A press photo of Bastian Emil, a.k.a. Grand Prix.
Let's agree on one thing. This “emerging” scene of glorious, minimalist synth pop that's been saturating Copenhagen, call it post-punk, new wave, cold wave, neo-shoegaze, call it whatever you like, but it’s safe to say that it has indeed “emerged." Loveably fishy oddfellows GENTS, Secret Life, First Hate, Lust for Youth…the list of young gun synth masters goes on and on - and they’ve just been joined by the pure stylings of Grand Prix.
If you're late to the party, have no fear. Dive face-first into the pre-stream of this satisfyingly sedating new requiem of an EP from Grand Prix, a.k.a. Bastian Emil. And as incessantly well-informed as you are, you probably already realized that, yes, Bastian Emil of Grand Prix and Bastian Emil of the playfully unpredictable synth pop duo Secret Life are one and the same. So for all of you first-mover types out there, who have been insisting for months that Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode have been reincarnated in post-Millennial Copenhagen, well, have we ever got a treat for you.
The 4-track strong EP is rooted in Bastian’s deep and somber vocals, with the soothingly garbled quality of listening to someone talk as you doze off on Ambien. It’s got solid waves of hypnotically fluttering synths that will engulf you, to the steady war march of an air-tight drum track.
As for the latin, it’s clear that aesthetics are equally as important as the music itself when you're cooking up a fat batch of synth pop - and Bastian’s got you covered on both counts.
We find this synthtronic battle cry of "majestic march music" (as Bastian Emil describes it on FB) on this EP undeniably tight. Grand Prix is more earth-bound than GENTS, while being more spacey and less brash than his alter-ego in Secret Life while incorporating some of the more exotic-sounding synth-twinges - and that bass riff in "Tandem Mortem II" is to fucking die for.
23/03: This article has been revised to better meet Noisey’s standards for reviews.
If you're into it, the release party of the EP is happening in Frederiksberg on Friday.