Sonic Curiosity Logo

The Dramatic Electronic Music of Syndromeda

decorative rule

Syndromeda is Belgian synthesist Danny Budts. Combining grandiose electronics with monumental percussion, his music possesses epic dimensions that are consistently appealing and gripping. Budts is one of a handful of modern composers who dependably achieve this lofty state with seeming ease.

decorative rule

SYNDROMEDA: A Day in the Fields (CD on SinSyn)

This release from 2005 features 69 minutes of powerful electronic music.

This release stems from a request to use Syndromeda's music for an art exhibition celebrating the 850th anniversary of the town of Ekeren. The exhibit was generally based in the Oude Landen, a nature reserve which lies almost in Budts's backyard. His fondness for this reserve inspired him to produce new compositions documenting an entire day in this locale.

The resultant music excellently reflects this beauty and grandeur, with stately piano passages and atmospheric moods that swell to epic proportions (signature characteristics in Syndromeda's music) and continue to build to even more breathtaking structures of melodic sound.

Shrill electronics pierce the air, proclaiming dominant attributes drenched with pastoral mien. Sweeping tonalities burble and shimmer, capturing life-giving sunlight in a manner that communicates this vibrancy even in the dark. Nimble-fingered keyboards establish robust melodies that strain to escape the very notes comprising them, bursting forth to generate fresh tunes radiant with bigger-than-life connotations.

Prodigious rhythms are present too, lifting the music to dizzying altitudes. The percussion describes mammoth tempos that tremble the ground underfoot. Even when exploring such harsh sonic terrain, though, a tender majesty is zestfully evoked.

One track utilizes an array of orchestral instruments (albeit synthetically produced). Magnificent horns and sultry violins blend with regal electronics and heavenly textures, conjuring an alluvial state that defies time and space with its enduring qualities.

The sinuous union of these enormous elements is a superb thrill to behold, conveying the listener to a garden of divine scale where each glistening leaf pulsates with wonder and astounding harmony. As the music progresses, one's focus grows larger, expanding to discern greater configurations and embrace the ageless splendor that surrounds us.

decorative rule

SYNDROMEDA: Metaphysical Experiences (CD on Neu Harmony)

This release from 2005 features 66 minutes of emphatic electronic music.

With this release, Budts focuses his creative energies on the mystical side of existence. Ectoplasmic energies dominate the electronics, prying open a doorway that leads to a realm of paranormal possibilities.

Shrill squeals are harnessed to generate cosmic textures, while auxiliary tones surge with increasingly insistent pulsations. Melody rises from the coalescing harmonics. Nimble-fingered keyboards swing into play, embellishing the flow with riffs full of urgency and dynamic vigor. Softly nickering clicks provide rhythms that goad the tune from deep within its flourishing sonic vibrancy. And that's just the first track.

The next piece is the shortest of the CD's six tracks (at seven minutes length while most of the other song average over ten minutes each). Here, the pace starts with an elevated buoyancy that is swiftly augmented by peppy bongos. A wailing, approximating the sustained pinnacle of an astral pseudo-guitar, enters the mix and drives the melody sideways into a transcendental dimension. A female voice succinctly labels the goal of the piece as "new energy."

The third track explores more bizarre elements with swaying growls that settle into a beating cosmic heart. Ethereal textures surround this throb, blurring the tempo with eerie cadence. Weirdness escalates as the piece continues, blending ghostly sounds with piercing arcs of cybernetic force. Gradually, coherent melodies emerge from this celestial miasma. Synthetic tempos and imperative chords achieve mass and velocity, creating a very busy soundscape that glows with engaging mellifluence.

Track four delivers the listener even farther from the material world, into a region where cosmic sounds define an edge that is only the beginning of the outward journey. Once that discarnate veil has been penetrated, demonstrative sequencing flourishes. Hyperactive notes join the flow, producing a typically exhortative frenzy that spins with jubilation.

The next track is slightly shorter (just under nine minutes), and offers a more sobering mood as the audience in conveyed back to their Euclidean world. Pensive electronic pulsations establish a safe path through a region of hazardous nuances of dark consistency. Sharper impacts mark points of ominous distraction, but the overall sonic push escorts the listener to a glorious sanctuary replete with familiar riffs and shrill resonance.

For the final piece, Budts lets loose with faster-than-light notes which describe a frantic tune of uplifting predilection. Fingers fly over keys, creating complex chords that cycle into a blur of melodies. Keyboard rolls punctuate this flashing tapestry of riffs. Hyper rhythms enter the mix, plunging the tune far beyond the speed of light to velocities that are thoroughly unknown to human senses. The relentless crescendo leaves the audience exhausted, but brimming with fresh invigoration.

decorative rule
Entire page © 2006 Matt Howarth.
All rights reserved.
Webpage design by Stasy