Switchboard Of Souls (SOS) is primarily led by Christopher Quintos, a Fresno, California-based musician who puts together darkwave and industrial tracks that smell like they come from a parallel universe in 1986. His music is modern and synth-driven, but the musical structures, melodies and sometimes even lyrics are throwbacks to a past age.
SOS is one of the QED artists we’ve never met in person, but who has contributed a massive amount of music to the archive: as of September 2009 he has 5 releases in the QED Records catalog. We caught up with him via email soon after the release of his 10-track album “Don’t Bother Me – Remixes” [qd-4257] to ask about his music and his process.
Full interview after the jump.
(qd-4257) Switchboard Of Souls - Don't Bother Me
When Switchboard Of Souls sings: “Don’t bother me, just leave us alone, don’t you know that we’re all just as human,” he sounds the anthem of the alienated and the disenfranchised. It’s a simple enough tune, but the variations do bring new viewpoints to the plate.
The first two original 8-minute-plus tracks utilize a driving darkwave synth with guitars and vocals reminiscent of early New Order, but subsequent versions range from electro 808 State-like arrangements (Common Prayer Mix), to industrial stylings (BlenderMix), to sinister downtempo (Hands & Feet Mix), to 90s pop remix (InstrumentalMix), to new age piano (Sonata), to a combo of everything on the 2 reprises.
DETAILS: Total runtime: 47:10 | 10 MP3s encoded at 192 kbps, 44.1 kHz stereo.
DOWNLOAD: Entire album as a single zip file with VBR MP3s. (File size:65 MB) – from Archive.org
Individual tracks after the jump.
qd-4251 Switchboard of Souls -Mad with Me
[qd-4251] SWITCHBOARD OF SOULS : Mad With Me
Another synthtronic release from the understated master of retro electric new wave moods. Switchboard of Souls unleashes a three-song EP that could very well have been a Depeche Mode underground release. The title track features vocals by the artist, the next two tracks are brooding instrumentals.
Keywords: new wave, darkwave, synthpop, more Depeche than Mode, synthesized melancholia.
DETAILS: Three mp3s encoded at 192 kbps stereo. | Total Running Time: 10:49
DOWNLOAD ALL FILES IN ONE 18 MB ZIP FILE: VBR ZIP
(qd-4228) Switchboard of Souls - Shaken Dreams
[QD-4228] : SWITCHBOARD OF SOULS : Shaken Dreams (EP)
Switchboard Of Souls’ melodic surreal synths and guitar conjure images of dark blossoming flowers, his music reviving gothic ’80s with 21st century technology. These dreams have been shaken, not stirred by a master of moody soundscapes. This is new new wave without the banal poetry.
FILE UNDER: darkwave, gothic, new wave, synthpop, more clannish than Xymox, more moody than Depeche
DETAILS: 4 MP3s at 128 kbps, stereo
DOWNLOAD: Get the entire EP ZIP FILE ( 23.6 MB) – via Mediafire | Individual tracks below
(QD-4225): SWITCHBOARD OF SOULS - Dead Of Night (EP)
[QD-4225] : SWITCHBOARD OF SOULS : Dead Of Night (EP)
Think of menacing, grinding riffs which hearken back to mid-90s Ministry and the dark, brooding stillness of ancient ruins and maybe you’ll get some sense of Switchboard Of Soul’s latest darkwave opus: Dead Of Night. Once again, SOS (aka Christopher Quintos) takes his love for the sinister-sounding side of electronic music and assembles a pleasant audiotrip which takes you from night-time darkness straight into day.
FILE UNDER: gothic, darkwave, synthpop, dark ambience, sultry downtempo. Like mid-90s Ministry or Cocteau Twins if they’d been more laid back.
DETAILS: 3 MP3s, 44.1 kHz, 192 kbps, stereo | Released: May 2, 2005
DOWNLOAD: Whole album zip file – via mediafire (17.2 MB) | Individual tracks below
(qd-4220) Switchboard of Souls - eko-lo-kashen
[QD-4220] : SWITCHBOARD OF SOULS : eko-lo-kashen (album)
Switchboard Of Souls is the brainchild of Christopher Quintos, a Fresno CA- based electronic musician who stirs darkwave and industrial music into a frothy mix of 80s new wave and gothic synthesizertunes. The 6-song, 42 minute album “eko-lo-kashen” is a moody, gothic collection of undulating darkness and pop brilliance, modern machine noise and antiseptic vocals, past and present. All that is old is new again, this time with more feeling.
FILE UNDER: darkwave, new wave, 80s, synthpop, created in a completely Depeche Mode, more clannish than Clan Of Xymox, more joyful than Joy Division
DETAILS: 6 MP3s encoded at 192 kbps, 44.1khz stereo |Released: Feb 10, 2005
DOWNLOAD: Get the album as ZIP FILE (46.2 MB)– via Archive.org| Individual tracks after the jump