I, Synthesis Avalanche
By Marcus Pan
I have kinship with I, Synthesist. In his
life as a younger kid he had hallucinations brought on by Moog synthesizers in
conjunction with dental medicine. I, in my younger life, have had
hallucinations brought on by video arcade machines and acidic paper tabs. He,
Chris Ianuzzi, has gone on to a musical career punctuated by playing piano with
chisels and creating electronic music projects like I, Synthesist. Me, Marcus
Pan, have gone on to a career of pooping on music created with pianos and
Fortunately for all of us, Avalanche doesn't have
Ianuzzi's punctuated chiseled piano solos (at least as far as I can tell).
Instead it has a mesmerizing and psychedelic concoction of electronic
synthesizers, rhythmic grooves and goofy vocals. All extremely well done, very
fresh and so enjoyable in fact that I can't poop on it much at all.
Opening with Red Clouds, we're whisked off in
Esion(1) style into the wild red yonder where pulsating percussion heartbeats
us through a hole in a psychedelic sky where a goofy looking guy in a red suit
and white shirt greets us with double peace signs and goggles circa Red Baron
WWI. At which point he throws us into The Lost Parade which is so 80s
wave synthpop that I wish I was 15 again at the Pipeline in Newark so I can do
my combo skanky-trance thing I used to do. Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan have
nothing on the technical know how and electronic manipulations of Iannuzzi and
Pulsing softly through Images, we get to sci-fi fun
with Captain, My Captain which would make any Dr. Who fan
proud(2). Bright, goofy, fun and moving, Captain, My Captain is a
highlight to Avalanche. One part Freeze, one part Men Without Hats and one part
Peter Gabriel, any fan of the old-new wave would wiggle their toes to this
It gets a bit dreamy from this point, but stays funky.
Vocals of Paralyzed are back-burned while a swift percussive element
comes to the forefront bouncing the track along promptly. "It sounds like the
Jetsons," says a coworker as she grooves her way past my desk. Glides
On on track 8 can actually give you vertigo if you concentrate on it hard
enough with its rising vortices of synthetic chords and Ianuzzi's dreamy vocals
an almost Pink Floyd style.
We return to the grooves as Another World bass-hops
in and gets wrapped up in chorales. Part goofiness, part synthpop and a dash of
trance. The goofiness mostly fades away as we close the album with the nominal
Avalanche. Nearly five minutes in length, it's one of the better
combinations of smoothe trance, electro-pop and overall arrangements I've
heard. A great way to close the album.
The end result of the I, Synthesist Avalanche CD is a
collection of swirls, vortices, flotations and psychedelic strangeness. Fans of
THC-laced progressive rock (a'la Pink Floyd), 80s synth pop (a'la Thomas
Dolby), floaty trance (a'la X-Static Urge) and similar ranges of genres would
find much to like within the clouds on this CD. Nary a chiseled piano to be
seen, I urge you to check this out.
(1) Esions En Route was
reviewed in Legends #102.
(2) The writer of this is not a Dr.
Who fan. I really didn't care much for a guy who flies around in a ship
named similarly to the result of a bowel movement.
Post: Im Krimmelsbach 7, D-57319 Bad Berleburg, Germany
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