Vital Weekly on “Current”

Vital Weekly on “Current”

Perhaps not the most exciting name you can choose for your musical project, but Laurian Bardos did choose Syntax. He draws his inspiration from the world of medical psychology, which is something I don’t hear a lot: From this perspective, the evolution of his music has been greatly influenced by the study of perception and the Gestalt theory, which connect the spatial (geometric) form with the temporal form (sound).

Like some of the previous releases by Kasuga Records (Vital Weekly 1153 and 1155), this too connects to the world of clicks n cuts, mostly with the music of Andreas Lutz, my initial introduction this label. The eight pieces by Syntax are built from clicks and cuts, reshaped and remodelled into beats. A bump here and a cut there. As far as I can judge matters like that, this is not something could easily ‘dance’ too; it is more dance music for the brains. The bass sounds are well organised, but not stomp around on an all too strict 4/4 patterns. I was discussing laptop music from the earliest years of this century just the other day and wondered if it is time for a little come-back, and I could easily think that releases such as the one by Syntax on Kasuga Records might be one of the early revivalists. I might very well be wrong and for all, I know it’s already going on (or never happening).

People like Syntax work very much along the early lines set out by Alva Noto, Jan Jelinek, Ryoji Ikeda or even Pole, but his approach is slightly more playful and lighter, most of the times, with some nasty bumps in ‘Dipole’ or ‘Vector. His titles could always benefit from some re-thinking but otherwise, I thought it was all quite nice. Time for some late afternoon historical context listening!

— Frans de Waard via Vital Weekly