Exposé Online banner

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

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ricochet - Zarah - A Teartown Story – Gradually over the last few years, with the help of Progrock Records distribution, Ricochet is gaining word-of-mouth momentum on the prog metal scene. From the outset the Hamburg band has all the...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues