

6. Mila Dietrich - Moan

"Marion Daries AKA Mila Dietrich is a French techno DJ and producer currently playing at festivals and big shows across Europe and making rad techno tracks - we met through female:pressure. Both a producer and DJ, she likes to experiment original set ups in her studio or when she plays gigs, and loves to mix different electronic music styles together. Her trackMoan featured on SBR Volume 1, bringing the more techno side of things to the mix."

7. Sunmoonstar - Sky-fi

Sunmoonstar is the moniker of Natasha Home, a US-based Australian sound designer who works for Elestial Sounds Records in the US who just released an awesome compilation called A Thousand Tones. She and I have a similar ethos and are both working at strengthening the gender balance in the scene through the collective strategy. This track is subtle, sweet and light with short synth bursts.

8. The Fleurs - Lighthouse

"The Fleurs is a Stockholm-based post-rock outfit I met through a random Twitter interaction - and then we met in real life when I moved to Sweden last year. She has a melancholia that is unsettling, yet beautiful and has incredible stage presence when she performs.

“Lighthouse was written when I just came out of a deep depression. I wanted to try to capture the feeling of waking up from a long sleep-like state, a feeling which all melancholy and anxiety is gone.” say Emely, AKA The Fleurs."

9. Anya Trybala - Twenty Sixteen

"This is my first foray into the more experimental stuff, using field recordings and the magical powers of Ableton - and my emotions."

10. Kyoka (Germany/Japan) 

"Kyoto hosted a workshop last year when I went to synth camp in Copenhagen (so many nerds, so very good!) and she showed us ways to incorporate field recordings into our music through little modular synth tricks, which I've started using in my own productions. This piece was inspired by her residencies at Stockholm‘s EMS studios and can be described as snapshots and having a spontaneous character as it were edited and recorded during various sound checks and performances, so a lot of random, yet somehow synchronised details."

Babes of...Melbourne Part B launches February 2 - with all Bandcamp proceeds going to the International Women's Development Agency and a chance to WIN a free lesson and four hour session at MESS. Part A and Synth Babe Records Volume 1 is available for digital download and streaming HERE.

To celebrate its release here in Australia, Synth Babe Records, Node Techno Collective and Electundra present Babes of Melbourne at Loop Project Space & Bar in Melbourne on March 2nd with Maya, Rabbit Legs, Yollks and MORE!