Rough Trade Shops have made a name for themselves in the field of genre compilations. Known for their quality, breadth and scope, they are the choice of the cognoscenti and always worth a peek.
Synth Wave 10 is no exception to this well-established rule. Whilst there may be those who are turned off by the inherent coldness of the synth sound, or given pause by unpleasant memories of the 80s, the variety on show here is such that all but the most ardent anti-keyboard campaigners will find something of worth.
Highlights are many, with the most striking displaying a depth of emotion that lesser synth tunes often fail to grasp. Karin Dreijer Andersson's offering is every bit the match of her outstanding Fever Ray
album - all Gothic splendour and portentous rumble. The Cosmetics draw potent sensuality from icy keyboards, whilst Zola Jesus cooks up something brimful of passion and yearning.
The compilation as a whole explores a multitude of shades of synth, sounding at once retro and bleeding-edge current - most of the tracks being released within the last couple of years. Absolutely essential for fans of electronica, and a tremendous primer for those wanting to take their first steps into a deeper understanding of what the genre has to offer.