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The Galactic Electronic Music of Syndromeda

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Syndromeda (an anagram of "the synthesizer syndrome of Andromeda") is the Belgian electronic composer Danny Budts.

Combining the Berlin School of electronics with deep atmospheric ambience, Budts has crafted a style that is quite unique and demonstrative with epic proportions. His music commands attention while conveying inspirational moods. But Syndromeda's brand of "inspiration" is not soft and introspective, but rather full of vigor and cosmic ecstasy, urging the audience to expand their intellect through communion with grand riffs and majestic melodies.

At times, Syndromeda's music can be exhausting with its relentless fervor and constantly ascendant crescendos, not unlike the euphoria derived after strenuous physical exercise.

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SYNDROMEDA: Mind Trips (CD on Groove Unlimited, marketed now by Synth Music Direct)

Five tracks are found on this 70 minute CD from 1997. With only one of them clocking in at six minutes long, the remaining pieces are forged as compositions exceeding 15 minutes each.

It begins with stately tonalities creating a languid passage that communicates thick tension. With notes that resound like the calls of cosmic trumpets, this entry point to Syndromeda's music evokes grandeur and power on a triumphant scale. After a period of stirring ambience, the pace rouses to more energetic comportment with the introduction of vibrant sequencing and engaging riffs. A taste of E-perc goads things along, propelling the audience into a halcyon tornado of furiously interactive melodies revolving about a central theme. The music is tireless as it speeds to its satisfying crescendo, pausing only briefly before launching into the next song to repeat the process, stimulating yet another portion of the cerebellum with its magnificent sonic agitation.

With this release, Budts explores the infinite potential found in the human consciousness. Whether examining the predilection to seek out and conquer the unknown or the subconscious context of dreams, this music is rich with the promise of untapped latent talent lurking in everyone's mind. This CD is a viable tool for unlocking that aptitude.

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SYNDROMEDA: Circles of Life (CD on Groove Unlimited, marketed now by Synth Music Direct)

With the 66 minutes of vital electronic music on this 1997 release, Budts escalates the scope of his sonic topic, venturing beyond pure thought to study the collaborative ecologies that share our planet.

An ambient opening leads to a rising tide of lavish sequencing and dominant harmonics, plunging the audience into infinite realms of potential where anything can happen--and does. While crashing effects resound in the not-too-distant background, the music's authority increases with each passing cycle, assembling chords into commanding riffs. These riffs wind through the listener's head, teasing dormant synapses with their vibrant energies. Acquiescent atmospheric passages coexist with dynamic eruptions, conspiring to unify these contrasting moods into a richly compelling sonic presence.

Luxuriating in positive overtones, the CD finishes with a short track (7 minutes is short for Syndromeda) that examines the cooperation of nature and humanity, working together in harmony to create a better environment for all.

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SYNDROMEDA: The Legacy of GOD (CD on Groove Unlimited, marketed now by Synth Music Direct)

The 74 minutes of dynamic electronics on this 1998 CD takes Budts' music on a quest to understand the divine powers that imbue matter with life and purpose.

Taking cues from the subject matter, this music achieves a remarkable intensity, honing previous talents to a state of exhausting power. Do not expect heavenly choirs or sedate majesty, however, for Budts' interpretation of a deity's intricate ways is infused with passionate drama and relentlessly evolving density. From the initial note, tension runs high in this music. A sense of grand anticipation combines with a staggering awe.

Squealing keyboards declare vigorous riffs as the sonic environment swells to greater proportions. The music continues to grow more insistent, reaching wondrous crescendos and going beyond to generate a succession of climactic plateaus that echo with imperious sentiments. Deep tonalities infect hyperactive chords with a severe timbre, transforming the lush melodies into cosmic expressions of arduous grandeur.

While cycles are employed to create lustrous foundations, Budts persists in punctuating this surging medium with engaging variations, escalating the already opulent sonic tapestry with dazzling zeniths and exuberant rapture.

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SYNDROMEDA: Birth of a Black Hole (CD on Groove Unlimited, marketed now by Synth Music Direct)

Having investigated intelligence and the powers that maintain existence, Budts turns his sonic analysis to the quantum mysteries that dwell in the universe beyond our atmosphere. This 1999 release features 73 minutes of electronic brilliance.

With the music on this CD, Budts enhances his already masterful range with a more prominent presence of synthesized percussion, adding dynamic propulsion to his uncompromising pinnacles and driving pace. The use of E-perc is not flagrant, though; rhythms are applied with meticulous wisdom, providing the intricately demanding melodies with subtextural tempos where they would have the most effect. The result modifies Syndromeda's sound with delightful consequences.

