Synergy – Sequencer

Electronic pioneer Larry Fast’s second album is a neoclassical exploration that verges on the ambient. Along with others such as Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis, Synergy was helping to define the electronic genre, using these new sounds to transport listeners to other worlds and dimensions. ‘Sequencer’ certainly maintains the astral sense of adventure that largely defined electronica in this period, but all the same, I find the sound a little too thin to provde a truly memorable experience.

As is evident with Fast’s use of faux-harpichords and baroque scales, Synergy is very much a project rooted in classical music. Although electronic music is now in the hands of the dance- craving masses, ‘Sequencer’ reminds me that this once young style of music was under the direction and control of modern classical composers. The electronic palette of sounds does work for the classical compositions that Larry Fast crafts here; although lacking the same dynamic and richness that an orchestra would have, the synths make these old conventions sound new again, a nice fit for the space age. As far as the compositions on ‘Sequencer’ go, there are some rich ideas here, and moments where all of the synths come together to create something rather majestic. As a rule though, there is that feeling that Synergy needs to diversify itself; using only a few different synth sounds, many of these compositions end up tasting the same. Paired with a somewhat thin recording sound and the odd time where a spacey effect feels wholly out of place (such as a high pitched squeal during the cover of Mason William’s acoustic piece ‘Classical Gas’), I don’t find myself as impressed by the work here as I am by some of the better focused electronic albums of the period.

Synergy can really be lauded for its ability to take the approach of classical music and somewhat gracefully transpose it into the world of electronics. The music is pleasant to listen to, but washes over me rather than capturing and holding my attention. With compositions a little more eventful and dynamic, and a more filling presentation, ‘Sequencer’ may have been a lot better.

Tracklist:

1. S-Scape (5:48)
2. Chateau (4:16)
3. Cybersports (4:37)
4. Classical Gas (2:59)
5. Paradox:
a) Largo-New World Symphony (3:47)
b) Icarus (3:15)
6. Sequence 14 (11:17)
Bonus Track: Sequence 14 – Original Demo (4:42)

Line-up:

* Larry Fast – synthesizer, electronics, moog

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