SUBSPACE COMMUNICATIONS, PLAYGROUND
RELEASE: NOVEMBER 1, 2004
REVIEW: NOVEMBER 11 2004
Synthesist can be counted among the
righteous, the torchbearers of artistically
ambitious synthpop of this age like
French Mortem Vlade Art and the sadly
discontinued American band Cosmicity.
I grew up listening to Swedish synthpop
like Elegant Machinery and Mobile
Homes in the nineties, at which time
the aforementioned countries weren’t
even on the map as far as I was concerned.
Today the situation is completely
reversed, and the Swedish bands have
a lot to learn from these recent releases.
Dynamic, heartfelt and inventive,
this is music that stands, or at least
should be able to stand, on its own
even outside its little cozy subculture.
”Avalanche” is simple
in style, and very funky in a happier
Gary Numan kind of way. New Yorker
Chris Ianuzzi hides behind the nom
de plume, and if his voice is sometimes
strained to hit the notes in the higher
and lower register (what record labels
like to call a ”personal voice”),
the great melodic hooks and bubbly
space sounds more than help to compensate
for it. Ianuzzi is an experienced
electronic musician with some instrumental
soundtrack work under his belt, but
pop is clearly closest to his heart
and he does not let the machines steal
even an ounce of pop sensibility away
from the album.
Lyrics are trippy science fiction stuff about absolutely nothing, conjuring
the futuristic atmosphere of the genre. This is, if you will, the audio
equivalent of the good natured retro futurism of recent movies like "Steamboy"
and ”Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. Enjoy the ride!