Posted April 5, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features


Many modern bands often seem to stray away from synths, in fear of the new sound. The Mystic Underground have no fear at all as they embrace synths the way it should be used. Formed in 2001 and from New York, The Mystic Underground are setting out to become universally known, which is entirely possible due to their very easily accessible sound of new wave, Britpop, post-punk, and alternative dance. Much like Sparks, they primarily consist of two members: Vladimir Valette (vocals/lyrics) and Benedetto Socci (synths). Both have a recognizable music talent, as Valette shows his love for Morrissey in his romantic and very fun lyrics, and further displays his admiration for Jarvis Cocker in his vocal delivery, often times sounding like Cocker if he didn’t have a British accent. Socci is an extremely talented synth creator, which is immediately seen as soon as any of these songs are into their first minute or so. From the songs bridges to their verses, his beat and groove is infectious and fun. The Mystic Underground already have a credible discography, with nearly four albums worth of material. All of their EPs and LPs are recommended.

My favorite song at the moment from them is ‘Athlete’, which appears to be an obvious destined single. When Valette begins over the song over Socci’s booming synths, it is easily to tell how catchy the song will be. As the song gains momentum and the chorus explodes into a frenzy, Valette appears to be talking growing up in general: “the talk of the town and the boys’ bathroom walls,” “the stories spun in the gym, they circulate through the school, and now we’re scarred for life.” The topic is widely recognizable and the song is very memorable and catchy. ‘April Fool’s Day’ shows the range of the song in a more emotional and slower paced song. The lyrics are quite brilliant and Valette’s influence from Morrissey is displayed in full here in a tale about unrequited love. Though the influence is clear, Valette’s delivery is both unique and enriching. Appropriately titled for this month, Valette’s lyrical talents for this song stretch into: “When hell froze that april fools’ day, I never thought that the joke would fall square on my shoulders. The audience entertained the frightening sound of laughter, so close to tasting raptue, denied for so long.” A common topic but it still strikes home to many. Socci’s bridge about two minutes into the song is both beautiful and beneficial to the song, providing relief and then a jolt of energy when the verse arrives again. ‘Glitter’ sounds similar to something a more energetic Pet Shop Boys would release, providing another great song with another fun chorus. The Mystic Underground are certainly a band to look out for.


The Mystic Underground – Athletes



The Mystic Underground – April Fool’s Day



The Mystic Underground – Glitter



Official Web Site

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].