JESPER SORENSEN: Synthology (Remastered 2018)
“Synthology is made of heaviness, of aggressiveness in the rhythms and seems to have been purely conceived for lovers of e-rock with strong essences of dance music and synth-pop”
1 Stardust 9:15 2 Faraway Places 6:47 3 Lone Voyager 7:41 4 Gateway 6:57 5 Forgotten Memories 5:42 6 The Other Side 9:14 7 Midnight Whispers 7:26 8 The Lost World of Time 10:57 9 Shadows 4:03 10 Outer Rim 7:34 11 Synthology 11:29 12 Transcension 6:59 13 The Search 6:45 Jesper Sørensen Music
(DDL 100:51) (V.F.) (E-Rock, Dance Music & Synth-Pop) Following the remastering of Skyrider, Jesper Sørensen offers us another sonic aesthetic surgery. This time, and as wrote a bit in my review of Skyrider, this is his 2nd opus, SYNTHOLOGY. This new reworked edition comes with over 13 minutes of additional music, be 2 bonus tracks (Transcension and The Search) which really seem to have been written at the same time, pushing the time of SYNTHOLOGY to more than 100 minutes of unbridled EM with rhythmic structures to cut out your legs, so much it's heavy, energetic and without ambiospherical respite inside 11 titles that will scare your neighbors. I live in the countryside, so no neighbors, and I recommend listening to this album on speakers because in a pair of headphones, your ears will buzz for long after 90 minutes of an explosive EM.
It starts quietly. The first few minutes of Stardust are the only ones to make an incursion into the universe of quiet cosmos of this album. Intergalactic winds slowly descend from the cosmos to land on a soft bass line and a line of resonant sequences. The rhythm is already danceable, even lascivious when percussions with tones both rock and electronic give it a livelier tone. Jesper Sørensen doesn't waste a second to put his melodious signature that will haunt the other 12 structures of SYNTHOLOGY. Here it's the piano which is starring. Its approach is tinted of nostalgia and paves the way for a layer of heavenly voices and arrangements designed to give a little chill in the back. Sober and effective in its morphic down-tempo suit adorned of seductive cosmic and electronic effects, Stardust opens our ears to an album whose wall of sounds is quite impressive with distortion effects that create an incredible depth and an intensive bludgeoning of rhythms which flirt between dance music, lead-galvanized techno and big electronic rock which let no respite to our ears, except in two places. Faraway Places spreads a structure very close of the disco effects from the 70's. The rhythm gets warp with heavy oscillations and a load of distortion effects whereas the synth plays a Latin melodious approach, that you'll find elsewhere on this album, while the rhythm evolves in mode electronic rock with the coming of the percussions. Like several titles in SYNTHOLOGY, the rhythm perceptibly alters its cadence, without ever reaching an ambiospheric phase, while the arrangements and harmonies exchange their slight differences over rather long structures while preserving their attractions. Lone Voyager offers harmonies sculpted by a synth which has this vision of French cinema of the 70's. The undulating move of the sequences is harpooned by solid electronic percussions. Gateway follows with a huge e-rock and its meshing with the nervous structures of the English synth-pop from the 80's to 90's. It's heavy and noisy! On the other hand, the arrangements, and these refrains which come later in the form of solos hesitating between the fragrances of Jean-Michel Jarre or Vangelis, are simply too beautiful and too good! Forgotten Memories comes right in time in this sea of rhythms that worn out our legs and took out the paint of the walls with a beautiful moment of relaxation invaded by the melancholy of a piano as much penetrating as the arrangements.
A moment of tenderness needed since the road of rhythms gets in again with this meshing of percussions and sequences, fluttering with resonances in the wings, is of use for the very dancing structure of The Other Side. Futuristic disco effects adorn this approach with a solid bassline which vividly throbs and some stroboscopic strands which encircle a structure carried by a multitude of electronic riffs. The piano and the arrangements sculpt another striking melodious texture. The harmonies of the synth take on a different hue which can also be found in this another heavy and semi-slow beat of Midnight Whispers. Its bass line wants to eat some big cosmic Funk while the percussion and sequences, some mutate with organic tones, are doing a sit-in for a very dancing e-rock approach. The arrangements are also very 70's disco (Barry White) with this piano which constantly launches airs of a cinematic romance. These ingredients are also present in The Lost World of Time which remains a very cool down-tempo with spectral effects in the harmonies of the synth. Shadows is another interlude provided by a piano and arrangements designed to lift the hairs of our arms, especially with this chorus of astral nymphets. More nervous and more in dance mode, Outer Rim justifies its presence as The Other Side did, while the title-track oscillates between the arrangements of Midnight Whispers and this heavy and slow rhythm which has clubbed our ears since Gateway. I have no difficulty believing that Transcension was conceived at the same time as this album. Its rhythm is as highly energise as very catchy, whereas the more harmonious The Search, is in the mold of this synth-pop from the 80's and the 90's.
This 2nd album of Jesper Sørensen is made of heaviness and of aggressiveness in the rhythms that to listen to it in a stretch of 100 consecutive minutes is a personal exploit for my 60 years old ears! The many arrangements and the melodious parts which are scattered with nuances on each title saves the bet, otherwise this album would soon become unbearable and soulless. The absence of ambiospherical cosmic essence (I never thought that I'd write this one day) is a bit lacking in SYNTHOLOGY which, I believe, was conceived in a spirit of pure and hard e-rock. In fact, we have here a party Rave album for lovers of e-rock spicy, on the other hand, of strong spirits of dance and synth-pop.
Sylvain Lupari (August 14th, 2018) ***½**
Available on Jesper Sørensen's Bandcamp