The first track ("Beyond Dimensions") clocks in at 24 minutes, an epic of thrilling status that conveys the audience through dimensional barriers with the ease of an incandescent blade slicing through rarefied air. The melodic pace is obstinately grand without being pompous or abrasive. The cycles unfold with relentless fervor, always evolving before the repetitions become tedious. Plunging through peak after peak, the synthesizers unlock quantum boundaries with harmonic ease.

After two very tasty tracks of moderate duration (9 minutes are moderate lengths for Syndromeda), Budts dumps the audience into the proximity of a wildly active black hole, for "The Sky Is Open", another momentous composition of 19 minutes. Here, with the known universe at one's back and facing the prospect of enigmatic potential, vast vistas are revealed with a demonstrative melody that marks a significant high for Budts' euphonious exploits. Intensity shares the same vibrations with eminently appealing riffs, creating a sonic experience that ranks among the best ever accomplished by contemporary electronic musicians. The fury of this music reaches symphonic proportions without ever utilizing orchestral strains.

Passage through the black hole only takes 7 seconds, depositing the listener in a final piece that takes 10 minutes to unveil the cosmic secret that "Love Is the Answer (to All the Questions of Our Children)". Suitably sedate, this conclusion splendidly returns the music to earthly context, allowing the audience to resume their daily lives empowered with the assurance that there is meaning to everything.

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SYNDROMEDA: The Alien Abduction Phenomena (CD on Neu Harmony/ Groove Unlimited)

This 2001 release features 71 minutes of spacey instrumental electronic music. This time, Budts explores the possibilities of uniting terrestrial life with extraterrestrial agencies. He does not view this phenomena as threatening, concentrating on the positive potential of such interstellar interaction.

From the outset, this music displays an intensity and command with dense loops counterparted with cosmic sounds. Then the mammoth E-perc enters, resounding like colliding mountains set to sensual tempos. Church bells blend with astral sensibilities to produce a regal mood in the vacuum of space, shot with swooping rumblings and heavenly chords. Most instances of E-perc are driving and clever, enhancing rather than dominating the tunes.

Syndromeda has a distinctive and entertaining way of fusing atmospheric tones with dramatic electronics. Shrill sounds mix with deep-bass textures, resulting in a lush quality that attributes a vibrant density to the music. This ambience is far from soothing, energizing the listener with intricate layers of hyper-sequences and insistent melodies.

Compositionally, the music is quite striking. The substantial atmospherics grab the listener's attention, priming the audience for the vigorous sonic voyage ahead. Compelling riffs crawl from this sea of ambience to ascend with appealing contortions into a glorious sky. The outcome of this union is thrilling and dazzling.

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SYNDROMEDA: In Touch with the Stars (CD on Neu Harmony/ Groove Unlimited)

This release offers 71 minutes recorded live at the Jodrell Bank Planetarium in England on May 5, 2001. Here, Budts produces all new material that celebrates a meeting ground for earth and sky, where humanity benefits from its own questioning nature.

It begins with ominous tones, growling out of the empty darkness, buffeted by the stellar wind that surges relentlessly between stars. Auxiliary chords appear, spiraling around the growl and tightening the mesh until the sounds have melted together into a weaving and wavering pattern. A cosmic gurgle heralds the emergence of a sequenced melody. The tune descends from the heavens, unfolding with cyclic keyboards and sweeping electronics that captivates the rapt audience. Diodes release shrill cries into the air, accompanied by pulsating bass tones. The keyboards begin to delineate patterns, harmonious and full of tense anticipation. Threads of hesitant E-perc awaken a bevy of more demonstrative riffs. If this is only the first ten minutes, what wonderment lies ahead?

There's an escalation of velocity as the music grow passionately agitated; a thunder of pulse-pounding synthetic percussives as the rhythm takes charge; an intricate interweaving of symphonic keyboards as melodies expand, overlapping until the ether vibrates with their lavish power.

Budts delivers a profusion of fervor in his music, packing earnest energy into sinuous tuneage with every compounding moment. The electronics are irrepressible, and the enormous-sounding percussion only increases the intensity.

You'd think all this would drain the listener, leaving an exhausted brain between the ears...but not so. The experience has quite the opposite effect: pumping energy and a near-cosmic awareness into the psyche, expanding consciousness and revitalizing the biological vessel that makes us human. There are realms where earth and the cosmos meet, and you'll hear Syndromeda's compositions playing there.

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