top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SYNTH.NL: AtmoSphere (2008)

Updated: May 16, 2021

A solid album all in rhythms which touches the roots of an ambient EM

1 Troposphere 5:54

2 Cumulonimbus 5:30

3 Stratosphere 5:50

4 Stratocumulus 5:42

5 Altocumulus 5:38

6 Atmosphere 7:22

7 Mesosphere 6:34

8 Nimbostratus 6:21

9 Altostratus 4:37

10 Thermosphere 6:33

11 Cirrostratus 4:37

12 Exosphere 6:07

(CD/DDL 70:44) (V.F.)

(Synth-Rock, E-Rock, Ambient)

This second album of Michel van Osenbruggen's Synth NL is inspired by the layers of atmosphere that surround our planet. Somewhat in the same vein than his first CD, the Dutch synthesist continues to forge a lively music with catchy rhythms and melodies. ATMOSPHERE offers a nice range with a vision closer to nebulous atmospheres than cosmic ones, like we found on AeroDynamics. A new kind of progressive synth pop with a rather heavy approach.

Troposphere foments like a train in space. A train is coming out of nowhere to free some heterogeneous sound effects. The mood is cosmic, except for thin cymbals which initiate a more animated percussion game in an astral sphere with mellotron choirs roaming in a corridor of mist. A syncopated sequence blends nicely into this spatial tableau, creating a steady rhythm that belts an active nebulosity. In one track, the Dutch synthesist situates his music. It's melodious and rhythmic, topped of a heavy mellotron that gives the impression of slowing down the pace. Heavy and shuffling Troposphere, as well as Cumulonimbus which seems to be the remix of it, bounce in the eardrums with an unheard-of richness of sound. ATMOSPHERE is full of these tracks with vaporous and climatic introductions that lead to solid and catchy rhythms that are shaken with a touch of Jean-Michel Jarre in their momentum. Tracks like Troposphere, Altocumulus, the excellent Altostratus, and the very Jarre's Exosphere with its intoxicating violins, exploit jerky and spasmodic sequences to complement the percussions. Intelligent and catchy cosmic candies underneath melodious synthesizer airs. Stratosphere's intro plunges us into a static cosmic broth that slowly comes to life with circular cymbals and a hiccupping sequence which surrounds a barely rhythmic movement. Melodic, the synth floats dreamily as the track dives in a dark ambience with, in the background, the initial melody which floats more than stirs. This is one of the most ambient tracks on this album, like are Thermosphere and Cirrostratus which still oscillate between nebulosity and fragmented rhythms. Ther track Atmosphere is more elaborated. A soft rotating sequence with a mellotron choir inspires a soft melody that the curt percussion strikes do not manage to alter. A good track and good synth pop with a more progressive touch, like Mesosphere and its long synth solos as well as Nimbostratus and its drama-cosmic approach.

If you have enjoyed AeroDynamics, Synth NL's ATMOSPHERE won't disappoint you. A solid album all in rhythms which touches the roots of an ambient EM does not go unnoticed. There is a strong influence of JMJarre, especially in the percussions and the synthesized chorus that easily bite the ears. A good album for synth pop lovers, with good percussions plays and well-polished orchestrations.

Sylvain Lupari (March 17th, 2009) *****

Available at Groove nl

785 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page