Exposé Online banner

Synergy — Metropolitan Suite
(Voiceprint VP303CD, 1987/2003, CD)

Synergy — Semiconductor, Release 2
(Voiceprint VP302CD, 1984/2003, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-04-01

Metropolitan Suite Cover artSemiconductor, Release 2 Cover art

In 1986, the first era of Synergy releases came to an end with Metropolitan Suite, which in some ways is the culmination of Larry Fast’s original musical vision. That does not make it necessarily the most successful, or even the best, but it does represent the distillation of his musical style. For all his electronic innovation, Fast is at heart a neo-classicist – his compositions owe more to Beethoven or even Gershwin than to Varèse. In the liner notes, Fast describes taking “detailing and orchestration” inspired by the architecture of New York in the early 1900s and interpreting them with modern electronic tools. Echoes of the Jazz Age and Copland’s Americana abound in the grandiose themes. This new version presents all the big sounds with stunning clarity and great dynamic range.

Semiconductor was a collection released in 1984 representing the best of Larry Fast’s Synergy recordings to date, starting with 1975’s Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra and ending with The Jupiter Menace soundtrack in 1982. When it came time to remaster the old Synergy releases, Fast wisely decided to expand the collection to include work through Metropolitan Suite, summing up the era nicely. He also added an edit from one of the long ambient pieces from Computer Experiments Vol.1 and arranged the pieces in chronological order. For anyone curious about one of the true pioneers of electronic music, I can think of no better introduction. From the lush textures of Realizations through the rhythmic energy of Cords, all the best is represented here. As with all the Synergy remasters, Fast provides extensive liner notes full of juicy technical details.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 17, 2003 releases, 1987 recordings, 1984 recordings

Related artist(s): Larry Fast (Synergy)

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts of Happiness – It has been said that jazz is all about Swing. I’ll go along with that — as long as I get to define Swing my own way. Swing is more than just a particular rhythmic feel; Swing, to me, is...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues