Jul 2013 28

I, Synthesist - Somewhere and EverywhereI, Synthesist
Category: Synthpop / Electronica / New Wave
Album: Somewhere and Everywhere
Stars: 4
Blurb: Experimental soundscapes evoking an urban feel befitting this New York artist’s hometown, while adding in the familiar pop flair that made the ‘80s such an exciting time for music.


 

While the trend of ‘80s revivalism showcased many artists drawing simply on synthesizer heavy pop fashion and continued to fuel the debate of style vs. substance in modern music, New York’s Chris Ianuzzi right from the onset sided very clearly on the substance, though it would be easy to think otherwise given the sound of I, Synthesist. His Avalanche debut was a well executed album of ‘80s new wave romanticism while delving into more experimental structures that were no less nostalgic in timbre but more modernly edgy on Art of Survival.

From the onset of “Silver Moon Disguise” with its vocoder-enhanced jabs of “New York” amid a rhythmic and avant-garde soundscape that eventually settles into a catchy melody, Somewhere and Everywhere finds Ianuzzi settling comfortably into his niche. Evoking the more off-kilter brands of electro championed by Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby, yet given a sharply urban atmosphere that reminds this writer of the more conceptual output of Alan Wilder’s post Depeche Mode work with Recoil, Somewhere and Everywhere is no simple trip down memory lane; more like a late night jaunt down Broadway and conjuring the dim recollections of the last time the road was traveled. Just listening to the spastic pianos and tinny drum machines of “Honey,” one can imagine staring out the backseat window of a taxi in 1985, while the bouncy melodies of “Twilight Rain” add a touch of funky energy perfect for club-hopping down rain swept neon-lit city streets. The slower rhythms of “Carried Away” and “A Place in the Sky” add a jazzy melancholia that is especially reminiscent of earlier Depeche Mode on the former track. Somewhere and Everywhere is not entirely made up of fragments of a bygone era, however; the abundance of vocal effects strewn throughout the album, as well as the powerful drum samples on the title track, and the sound collages that encompass “Will” and “Womb-a-Tron,” show Ianuzzi actively pursuing the more exploratory elements of synthesis and living up to his project name.

Where Art of Survival faltered in its attempts to reconcile its nostalgic influences with more contemporary flourishes, Somewhere and Everywhere succeeds and makes for a cohesive listen from start to finish. The poppy melodies keep the songs grounded in the familiarly catchy, reeling the listener in just enough from the mélange of strange sounds and atmospheres that give I, Synthesist a much more soundtrack appropriate quality befitting Ianuzzi’s compositional explorations. Somewhere and Everywhere is Ianuzzi’s most accomplished work yet, making for a deep listening experience that may take some time to adjust to, but will yield many rewards for those in need of a reminder why the ‘80s was an exciting decade for music.
 
Track list:

  1. Silver Moon Disguise
  2. Rockets
  3. Carried Away
  4. Still Silence
  5. Honey
  6. Wake Up Dreaming
  7. Twilight Rain
  8. Falling Circles
  9. A Place in the Sky
  10. Hello Virginia
  11. Somewhere and Everywhere
  12. Will
  13. Womb-a-Tron

 
I, Synthesist Website http://www.isynthesist.net
I, Synthesist MySpace https://myspace.com/isynthesist
I, Synthesist Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISynthesistMusic
I, Synthesist Twitter http://twitter.com/isynthesist
Satellite Symphonics
 
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
CDBaby
 
2013-05-04
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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