SYNDROMEDA: Mind TRIPS (1997)
Updated: Aug 23
“Mind TRIPS is a wonderful album where Syndromeda combines superb sequences and forge delicious mesmerizing rhythms”
1 Beyond the Horizon of the Mind 19:23 a) Flight to the Unknown b) The Unexpected Arrival 2 Hypnotic Dreams 15:30 3 The Dark Side of the Mind 14:14 4 Over the Edge 15:00 5 Asian Memories 6:10
(CD-r/DDL 70:17) (V.F.)
If you like a little more complicated music that breaks away from a complex core in order to evolve in territories to decode, Mind TRIPS is one of the great albums of EM contemporary to have pass unnoticed. This 5th album of Syndromeda is nothing less than striking with ever-changing structures that bring rhythms and melodies at the doorstep of the unexpected.
The first breaths of Beyond the Horizon of the Mind float in a morphic atmosphere with a multitude of synth lines that come and go lazily over a sound fauna rich of a variety of tones both cosmic, organic and electronic. A muffled pulsation stabilizes a flow that beats loosely under these lines, one of which is more threatening by sweeping the horizon of a resonant circular wave while others are more lyrical with breaths and angelic lamentations. It's a slow, hovering swirl that follows a fine gradation with a bass line that envelops the pulsations in its fine round curves. Little by little, the rhythm comes out of its cosmic hibernation to explode a little after the 10th minute point with a strong sequenced movement that makes its nervous chords wobble under torrid and twisted solos. Fluttering cymbals and percussion with unruly strikes join the sequencer's movement which subdivides its line, forging two frenzied rhythmic structures that skip alternately under sweet poetic solos. A bit like Edgar Froese in Stuntman. And the rhythm continues to increase with a movement filled of curt and more incisive curves which undulate beneath solos became more electronic. It's all simply superb! And it's even better when you increase the volume. The second part will remove the paint off your walls! Hypnotic Dreams opens with a more resonant synth line that extends its tone to the cradle of sequences that undulates finely in order to create a minimalist and hypnotic rhythm that cements its foundation for the next 15 minutes. The ambience is mesmerizing with strident solos to tones of angelic trumpets. We think of Tangerine Dream with these solos, and other breaths, which wander here and there on Mind TRIPS, bringing a touch of symphony almost apocalyptic befitting the depths of this excellent opus. Cymbals and pulsations of a bass drum support this strange military procession that significantly increases its pace with drum rolls. A little after the 7th minute, the march of the aliens loses its breath. Neuronium's (Chromium Echoes) vocoder effects reinitiates the march with vivid sequences that mold a jerkier rhythm. And we fall into a pretty good pattern of intersecting sequences that roll and tumble in a fauna of various sounds. This portion is gigantic with this amalgam of sequences, glaucous pulsations and percussions that shape a complex rhythmic approach. An uncertain rhythm that grope under beautiful breaths of synth and beautiful layers of organ tones. After this awesome 4 minutes, Hypnotic Dreams completes its hallucinatory procession in the arms of its initial sequences that cradle the rhythm of a delicate morphic approach. That's another solid title!
The Dark Side of the Mind plunges us into the dark lunar moods of Syndromeda with an ambient approach that embraces a stationary rhythm. The intro is riddled with synth layers that wiggle and float in a state of weightlessness. The atmospheres are surrounded by an eclectic sound fauna and stealthy whispers barely audible. Gradually, a gravitational intensity is formed with synth pads that jump in loops before joining sequences, pulsations of a bass drum and percussion strikes. These elements form an incisive but static rhythm that will come back to haunt the dark tranquility of The Dark Side of the Mind and its fleeting fugitive solos. Segmented in 3 phases, Over the Edge is another great moment with intersecting and parallel sequencer lines that structure diversified rhythms. A delicate oscillatory movement lights the introduction, awakening another sequence whose limpid chords startle under heavy and resonant pulsations. This other approach breaks up the nucleus of the sequencer by initiating rhythms and harmonies that move in opposite senses and which make heard sarcastic and austere vocal samplings; I have a Dream and I still have a Dream. Hyperventilate rattlesnakes' tails, other electronic percussions and crystal-clear sequences become the bed for burning and languorous synth solos. These solos, in a sky riddled of electronic tones, flood this rhythm waddling in a mixture of candor and fury that will eventually be lost in a more electronic phase with a violent movement of the sequencer (6:17 min.) which speeds up the pace with another vocal sarcasm (Or is it a Nightmare). This rhythm stops abruptly at 10:42 to plunge into a lunar phase by waddling again in these elements that had built its opening. Asian Memories concludes Mind TRIPS with a delightful tribal approach where tabla drums shape an blazing rhythm. It's a dance of the sands that sways subtly in the shadow of timid solos, of soft ethereal breaths and of heavy buzzing pulsations, leading the finale of this album to more clannish territories.
Mind TRIPS is a superb album where Syndromeda creates beautiful sequences and forges delicious haunting rhythms that leap and pulsate, gently or with rage, into an electronic sound fauna soaked with solos unique to the sound of the Belgian synthesist. It's a brilliant album fed by dark atmospheres such as the world of Danny Budts who extracts delicious melodies in his hybrid approaches and rich in twists. There is not an ounce of slackening here. When it's not a catchy and charming melody, it's the sequences and percussions that attract the hearing and excite the senses, as well as the speakers. Redshift that floats alongside a dark and melodious Tangerine Dream with Franke on sequencers! That's what Mind TRIPS is made of, an album to own which is now available for download on Syngate's Bandcamp site.
Sylvain Lupari (December 3rd, 2011) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp