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Synthetic Block — Synthetic Block
(Mindspore MSP-0005-2, 1998, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1999-01-01

Synthetic Block Cover art

Synthetic Block is not a group, but a cleverly-monikered front name for one-man Connecticut synth battalion Jonathan Block. And quite frankly, this is one of the most exciting one-man homemade projects I've come across in a long time. Block uses lessons learned from 70s electronic pioneers and applies them using latter-day technology. And he succeeds gloriously. Much of the disc consists of pulsing, bubbling, slowly shifting synth pieces that mainly remind of Tangerine Dream circa Stratosfear. But there are also dark, droning, sequencer-hammering moments that bring Heldon to mind. Plus odd-meter workouts that bring to mind no one in particular but Block himself. Not only are his compositions good, but the sounds he produces from his synthesizers are rich, organic, and fresh, and they are entirely appropriate to the style of music; suggestive of analog synths without being imitative of them. Drum machines are used judiciously. A more than admirable first effort.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Jonathan Block / Synthetic Block

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