• Sylvain Lupari

SYNDROMEDA: Last Days on Earth (2006 - 2019)

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

“If you are a fan of Tangerine Dream and of Klaus Schulze, this reissue is worthty of discovering the universe of Danny Budts”

1 Ballad of Love and Mystery 22:09 2 The Secret Life of A 15:52 3 Last Days on Earth 16:48 4 Too Hot In Hell 14:48 SinSyn 200601 (DDL 69:37) SynGate CD-R SS26 (CD-r/DDL 69:37) (Berlin School)

LAST DAYS ON EARTH! What memories and especially as one evolves. I started writing EM chronicles because I found that the columnists of those days, exception made of Graham Getty, lacked vocabulary. And when I reread my review about this 16th album of Syndromeda, I lacked vocabulary too! I had it for other artists and for other kinds of music, but for Danny Budts'? Oh, that I had difficulties! But what a tasteless review I wrote back in 2006! It must be said that his electronic symphonies are not the easiest to describe. The structures are in constant permutation with a sound fauna as vast and especially very diversified, in particular the organic tones which infiltrate the movements of the sequencer. And what about the synths? In addition to creating settings which flirt between cosmos and the underground rivers of our Earth, and its luciferian population, they modulate solos with tones that are also very varied and often very acute. It can be read here in French, but I say nothing or almost. So, I I'm making honorable amends at the same time that this album is reissued by the SynGate label, since the first release of LAST DAYS ON EARTH was in limited edition of 300 CDs. And they are all sold since.

Excessive whispers on shadows of a synth and of its reverberations are at the origin of Ballad of Love and Mystery. A pile of orchestrations develops quite early a harmonious staccato movement while a bass sequenced pulsation spreads its arrhythmia by making vibrate the floor of the ambiences. The rhythmic mass is forged like those ambient rhythms of the Berlin School and will follow the long course of 22 minutes with a Danny Budts who will bring his adjustments, as well in the minimalist axis as in the color of the tones which turns out to be very seductive at times. The orchestrations, which always decorate the scenery, are not without reminding the first albums of Synergy. Crystal clear keys resound with an astral vision which is lost in the whispers. It's at this point, around the 4 minutes, that the movement becomes more Berlin School with this line of rhythm which goes up and down. Layers of voices, slightly chthonic, are humming subtly while the synth forgets a seraphic line in the background. She will stay there for a while! Ambient, the rhythm continues its journey by amassing organic tones that sparkle in these continual climbs. The synth throws moaning that sound just like this Tangerine Dream of the 76-77 years. The tone intensifies, it looks like a bagpipe in fury, and the music is silent for 1 to 2 seconds. Just enough so that Ballad of Love and Mystery is redirected to these organic sequences that sing a fascinating song, while the sequencer forges a line of rhythm which hobbles in symbiosis. Separated in 3 musical times, this longer title of LAST DAYS ON EARTH still retains this minimalist axis which serves as a basis for a rhythmic evolution and a synth that multiplies some very creative solos. The keyboard gets in the way by sculpting a harmonic bed whose nervous arpeggios dance with these sequences which ring like the tail of a hungry viper. A third phase is preparing around the 15 minutes, setting an intense finale with the songs of the synth and its twisted solos while the sequences, which have decreased in intensity and velocity, require percussive elements and percussions to complete a title that perfectly depicts the complex universe of Syndromeda.

A beam of waves shimmers like a big black flame filled of gloomy reverberations. The Secret Life of A is animated by these reverberations whose sound mass carves a slow and imposing rhythm. An organ tone settles right behind our eyes and the amphibian movement becomes luminous when the synth attaches to it an acute and nasal song that follows it step by step. Knockings fall over these atmospheres. They start running in front of a perplexed decor that always feeds the background of The Secret Life of A. This heavy rhythm à la Redshift resonates with the weight of its legs that shake the ground. The scenery disappears and the synth extends an extra-terrestrial song whose Arabic fragrances hit on the next chorus. The rhythm returns, it makes me think of the footsteps of an obese panther, and runs in a kind of labyrinth full of steep turns. It frees a heaviness almost Luciferian to a structure with a synth that multiplies harmonic mirages and evanescent solos. This heavy title comes to a too fast end that stretches its 5 minutes in the organ fumes of a Mellotron and of the many sound effects that add a little psybient side to this title that would probably be better with a final shortened of 3 minutes. But the pace ... absolutely superb! The title-track replaces The Sense of the 2006 edition. But there's just the title that changes, the music being the same. So, a slow intro inspired by the shades of nebulosity awaits our ears for the next 150 seconds. Winds, buzzing noises as if we dragged a heavy thing on a brick pavement, deafening breezes. In short, an introduction under the sign of; it is not here that we will feed the angels! A synth line rises. And when it comes down, a bass pulsation full of resonance and clatter is stepping over the meadows with sonic fireflies that frolic at its side. This clumsy ambient rhythm is wrapped in Danny Budts' so special tone solos. The synth pads and the long riffs of the synth have Dante's philharmonic tones on an undecided rhythmic structure. A structure that limps slightly and struggles to find an identity under the bites, the roars and the thunderous solos of a synth that fills our ears to the rim. In the end, Last Days on Earth is more ambiospherical and ambient with a complexity in its atypical development that makes sense in the universe of Syndromeda. Too Hot In Hell concludes this reissue of LAST DAYS ON EARTH with another structure of rhythm, more static, where two lines of sequences spread their spasmodic frameworks in mist of a synth that suggests that indeed hell is too hot, you have to get out of there. The tones of the synth are more scarlet here and the more the title progresses the more one feels this kind of very digestible cacophony which often fills the finales of Syndromeda's music.

It was absolutely necessary that I re-listen to this album of Syndromeda in order to give him a review which respects the visions of the Belgian musician and also is skills. If you have chilly ears, the discovery of LAST DAYS ON EARTH should be done at small doses. But if you are a fan of Tangerine Dream, for the rhythms and the sequences, and of Klaus Schulze, for the permutations that are made here with a homogeneous approach, this reissue is worth discovering the universe of Danny Budts.

Sylvain Lupari (May 31st, 2019) *****

Available at SynGate's Bandcamp

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© 2019 by  Synth&Sequences \ Sylvain (A.K.A. Phaedream) Lupari