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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ODYSSEY: Syntharsis (2001/2009)

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

A 2CD set of EM soundscapes rich of its layers building morphic ballets in ambient phases as much as in technoïd visions of rhythms

CD I (10 titres) 60:21

1 Inner Intrusion 4:11

2 The Space Inside 7:48

3 Reincarnation 5:37

4 Neurogenesis 4:50

5 Re:Synthesis 6:47

6 S.T.A.R.S. 5:53

7 Re:Versed Worlds 6:54

8 Time and Deep 5:52

9 Re:Phlexess 5:06

10 Sunlight 7:23

CD II (13 titres) 75:54

1 Beyond S.T.A.R.S. 1:37

2 Constellations of Mind 5:07

3 Traces of Reality - Terra Eois 6:43

4 Traces of Reality – Snapshots 4:37

5 Structures 7:46

6 Les Structures Logiques 5:16

7 Innercity 5:32

8 Neurogenesis (2008 Radio Edit) 4:16

9 Neurogenesis (Extended Mix) 9:54

10 Neurogenesis (Flat Three Remix) 6:29

11 Neurogenesis (Aphex Glitch Mix) 5:17

12 Time and Deep (X-Tended Version) 7:35

13 Time and Deep (Lo-Fi Air Remix) 5:44

(CD/DDL 136:00) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, Cosmic beats, EDM)

It's with the very ambient and cosmic The Space Inside, available on the Awakenings 2007 Vol. 1 compilation album, that Odyssey resuscitated from its ambient and astral waves. Initially produced in 2001 by the Polish musician and Polish contemporary EM producer Tomasz Pauszek, SYNTHARSIS has had a brief success of esteem on the waves of Polish, Norwegian and Dutch radios while spawning there in the circles of underground and experimental of France and England music. Reissued by the Polish label Generator PL. in a double CD format, SYNTHARSIS is reborn from its sounds with a new mastering, in addition to offering new material composed at the same time and some remixes of the tracks which had captured the attention of fans when it was first released. A double album at odds with ambient and vitamin music in down tempo structures, this first Odyssey album is a surprisingly bewitching sweet reflection of a world divided between its elements.

An aquatic world with the sounds of a universe of metallic fusion opens the first radiations of Inner Intrusion. A title with hybrid ambiences where the cosmos drags the wanderings of a desolate land, Inner Intrusion wanders like an astral spectrum on a synth line with fine loops which intertwine in the echo of waves of a linear movement. An atonal movement draped in a cloud of sound effects which float in a cerebral oblivion, this title is a curious sound fusion whose entanglement of its waves shapes a fascinating morphic melody. A thin metallic line tears the introductory veil of The Space Inside which lets filter a sound prism stuffed of heterogeneous cosmic tones. The synth layers are morphic and waltz with great emotionality in a dreamlike cosmos à la Jean-Michel Jarre, drawing superb exhilarating bends which intermingle with a strange astral sensuality. A great floating title, The Space Inside is without a doubt the cornerstone of SYNTHARSIS. It extends its reminiscences and its floating roots beyond its borders to envelop the languid and cosmic Reincarnation and of which each scattered percussion stroke creates a rhythm which lingers in strange curly pulsations. These latent rhythms which seek each other in the blossoming of a semi-ambient music abound on this album, as evidenced by the enigmatic Re: Synthesis and Re: Versed Worlds, which are filled with the sonorous scents of Michael Stearns, as well as the scintillating Re: Phlexess and the poetic S.T.A.R.S..

Oscillating between ambient music and down tempo, the rhythm is not totally absent in this album. After a very ambient intro, Neurogenesis comes alive with a good bass line which undulates on fine percussions and hypnotic pulsations. The tempo takes the shape of a groovy lounge genre on a delicate syncopated line. Its timid and delicate rhythm adheres to the electro-acoustic cadences of Plastikman before melting into a more New Wave structure with its chimerical violins which encircle a delicate technoïd beat. Time and Deep is cemented in the ambient vision but tortured by percussions without rhythms or cadences. A heavy ambient title sculpted in the depth of cosmic winds and embellished by a synth which blows a perpetual astral melody. Sunlight offers a much sharper rhythmic pattern with its arpeggios whirling violently in the breaths of its intro. The resonances of the heavy and hard percussions pound a circular rhythm flown over by keyboard chords which whirl feverishly, guiding Sunlight towards a more melodious phase. A phase whistled and sung by a tender synth whose chords are constantly enveloped in arpeggios circulating with anarchy on an ambivalent structure where the beauty of the harmonies is grabbed by acrimonious electronic sounds before plunging into the interstellar abyss that envelops Tomasz Pauszek's first opus.

Unlike CD 1, where the rhythms were scattered among ambient structures, CD 2 offers a subtle and nice progression in the rhythms. After the very atmospheric and cosmic Beyond S.T.A.R.S., Constellations of Mind is propelled by heavy ambient winds, like strata waltzing in cosmos. The sound of the synths is as sweet as strident, while brief rhythmic attempts try to emerge from this heavy ambient membrane, just like in Traces of Reality- Terra Eois. We can feel influences from JM Jarre with electronic sounds and a little more dramatic oscillations which circulate on broad atmospheric bands. Moreover, the influences of the French synthesist are very omnipresent on this 2nd part of SYNTHARSIS, like on Traces of Reality -Snapshots where sounds of camera triggers abound on a techno Moon style of rhythm. After an atmospheric intro, the hiccupping rhythm of Structures is set up. The rhythm is curt and embraces a structure oscillating between techno and a down tempo with good percussions which hammer and strafe a slightly syncopated cadence. More open and arched on ingenious electronic percussions, Les Structures Logiques offers a suave down tempo with very Jarrian influences while Innercity is clearly more neurotic and chaotic with its nervous and jerky rhythm, coated by layers of a copper synth. The second portion is very lively and frenetic with solid percussions which explode on a rhythm fractured by violent rhythmic tremors. By far the hottest track on SYNTHARSIS, Innercity is a powerful track ideal for dance floors oozing body fever. Neurogenesis 2008 Radio Edit and Extended Mix are quite faithful to the original version, while the Flat Three Remix offers a more resonant and fluid rhythm on slamming percussions. The bassline spits heavy chords and the percussion hammers a hypnotic tempo while the synths are harmonious and throw a catchy mellotron veil, giving this Flat Three Remix an air of New Wave-flavored techno, while the Aphex Glitch Mix is more intriguing but less energetic at the rhythmic level. Time and Deep (X-Tended Version) is an identical version, but longer than the one offered on CD 1. I have nothing against the idea, especially since it's a beautiful title that is damn more attractive with the Lo -Fi Air Remix because less cold and metallic.

The music in SYNTHARSIS is surprisingly rich. It's obvious that Odyssey loves to multiply synth layers and create heavy musical ambiences which unfold like slow morphic ballets. His album is sculpted in rich musical soundscapes, sometimes ambient and sometimes rhythmic, where down tempo and ambient music are covered of good sound effects as electronic as eclectic. A particularly good double album whose variations of styles can appeal to fans of soft techno, down tempo and floating music.

Sylvain Lupari (March 1st, 2011) ***½**

Available at Generator Pl

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