23rd Underpass - Faces
Faces LP by Greek sensations 23rd Underpass is the follow up to the titanic debut Real Life 2LP/2CD that received high praise from our site as well as Italo dignitaries throughout the scene with its masterful blending of synthpop and Italo disco genres. Real Life is jam packed with the enchanting vocal talents of Nadia Vass and the technical prowess of Costas Andriopoulos. The mammoth document included original tunes, extended versions and a dream remix roster including Tobias Bernstrup, Swedit, Ricky Campa, Flemming Dalum, Tony Marinello, Codazzi, Axodry, The Sweeps, Selofan and Techniques Berlin etc. Although Faces came out in 2015, we finally got a copy for review here at BR.
23rd Underpass has stayed active playing shows, doing remixes and working on new tracks. Faces picks up right where we left off with Real Life. It's not 40 songs like Real Life, but rather 8 to serve as a bridge to next LP that is currently in production. Faces like Real Life introduce guest vocalists to the album. New to the 23rd Underpass line up is Johnny XT. He and permanent member Nadia Vass (the lovely lady adorning the cover of Faces) handle the vocal duties for the entire record. Real Life featured Giannis Dimoulas and Leo Skiadas. Also appearing was Taxiarchis Zolotas, who was the original vocalist on the first 12" from 2009. I'm not sure where Johnny XT is from, but the guy can definitely hold his own with the vocal assignments. Tracks like 'Fire', both versions of 'Tonight' and 'Neo-Self' unveil a strong and confident feel. Nadia's vocal range remains fresh and invigorating whether she has the lead on 'I Will Make You Believe' and 'Faces' or the backing position on 'Tonight', the execution is flawless. Both Nadia's and Johnny's intonation carry a heavy dose of conviction and masterful execution in their messages. I feel as if everything in their diction radiates precision and a passion to deliver the best possible outcome with everything they touch. Lets not forget about Costa Andriopoulos. His love and appreciation for the 80's radiates in his compositions with his detail in hardware selection to his layering and overall design.
23rd Underpass will certainly appeal to a wide range of audiences from synthpop, new wave, synthwave and of course Italo disco. Their music blurs the lines of their their two dominant influences, synthpop and Italo disco. The music can easily push a casual listener further to explore deeper into the Italo realms and keep the attention of the veteran Italo enthusiasts who love their sacred genre synth driven music.
It will be interesting to see where 23rd Underpass will go next. We know Costas and Nadia will be there, and hopefully Johnny as well. If you missed Faces when it came out, let this serve as a reminder to seek it out as well as Real Life. You won't be disappointed! Start or continue your journey here on your way to achieving Underpasser status.Feb 27 2017
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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