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Posted Nov 19th, 2012 (12:00 pm) by James Hughes

With the debut of his new album, TSTI makes us want to roll up our sleaves, get a Jheri Curl and strut '80s analog flair. The upstate New York basement project of S. Smith revives the party atmosphere of 80s pop music.

Hailing from Schenectady, New York, TSTI is far away from the bright lights and big city of New York. This project is a summary/time capsule of what made the genre famous way back when. TSTI's new album Evaluations has been described as a dark, and hazy, synth-pop exploration. Highlighted tracks "In Loving Memory" and "Queen of Swoons" fall in line with those thematic elements.

Warped light-hearted synths mirror the sounds of early ,80s techno and pop. TSTI uses steady quarters in his percussion. The steady background gives him more freedom to layer many of those '80s synths on top of them. With influences like The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Deftones, it's easy to see from where his style derives.

TSTI's new release is also his introduction to a full length albums. His last release was The Black Envelope EP, which was dropped back in September 2011. Being a "bedroom project" it is understandable that it took over a year to complete a new one. The nine song Evaluations was entertaining, but it felt drawn out. The TSTI's stylings just spread themselves a little thin, but these shortcomings can be corrected with time.

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