Synthesis


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Synthesis biography

There are at least 3 bands known under this name: The first one was formed in 1976 in France, by Claude Delcloo, who gathered 23 (yes, twentytree!) famous studio musicians of the time (Didier Lockwood, Marc Chantereau, François Jeanneau, André Ceccarelli, Ivan Jullien among them) creating this way the first dreamteam à la française. Their unique homonymous album is a blend of choppy euro fusion, funky big band grooving, and some soulful touches that remind us of some of the funky jazz coming out of the west coast during the 70s. A few cuts have some really great female vocals, scatting away with a warm and jazzy sound, but overall the set's mostly instrumental. The second band was established in 1995 for the purpose of carrying out an in-depth pursuit of the outstanding folk music treasures of Macedonia. The name “Synthesis” was chosen to express the concept of the group, which is to combine traditional sounds with contemporary arrangements to create a musical synthesis. Digging deeply into the roots of Macedonian folk heritage, with a serious concern for the basics of traditional compositions, the group has received high praise for breathing new life in this millenium. The third one is the name Robert Ludwinski, choose for his synth-pop 2005 album "Space Travels". Synthesis "Space Travels" Review by Lauri Turjansalo Space Travels is promoted as a tribute to the masters of spacesynth so I had a pretty good idea what the album would sound like. Synthesis takes a stab at classic Laserdance style using same tempos, similar sounds and arrangements. Sometimes Synthesis is trying to be even too much like the predecessors because the album suffers from same symptoms as some classic tracks. Space Travels consists of 12 instrumental tracks. No vocoder singing of any kind. Apart from a couple of slower tracks tempos are around 125 bpm. Music is generally very energetic and has a happy mood to it. While the fine looking cover art is filled with spacey elements, Space Travels isn’t exactly scifi-galore. Instead, it focuses on the rhythmical, disco’ish side of spacesynth. Basslines are strong and drum tracks very varied giving a good basis to build melodies on. Rhythmically the cd is very well done and easily tops the classic acts there. Synthesis is not hiding the fact that his music is strongly influenced by Laserdance, Koto and such. Like the title implies Space Excitation is inspired by Excitation by Laserdance. However, Synthesis’ track left me quite cold there due to weak melodies. Melodies on the album tend to fall short at places. Sometimes it feels like Synthesis isn’t brave enough to push his melodies further – mostly he likes to stay on the safe side. That is unfortunate because some tracks sound quite boring because of repetitive chord progressions. Furthermore, lead sounds aren’t very imaginative and start to get a little bit old into the second half of the album. Stronger and wider soundpalette would have helped a great deal. Although the lack of good melodic content somewhat bugs me, there are some well made tunes. Beyond the Galaxy and The Battle have some catchy sections and generally good drive. Apart from the ugly pan flute, Trip to Nowhere is also quite nice reminding of Humphrey Robertson’s style. Time Machine is one of the highlights because of its slower tempo, spacey atmosphere and emotional melodies. Fat synth stabs is something that Synthesis is good at – and there’s no lack of them. Intros are simple but effective. Like LD’s Technological Mind, the tracks on Space Travels don’t have enough personality to differ much from each other. While the music is very energetic and it nicely follows the steps of the spacesynth masters, overall feeling is a little bit dull. Good melodies appear here and there but in the end compositions aren’t quite clever enough to get me really hooked on. It’s a shame that Awakening and Enter to Darkness aren’t on the album because they are better than some of the included tracks. I have my little gripes about this release but as a whole I think Synthesis has made a nice debut cd and has proved that he handles the retro style.

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