Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle (1991)

For those who never listened to Mr. Bungle before, embrace yourselves, this is not an usual piece. The album starts with the famous Quote Unquote (originally called Travolta), a track that shared both the great pre-Faith no More vocals of Mike Patton, as much as singular and mind-blowing instrumentals. Mr.Bungle is the kind of work you listen and think “How come this is possible and it sounds so great?”. If only Frank Zappa and Miles Davis could come back to life and listen this.

Mr. Bungle is well-know for being an experimental rock band from USA during the 90s, that had no person less than Mike Patton in the vocals, that stood with the band until 1999. Produced by John Zorn and released by Warner Bros in 13th August, 1991. The album was recorded in San Francisco, California, at Different Fur studio.  Although considered as an experimental album, it is possible to identify it as a multi-genre album, with a mix of heavy metal, jazz-fusion, ska and carnival music. This album is appealing for progressive music fans, for a more open minded public. In one single track, such as Slowly Growing Deaf, it can shift from a death metal to jazz and ends with a sample of a person probably taking a dump. After all, a band that has Mike Patton in the vocals can be nothing else than unconventional.

The band was composed by six members: Mike Patton, as Vlad Drac, on keyboards, vocals and production. Danny Heifetz, as Heifetz, on the drums and production. Trey Spruance, as Scummy, playing guitars, keyboard and also in the production. Trevor Dunn, as Trevor Roy Dunn, on the bass guitar and production. Clinto McKinnon, as Bär, on the saxophone and production. Theo Lengyel, with alto saxophone, baritone saxophone and production.

The album cover was designed by Dan Sweetman, originally published in the story A Cotton Candy Autopsy for DC Comics/Piranha Press, in Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children.

Besides being a great studio work, Mr.Bungle was also a band with outstanding live performances, such as the one in Club Lingerie, in Los Angeles, 10th January, some months before the album release:

Soundcloud: Synths of Eden – January Picks 2018

It was just uploaded in our Soundcloud page (embeded) a playlist with all the tracks curated, shared or covered by Synths of Eden in this January of 2018. Hope you all enjoy this first ever Soundcloud playlist by this blog. With the tracks that drew our attention in this month of January, 2018.

New Album Review: Breidablik – Penumbra (2017)

Penumbra, in latin, means half-light, where the light meets the shadow. This feeling can be achieved by music. Penumbra, from the Norwegian artist, Breidablik, comes as new material to be covered on the blog.

Being the second full-length album from Breidablik, it is composed by four tracks. The two first called Panumbra, Pt. 1 and 2. Followed by Nehalennia and The Chariots of The Sun. It is definitely a concept album composed by synthesizers, exploring the forces of light and darkness. Breidablik  aims to construct ‘electronic landscapes with sequences, drones and ambient textures’. Inspired by German ambient classics, from the Berlin school, such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Michael Hoenig, with his own personal touch.

The tracks’ intros bring a lot of ambient sounds, that recall pretty much nature with an odd feeling imposed by the darkness, such as the intro from Nehalennia. Together with The Chariots of The Sun, shorter tracks, when compered to the tracks that name the album Penumbra, Pt 1, 19 minutes, and Pt 2, 11 minutes. The four tracks give the same feeling when listening. It is very atmospheric, there are no evidences of drums. It is pure progressive electronic music. With ups and downs. The synths are very melodic, followed by sequences.

Breidablik distribute his music on Bandcamp, it is possible to order vinyls. The album is released by Pancromatic records, it was recorded on the studio Wahnsinn-Idyll during spring 2017, all performed, composed and produced by Breidablik himself. The album cover features a photo of Marius Birkeland Nielsen and designed by Petter Sundnes.  The official date of release was 13th November. Check his Bandcamp for more info.

Album Review: Tryo – Antologia Elétrica – 30 years (to be released)

Synths of Eden is a big supporter of progressive rock, as we launched the Spotify playlist Brasil Progressivo, with the best all-time Brazilian progressive rock and  its influences.

Chile is a hub for creative artists, when it comes to all-genres. A place well-know for its beauty, great affordable wine and  artists, such as Pablo Neruda for poetry and Alejandro Jorodowski for the cinema. It also comes in my mind the indie-pop with artists such as Javiera Mena and Alex Anwandter. Chile is well-know for its high amount of metal bands, as I recently discovered with this graphic.

Tryo, a progressive-fusion band from Valparaíso, on tour around the world, to celebrate their 30 years are releasing an anthology, called Antologia Elétrica.  The album was recorded by: Ismael Cortez, guitars, keyboards and vocal; Felix Carbone, drums; and Francisco Cortez, bass, vocals and cello. The albums also feature other guess artists in different tracks. Some songs have short vocals, others are mainly instrumental; however, when the band sings with lyrics, they are amazing poems in Spanish. The instrumental looks much alike the first works of Yes, such as the bass from late Chris Squire.

