TourdeForce is a synthpop act that formed back in 2004 and has been on the minds of many ever since. Not ones to say that making music electronically invokes less creativity, Chrisitan Ryder, solo member of the band, uses everything from pop-culture to history, cinema to psychology and sociology, and everything and anything in between to create something engaging. From their 2010 album, Colours in Life, critics have praised for being original in the alternative electronic scene. But, considering I was not one of those critics and have not heard of this act till now, there was a lot I had to listen to before I made my own opinion.
And, now that I have my opinion fleshed out, I can sit back and type them all out in this lovely little review. John Lennon Was A Warmonger started off the album and I immediately dug right into the music. Hitting off in a darker eighties fashion with riveting synth work alongside a bit of a harder beat, the vocal work with layers behind it turned up nicely. The chimes in the background going off only furthered that eighties tinge to it, and I loved it.
History Is Written By The Winners comes in more softly, calming down the track. Still, the synth work during the chorus was absolutely stellar, and I found myself falling for this man’s music twice in a row. Kebab Trauma offered a slower beat, darker once more, however the vocals stayed light in heart. With a bit of string instrumentation, Adolf Hitler Platz stuck right alongside the first track with comical overtones, and was right at home on the album.
La Nuit De La Enchanteresse had a slow start to it, an ambient ring with echoing effects. And it remained an ambient song throughout, using the slow pace to put out slow vocal work that really slammed home. Did Six Million Really Die used samplings that sort of hinted to an answer of the song title, which would be, “No.”. But, overall, the political agenda of the song sticks out, and it was done nicely.
Human Geometries came in next, with a very high pitched synth starting us off with a bit of scratch behind it. Shortly after, the main bulk of the song. In comparison to what was presented so far, it was a bit dull; great work on synths, but the rest of the song didn’t really match up all too well. Still, it wasn’t bad.
The Last Hope For Europe once again used the synths to fucking amazing effect, and the vocals came off excellently. Floating In The Immeasurable Nothing provided a swell little track with sci-fi tones and vocals which were deeper and digitally effected.
No Other Forms Of Life – [version 2] showed off more work with synths that left me appreciating this album exists. The choral samplings added a new twist to the song, making it unique; a bit of guitar even helped push it forward. This turned out to be a favorite of mine on the track.
A little slower now, The Time Music Quasars was good, nothing much new to say about it, and Decrepitude was really unique. Piano work with vocals that are usually found within harsh EBM (think distorted whispering) crept in along with organ like notes. Those vocals didn’t go away, and the blend of both the harsh vocals and synthpop, almost IDM influenced music made for another favorite track of mine. I don’t know where this came from, but it was fucking fantastic nonetheless.
And, after pounding through twelve tracks of epic sounds, I am more than pleased. I’ve said it a bunch of times in the review already, but this man was absolutely stellar when it came to his fucking synth work. Even when he randomly switched genres with the final song, he did it with such ease that it was impressive. This may be an album that some might find hard to stomach, some might even find controversial, but, hell, there’s no denying that the music and his voice is great. Give this album a pop in your ears; you shan’t be disappointed.
And, as a final note, I think there would be a good future for this project if he were to make a side project in the harsh EBM, or even dark electro field just based on the creative talent that flowed from Decrepitude.