SYNTHEX: Mirrorland (2013)
“Strongly influenced by the music of J-M Jarre, Mirrorland is a pleasant album which lets glimpse an immense potential from Synthex”
1 The First Frontier 8:21 2 Another Perspective 5:29 3 Maze of Confusion 7:40 4 Mirrorland 5:00 5 Into the Unknown 4:20 6 Voyage without Limitations 5:15 7 Timewindows 10:13 8 Artificial Infinity 9:22 Groove | GR-203
(CD/DDL 55:13) (V.F.)
(Melodic EM à la Jarre)
A beardless young person! A young teenager who makes electronic music! Is that sounds serious? How a 14-year-old kid can manage to seduce adults' ears who have more of 4 times, sometimes 5, his real-life experience? Nevertheless, his music comes from Groove. A very selective label when comes the time to choose its works and its artists. Thus, this is serious. Synthex is Jeffrey Haster, a young Dutch musician. A keyboard and synth virtuoso, fond of Jean Michel Jarre's works, who has drawn the curiosity of Ron Boots, who also mastered the album, with a first homemade CD-r entitled Pythagoras that he released last year. Since then, it's the honeymoon. The circle of the Netherlands School EM musicians became infatuated with this whiz kid who received a concert of eulogies during his performance at the last E-Day festival of 2013. And of what is made MIRRORLAND - TheLand of No Limitations? Honestly? It's a good album of sweet EM without complexity among which the rhythms, the ambiences and the melodies are drawn from influences that oscillate between Space Art, Thierry Fervant, Jean-Michel Jarre and sometimes Gert Emmens who is also playing drums on the opening track and on Artificial Infinity.
And from the first chords, the first beats and the first harmonies of The First Frontier, we are literally plunged into the ambiences, as cosmic as harmonic, of Jean Michel Jarre. Prisoner of a morphic veil of heaviness, the rhythm seems slow. It pounds and skips weakly by binding itself to organic pulsations, to Gert Emmens' very Teutonic drum play and to percussions which squeak like a rattlesnake tail. All rhythmic elements that made the delights of the French synthesist cosmic beats. The synth is sober while being very melodious. Its tunes are earworms. They hang smiles on our hearing which remembers these viral melodies evaporated inside the dreamy solos that Jarre used to tie in his cosmic envelopes. The impression of being into the universes of the French synth wizard is even more accentuated with the slow rhythm of Another Perspective which looks so much like these soft rumbas, in a more melodious way I have to say, that closed the first 3 albums of the French musician. Imprisoned into heavy industrial mists and convoluted sound effects, Maze of Confusion is a little more complex piece of e-music with an absent rhythm which beats of its muffled pulsations and pounds of its sequences, as much harmonious as unpredictable, under long synthesized twists. The title-track shows a more intense approach, even dramatic, just like the very melancholic Voyage without Limitations, with sequences of which the tinklings forge a slow allegorical carousel. Frank Dorittke's guitar brings a poignant touch of despair with solos that cut out the sighs of melancholy.
After the ambiospherical Into the Unknown and the somber Voyage without Limitations, which reminds me so much of Thierry Fervant, Timewindows offers a musical approach which goes away from territories of Jarre to borrow a spheroidal movement of sequences very near Gert Emmens' slow hypnotic rhythms. The intro is painted of iridescent breezes where are sounding chords in tones of a romantic guitar. It's a slow ambiospherical intro which unfolds a morphic cosmic veil up until the first movements of sequences which make waddle its keys a little after the 3rd minute. The rhythm is serene. It winds ambient territories that a synth caresses of its relaxing breezes and of fine twisted solos. One would really say Gert Emmens. Artificial Infinity embraces again the cosmic atmospheres of Jarre before being doubled by a delicate play of sequences and harpooned by Gert Emmens' more forceful drumming. The rhythm becomes then hopping, like a cosmic ride which gallops slowly under weeping solos. Dithering between its sober pace and its fleeting velocity, Artificial Infinity spreads its 9 minutes torn between rhythms broken in some lunar moods which sometimes remind Vangelis.
Without breaking anything, nor reinventing the wheel, Synthex' MIRRORLAND - TheLand of No Limitations is a pleasant album which lets glimpse an immense potential for this young artist in the fields of EM. I take this album as an invitation. An introduction into the heart of the young artist's influences and who should draw attention for a long time. The potential is there. His sense of writing is undeniable, and his harmonies are quite catchy and lively. He should be quite an act in a few years. In the meantime, we feast because it's done properly, and we listen to it very well.
Sylvain Lupari (December 4th, 2014) ***½**
Available at Groove NL