Syntax: Live at Kavalounge 09.21.16 (30th Floor Records)

Syntax takes his best records and boils them down to what a man with a bank of synths can physically handle in a live setting.

I’ve had this record on steady repeat nearly every evening for a month and I’m still not tired. Strangely for something with fairly steady percussion, it seems to follow Brian Eno’s original stricture for “environmental music” outlined in the liner notes of Music For Airports/Ambient 1: “Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”

Appropriating Eno’s words, I hope this is understood: there’s nothing dull about Live at Kavalounge 09.21.16, which seems to take some of Syntax’s best records and boils them down to what a man with a bank of synths can physically handle in a live setting. It just seems to flow with your environment – an ambiance momentarily as indistinct as wallpaper and as engrossing as a tapestry, depending on what you bring to it. “Corvus” and “Parsec” (the latter from the Transmissions LP) are rather uptempo – the latter evoking for me at least some early ambient techno from the Tresor catalog. But it runs the gamut of Syntax’s discography, from synth-driven experiments and vivid soundtrack scores to emotive electronica. It sounds bigger than a man but less than a collective. If you’re new to Syntax or this type of music in general, it’s a nice record indulge with.

 

Published in 5 Magazine Issue 140, featuring Eli Escobar, Booker T, Ant LaRock, Closer To Truth & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.