This week we’ve chosen another sale item from our Binary sub-label: Synthetic Block’s “Sonic Approach,” very low-priced at just $4.99 through March 16th.
This Hypnos/Binary debut by Synthetic Block blends “classic EM” elements with a more modern approach. It was mastered by Dave Fulton (who also played on one track) and is sonically amazing. One of the best things about running a small record label is the opportunity to help expose more people to artists like this one, whose work merits much wider exposure. Give it a listen!
“Taking a Sonic Approach that lies somewhere between ambient and progrock, Synthetic Block steers his impeccable creations into realms which blend the atmospheric with the musical.
Depending on the ear of the beholder, the initial moments of Variations On A Theme Of Absence could be prettily eerie or utterly serene (I find them both!) but in a spacey vein regardless; the track grows more musical, with a slow bass groove, even. The soft, clambering notelets, faint rhythmics and gossamer sheens of Sonic Approach warp into a free-flying celestial mode, taking a bass-powered detour toward its more-shapeless close.
Doused (12:53) begins as smooth sheets rise and fall in extended flutters; later, low, tuneful riffs unfurl against long-reaching curtains of spectral softness, while buoyant bass flits beneath; the track lands in its own little sea of tranquility. Bed Of Sphinxes rolls on electric crests of a symphonic nature; when these lush waves segue into The Square Triangle, they are topped by interlocking synth motifs of tweedling leads and pulsing lows with caressing overtones.
A pair of short interludes finish the disc; dazzling little Inevitable (2:59) oscillates and levitates on crystalline notes and sweeps, then becomes Sonic Recall via a more-deeply twisting strand which burrows into toneshifting clouds, etched with sporadic cymbal activities.
Pretty… spacey… and sometimes so crispy clean it seems a bit sterile, though when soundcapes are this gorgeous, that’s a niggling point. Synthetic Block merges fluid melodies into starlit ethereality with his gentle Sonic Approach.” –David Opdyke, The AmbiEntrance
“Jonathan Block is a poet in every sense of the word. Recording as Synthetic Block, he creates beautiful verse with his synthesizer and manipulations. Sonic Approach, his third release and Hypnos debut, is his best work by far. He has always combined deep drones and vast atmospheres with Berlin school sequences and rhythms. He does it again with an intense flair and smooth segues. While there are eight tracks on this disc, Block’s techniques and style treat the set as one long-form (58-minute) composition. Dave Fulton, of Dweller at the Threshold, mastered and did the post-production engineering. He also contributed some analog synth work. This CD is a masterful example of the Binary mission — excellent retro e-music with modern digital enhancements. It will appeal to fans of Rudy Adrian, Paul Ellis, Saul Stokes, and Ron Boots.” –AMG, reviewed by Jim Brenholts
Read more/listen/buy HERE.