SYNDROMEDA: No More Frontiers (2013)
Updated: Aug 3
“No More Frontiers is a strong album of EM which distances itself, both by its wealth and its depth than its boldness”
1 Again and Again 17:23
2 The Lost District 9:47
3 Forwards to the Past 10:32
4 Streaming Stars 14:46
5 No More Frontiers 12:06
(CD-r/DDL 64:34) (V.F.)
(Sequencer-based and progressive Berlin School)
Wow that's heavy. Heavy and dark! After an atmospheric and cosmic intro fed by rustles of metal in dissolution, Again and Again offers its strange paranormal ambiences to a heavy rhythm. A rhythm which implodes with an incredible strength where the sequences are zigzagging and skipping such as steps lost in a mist of which the mysticism is adorned of spectral voices. Heavy and black, like that time of Tangerine Dream and the explorations of the electronic rhythms introduced by Chris Franke. Again and Again pushes our eardrums to the limit with muffled pulsations and resonant sequences, amplifying the race of a heavy black rhythm which spreads its paradoxical lines where the harmonies, twittered by a nasal synth, sing on a structure of creative rhythm sometimes wave-like and sometimes hopping. The chthonian choirs set ablaze the reminiscences of the Mephistophelian universes of the Dream while the rhythm, always black, amazes with its spasms of hesitation which skip on the spot, coating it of a static envelope where the pulsatory shadows nibble at our eardrums. Danny Budts, the man behind Syndromeda, likes to experiment his sounds. Moreover, his musical signature is unique in the field of dark and base sequenced EM with old scents of retro and experimental Berlin School. NO MORE FRONTIERS, his what? 25th or 26th solo album (the counting is quite complicated) shows a judicious title where Danny Budts decompartmentalizes as much the cosmic myths as the possibilities of his synths and accessories in order to offer rhythms and atmospheres which go out of our borders. Where the imagination is more a king than a king. And as much say it straightaway; even if his universe is unique, Syndromeda likes to play with the roots of his influences.
And this is what we hear with the organic rhythm of The Lost District, which has to chase away a very much sci-fi intro as Again and Again. The structure of the hopping rhythm, as well as the glaucous pulsations which squeak, remind me the batrachian rhythm of Jean-Michel Jarre in Zoolook (Ethnicolor). The synth roars furious harmonies while the rhythm approaches a kind of techno with a meshing of pulsations and sequences which skip on the same pace. Divided between its very harmonious ethereal envelope and its heavy vertical rhythm, The Lost District borrows a little the same rhythmic currents as Again and Again, but less heavy and dark, although rather intriguing with its treacherous breezes, and with more harmonies. It's a good track to be initiated to the universe Syndromeda. If NO MORE FRONTIERS has fun with our ears by presenting atmospherical, cosmic and morphic introductions and finales, it also has all the elements to kick down our ears with continual chassé-croisé rhythmic fed by pulsating and resonant sequences. The rhythmic skeleton of Forwards to the Past is too much near Tangerine Dream's to avoid underlining it. A thick cloud of organic cracklings, rippling waves and jingle ringing like a typist in madness encircle this rhythm of which the ample undulations coo under the groans of a synth which abandons its vampiric solos in order to kiss a more sci-fi phase with cosmic tones, evasive solos and a more ambient rhythm which lead Forwards to the Past towards its lunar finale. The tones of Syndromeda's synths are rather unique. That makes the charms of his music. The harmonious lines are weaved in extremely sharped nasal singings while the ambiences are multiplied by ambiguous layers where fragrances of a black world marinate with cosmic lamentations, and vice versa. This is the background that we find on Streaming Stars; a track where the synths collect the atmospheres and the opposite singings on an ambient rhythm which quietly amazes with an approach of a very morphic down-tempo which pulses lazily around a string of sequences of which the tones of blows on an anvil are sparkling of a crystalline harmony and wag on a still circular rhythm. We swim the ears full in a very good ambiosphericosmic Syndromeda. The title-track ends the album with a structure of music typical to Danny Budts' universe made of complexities. We hear a thick cloud of lines of sequences there fluttering here and there in a static broth while other sequences form a movement of minimalist rhythm which rolls in loops. The ambience is embroidered by mist and dissolved voices which hum and float in the schizophrenic singings of the synths on a cold.
In a universe where retro Berlin School feeds on its memories, it makes well to hear an artist as Syndromeda to bring a clearly more personal touch. The big sparkling sequences which mutter by the strength of their parallel and secant rhythms, the chthonian atmospheres which hum as a corrupted innocence and the multiple lines of synth which unite both poles of a universe which caresses the turbulences of the other one make of NO MORE FRONTIERS a strong album of EM which distances itself, both by its wealth and its depth and its boldness. This is great progressive e-rock music.
Sylvain Lupari (December 3rd, 2013) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp