“Yet while the sound is familiar, with nods to Depeche Mode and their dark wave contemporaries, TSTI stirs in his own diverse tastes to create a surprisingly intriguing record.”
“This is not the makings of your little brother’s laptop EDM. Smith’s project TSTI is classic ’80s darkwave, full of melancholic beats and emotive vocal leads that are both mopey and body-moving, a style that now feels weirdly nostalgic while simultaneously shot-through with 20-something ennui.”
“MUSIC + SONGS = YOU NEED THIS SHIT, every track is fucking good.”
“Straight from a bedroom somewhere in New York. A man with a quest to enhance his own sound, release his creativity on analogue machinery and be a part of something organic. This track have all the little details, every influence and a feeling that shouldn’t be underestimated. Synth-pop from the glory days, but with a new twist and certainly not a copy of a copy. Deserving everything and definitely fitted for this list.”
“The music is probably easiest explained as Dark Synthpop with lots of dreamy soundscapes and an emotional touch. The analogue synthesizers of course make their part and the dirty sound Mr.Smith deliver is really interesting. Influences from big names like Depeche Mode can be found, not the early part but more the early and mid-90′s sound. The sound even sometimes reminds me of Stray, the one project of Erica Dunham.”
“I think that this is a very good album. It has great songs, clever vocals, good musical depth and variation and it is not too long which all in all makes this a very strong album.”
“It’s hard to say a track with dark tones and somewhat dour subject matter makes you happy, but “In Loving Memory” does just that for me. I love the galloping feel of this track as well as the continual peaks and valleys – it really feels like it’s going somewhere. I probably fell in love in particular at around the 3:00 mark where the track evolves into a clamor of claps, synths and noise that would restart any heart.”
“TSTI’s work is intricate synthpop that pays attention to detail. Jamz like this shit are walling back a shit ton of seasonal anxiety that always wrecks me as the days become shorter and the darkness sets in.”
“The use of analog synths and a nice strong tone of voice, weaves plots with melancholy eyes straining the eighties but at the same time filtering out all with a personal sensitivity can to make it sound fresh to the ears of the listener.”
“If Fad Gadget had combined his ingenuity with the synth-pop serenity of a band like Depeche Mode, put into a time-capsule and moved to the 00′s, their own brainchild would be TSTI.”
“There are nine songs on the album (as it is often, coincidentally, the case with all the best albums). The main (and vital) characteristic of TSTI's music - for me - is that he uses his analogue synths and drum machines to produce an original new sound, that although it may be reminding us of 'a broken frame' era DM, at some points, he manages to explore and expand his electronic sound palette and come up with a completely individual style, of his own. His vocals are dark (without having to be low-pitched) and perfectly fitting to his - equally - dark compositions that enhance the beauty of his songs.”
“Brave new material from TSTI. Expanding. Daring. Hills and valleys. Tossing in a few new genres. Lots of good stuff to explore in TSTI's self produced newest 9 song collection called *evaluations."”
"Next I must warn you for an abrupt shift you’re bound to make. I invite you to early-80s electronic very near the isles of Depeche Mode and New Order to the shores of analog synthpop. TSTI is the upstate New Yorker S. Smith with lyrical weights around passions of human nature. It’s dark, hazy and beautiful. “Queen of Swoons” is the first single off the debut LP he’s putting together for us. Still you can hear more on Soundcloud."
"From Albany, NY comes TSTI, the bedroom project of Shaun Smith. TSTI is just straightforward dark, hazy synth-pop. It makes me feel like a teenager listening to cassettes in the basement every time I hear it. Shaun has made one EP so far and is working on a second. If you like it, he'll send you a homemade copy in the mail. They are very well made..."