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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SYNDROMEDA: The Path of Isolation (2021)

The roads to the path of isolation is of great rhythms in ocher ambiences

1 The Uncertainty 14:52

2 The Threat 7:42

3 I'll be There 9:18

4 The Makeover 10:23

5 Tears in my Eyes 13:00

6 We'll Meet Again 12:30

(CD-r/DDL 67:47) (V.F.)

(Belgian School)

A wave of sounds from as far away as the terns of the sea are caping the slow opening of The Uncertainty. Sounds of nature reclaiming its rights explode everywhere as the mutation of the tern's cry to that of a crippled pachyderm makes us reflect on the current state of our planet. Is it really that bad? Danny Budts has no answers! Just some thoughts that he shares with us through the 6 chapters and the 68 minutes of THE PATH OF ISOLATION. Complicit with the current pandemic and the isolation that comes with it, this new Syndromeda album offers us a musician and his melancholic look, as evidenced by this gloomy but beautiful Pink Floyd-like synth song that floods our ears around the 3rd minute of The Uncertainty. A new rush of sound waves brings us to a first movement of the sequencer that creates a line of bouncing keys to swing in a horde of chthonic voices. Back and forth, up and down and continuously traversed by these waves of sound, the rhythm is pure Belin School analogue with a mystifying echo effect when a rhythm element gets stuck in this upward spiral. In fact, it is a rhythmic permutation that tries to survive in a slow transformation where the rhythm continues to advance under bigger sound waves' effects, a bit like aircraft engines. The Threat is the only track of THE PATH OF ISOLATION that does not proceed with a long opening and a slow finale. The sequencer releases its sizzling venom in an alternating motion of keys jumping in stereo that seem too heavy to bear the weight of their rage. As long that a second line supports the first as percussion' jinglings and synth solos embellish this uncertain gait. The image I have is the equivalent of a horde of warriors rowing furiously. We reach that point where this rhythm is more ominous with its elastic status around the 4th minute. Arpeggios swirl around in a level of creativity that reminds me of some good Synergy. Having fallen silent for a few seconds, the rhythm hiccups before resuming its form always as threatening as the spirit of its title, The Threat. The sound effects of an explosive storm in the opening of I'll be There are of a corrosive realism! These ambiences monopolize the first 4 minutes of the track which starts to walk in the signature of Syndromeda. The movement is minimalist and circular. Allowing Danny Budts to overload it with organic tones and beautiful solos that crisscross the road of the title's last 5 minute.

The Makeover features the resonating part of a big gong whose vibrating and amplified dust becomes a big toxic hum. Pulses are born and resonate around the 90 second mark, setting the table for a first staggering rhythm structure, while the second is more stable. These two lines blast their keys simultaneously in a linear structure that the synth sprinkles with solos that sing in symbiosis with the slightly more driving than ambient rhythm. The solos more acute and the sequencer in mode dribble the jumping keys, The Makeover plunges, around the 6th minute in an atmospheric phase nourished by the toxicity which emerges from its first reverberating effects. A voice effect, I almost hear Tears in my Eyes, surprises us in this 5th title of THE PATH OF ISOLATION. This undulating ambient layer is a bit touching and unlocks on a vocoder. Its monologue is hard to describe, but not the desolate ambiences that remind me of those floating ether phases in the early Neuronium albums. A big woosshh stains the 5th minute, the moment chosen by the sequencer to sculpt a line that dribbles and hops. The envelope is very retro, in the heart of the analog years, with this rhythm line which little by little finds itself alone under the incantations of the vocoder in the ambiences of a Martian night returning to its origins. A vocoder which is also present in the opening of organic noises of We'll Meet Again. An intense opening, as much by the voice that sings Sunny Days as by the reverberating effects of a synthesizer layer with ochre scents. A sequence emerges from these reverberating regurgitations, awkwardly hopping in an ascending mode. It supports the synth which signs great solos on an ambient spasmodic structure. The rhythm takes a new tangent around the 7th minute. The oscillations are livelier and get cluster. They run on synth pads that coat the movement with a yellowish haze. Another sequence comes out, like a spell, moving like a disjointed puppet on a good Berlin School victim of a trauma... moons ago. And like Tears in my Eyes, We'll Meet Again takes the opposite route back to its introductory origins.

There is nothing easy about Syndromeda's universe, as Danny Budts likes to surprise his audience. The surprise element of THE PATH OF ISOLATION is more than the vocoder! It is this ochre color that he injects over his ambiences which leave the cosmic frame in this album. As for the rhythms, they are heavy, whirring...they are Syndromeda.

Sylvain Lupari (May 6th, 2021) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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