CD Review

I, Synthesis – “Avalanche”

By Marcus Pan

AvalancheI 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 chisels.

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 I, Synthesist.

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 diddy.

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) Esion’s 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.
Contact Information:
Endless Records
Post: Im Krimmelsbach 7, D-57319 Bad Berleburg, Germany

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