Released: May 2000
Let's be honest--most music, even most experimental or electronic listening or intelligence dance or whatever you want to call it music is not very complicated. That is, the structure of the music is simple--take a sound, then add another sound, and another sound, and so on. Sure, artists mix sounds up, take one out and add three more at a certain point. And, sure, artists like Autechre like to emphasize the "fractalness" of their music, how it SEEMS to progress in a nice, orderly pattern, but that pattern changes slowly over the course of the song. Yes, there are exceptions and variations, but the basic structure of the music, in general, doesn't change. That's why I emphasize the sounds over the structure in the reviews I write. A new album by Florida artist Syndrone (the first release on the new Merck label) is a great example of this. The songs themselves are very simple, building block affairs. But the sounds used to fill in those structures are fantastic--lots of great bubble-crisp synths and slippery CGDs, weird reverb'd FX, synth lines, and samples, and a whole host of other wonderful, inventive sounds. The first song, for example, "Fedow," begins innocently enough with a simple synth line, but then builds into a complex rhythm of gooey-electronic fun. Along the way, as I've said, sounds rise and subside, more songs build and others are torn down, but the lasting impression is not the structure but the wonderful interplay of exciting sounds. The whole album is a joy that celebrates the freedom offered by modern computers, which are giving more and more people easy access to creative tools once only available to professionals. Long may that revolution continue, if it means that we can listen to stuff like this!
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