In a total of 13 tracks, some of them long others short, around 3 or 4 minutes. The album starts with an amazing track called Valparaíso Psicodélico (shared on Soundcloud). Starting with samples, of the seaside, proper of Valparaíso, that then shifts to keyboards, drums and guitars that bring up all the best of progressive rock tradition. Including a cello. After that, the album is followed by Viaje Cosmico, Órbitas and Círculos. Songs that also open their album Órbitas (available on streaming in Spotify). There are amazing vocals and instrumentals.  Followed by smaller quasi-instrumentals, such as Ventana and Tierra, to again proceed to a full-7 minute song Vive, more mellow, that reminds the progressive phase of Iron Maiden. Latino reminds a lot the works of Carlos Santana in the early phase of his career. Niebla is a instrumental, it makes justice to its name, meaning ‘fog’ in English. As for Condensiación, starts pretty much as an ambient song with guitars and ends incredibly with energetic vocals:

“Juntos sí, juntos como uno (Together, together like one)
Juntos sí, juntos somos uno” (Together, yes … together we are one)”.

The thematic of the lyrics remind a lot Brazilian rock from the 80s, that brought themes such as social justice and important political facts, such as empowerment of the people against oppression. As much as for transcendental travels.

The last three tracks are live: Nueva Época, Justice and Bloques.

While the album is not officially released, their previous 3 albums (Órbitas, Dos Mundos, from 2002, and Viajes)  are available in streaming platforms.

 

New Music: Darko Richards – Point of Departure (2018)

2018 has been revealing new artists to follow and different creative material. Synthwave is a nice style that bring back analogue synths and try to give a revival to the creative synthpop from the 80s; however, it can also get over-saturated with repetitive works as much as it happened before with brostep or the overflow of deep house some years ago, not more of the same please. Happily, this is not the case for Darko Richards and Point of Departure, where synthwave is summed with electric guitars riffs. His debut album shows interesting material to listen when it comes to this genre.  Synths of Eden is here to appreciate artists that do things out of the curve.

Point of Departure has 11 tracks, some of them posted on Soundcloud. Anima is an interesting material that has evolving bass lines, electric guitar and samples.  It is modern electronic music, influenced by rock with a retro feeling, that even adds riffs with distortion at some points. Searching, Proximity (with distinctive electronic-rock drums) and Who You Are features the vocal of Cassandra Lark.  Richard Valds, from Miami-USA, aka Darko Richards claims his material is cinema-inspired, with influences that range from Kavinsky to Radiohead and Muse. If you are a rock fan or appreciate nice electric guitar riffs, Not far from the Tree is a track for you.

 

 

Album Review: Flavien Berger – Leviathan (2015)

Adieu vide tellurique
La mer avale mon cœur
Les limbes aquatiques
Effacent les plongeurs
Les fantômes de baleines
En haut du précipice
Et puis notre lointaine
Idylle des abysses

Flavien Berger – Abyssinie (from Leviathan – 2015)

There are some artists and albums that come to us when we least expect and show themselves to be great pieces of art material that we shall never forget. Flavien Berger arrived to me from Spotify algorithms some months ago.  I realised that I was listening to it quite a lot, until I had to delete La Fête Noir from my downloaded tracks. This is an extremely original material. As much as for other artists discussed here in the blog already, musicians when put aside the genre limitations end up presenting original material that are almost undefined, as claimed by Berger himself on an interview for the French magazine Konbini. Music genres are, after all, a weak categorisation.

This Parisian born artists claims to have learned music with Playstation 2 and has been releasing since 2014, as much as performing. Leviathan is his debut album released by Pan European Recording.

Flavien Berger and his Leviathan, in a nutshell, sounds like as if Serge Gainsbourg learned how to play synthesizers playing Playstation 2 while taking acid. The album has amazing vocals, that reminds a bit the latest releases from Nicolas Jaar and his dark voice. Berger shows himself to be not only a great instrumentalist and composer, but also a great singer. In some tracks, such as Abyssinie, quoted above, he also shows his poetry skills.  La Fête Noir has a more rocky rhythm. Overall, the album is very dark, as much as for the synthesizers, but with a very mellow piano and vocal, that make everything bright at the same time, such as Vendredi and Gravitè, that sound even romantic songs, indeed pretty songs, with touchy lyrics and vocals. The last track, Leviathan, makes justice to its gigantic monster name, though Berger is not acquainted with Thomas Hobbes, that is a 15 minutes track of synthesizers voyage.

Leviathan is for those who like creative and original material, that are inspired by jazz, nice vocals and lyrics, as much as heavy synthesizers. The album was shared in our Soundcloud page and is a top tip from Synths of Eden.  You can also check the videoclip for La Fête Noir below.

Album Review: Empires of Silence – Levente (2017)

It is possible to mix architecture, medieval culture and electronic music. Levente, an electronic music producer from Transylvania, belonging to a Hungarian minority that grew under Ceausescu regime in Romania, built his first synthesizer as a teenager and used electronic music to entertain himself.  Later on, based in UK since the 90s, has been releasing his medieval culture and architecture inspired ambient music. Empires of Silence, was released in 1st June 2017.

Source: https://levente.bandcamp.com/album/empires-of-silence

Empires of Silence gives music to medieval cathedrals such as San Galgano ruins in the Siena region in Italy. Empires lost in time, that have nothing else to share rather than silence, history books, ruins and imagination are now also turned into sound waves. Levente is a proof that architecture can also be an inspiration to create electronic music, as much as for lost empires, such as the Carolingian one.

The album contain 10 tracks, being the first of them Entering and the last one Exiting, to stress the feeling of entering and exiting lost monasteries.  After that, eight different medieval monasteries name eight different ambient music tracks. The tracks have long pad notes and basses. That aims to show the big feeling of immensity felt by entering those cathedrals.

Levente’s Empires of Silence is available in Bandcamp and some of his tracks are being streamed by Soundcloud. Such as Under Revolving Skies, inspired by San Galgamo Abbey in Tuscany.

 

Album Review: Null + Voyd – Cryosleep (2017)

In a nutshell, great synthesizers, remarkable bass lines and outstanding vocal features. Cryosleep from Null + Void arrived to Synths of Eden as a notorious album to be listened to, released by hfn-music. It certainly deserves a space in the blog, specially for its instrumentals and vocal features. This is for sure a great release of 2017 that should not be left unnoticed.

It all starts with the dark vocals of Peter Hayes, from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. That is forwarded by interesting tracks and then features no less a person than Dave Gahan, from the all-time classic Depeche Mode, a track that resembles pretty much what is made by that band itself. In fact, much of the album reminds the instrumental of Depeche Mode, with a Juno-60. However, it carries with itself much of contemporary electronic music on those purely instrumental tracks. On a mellow, deep, sometimes dark and downtempo way, such as Into the Void and Asphalt Kiss, that pays tribute to its title, specially for those who lived this situation.  Moreover, Cryosleep features vocals from The Big Pink, in Take it Easy, an electronic rock band from England. The vocal features give a synthpop vibe to the album, amidst those instrumentals. As much as ambient music, such as Foreverness. The last vocal features the singer Shanon Funchness, with a very strong voice, that sounds much like Dave Gahan style or the English trip hop genre.

Cryosleep is the debut album of New York music producer Null+Void, Kurt Uenala. A personal collaborator of Dave Gahan that has been producing his songs for a long time before releasing this debut album, collaborating directly for artists on his own studio.

New Playlist – Brasil Progressivo

ENG: Synths of Eden is now releasing what should be one of the most important Playlists of Brazilian Progressive Rock on Spotify, you can check by yourself. Follow now on Spotify.

BR-PT: Synths of Eden está agora lançando o que pode ser a melhor e mais completa playlist do Spotify sobre Rock Progressivo não comercial brasileiro. Sigam agora no Spotify.

Brasil Progressivo
-The best of Brazilian Progressive Rock throughout the time. Past and present of non-commercial material.

-O melhor do rock brasileiro viajado, pelos tempos. Passado e presente de material nada comercial. Foto: Arnaldo Baptista.

Album Review: Drifting Memories (2014) – Brainvoyager

The name tells everything by itself. Brainvoyager, artistic name of Jos Verboven, brings you to a travel on your innerself. Very much alike the synths from Franz Zwartjes tapes mentioned here before. Brainvoyager is also a Dutch producer who brings atmospheric vocals and beats to Synths that make you travel without leaving your current location. His work is influenced by artists such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre which he watched many years before starting to make his own music.

Drifting Memories is his third album from 2014 that came to me on Spotify as a  surprise, it contains 4 tracks, all of them bigger than 15 minutes. In total, Drifting Memories has 80 minutes of travel through the world of synthesizers and electronic music. Plus great drum machines. It is ambient music, chill out or downtempo. But it doesn’t make you bored for one single minute, this album has an involving pace, progressing from quieter to more energic vibes in a few minutes, adding exotic vocals and sequences that make your brain tickles on a very pleasant way. Jos seems to be not only very familiar with electronic music, but he is also a great composer and arranger. It is the old school style of electronic music with a contemporary touch.

He has been active since 2012, having songs with four on the floor beats, such as Mesmerize, from his 2013 Compilation. Moreover, Brainvoyager has explored applying his music to videos and choreography, such as a Touch of Oblivion from 2017 below.

It is possible to check more of his songs on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Also, follow him on Twitter to keep updated about his new works.