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The Omega Syndicate / Analogue Waves

£5.99 £3.95

The Omega Syndicate / Analogue Waves

Description

There is Berlin School, then there is Hardcore Berlin School, and then there is this! Xan and Dave Gurr, the guys behind he Omega Syndicate, really don’t seem to care what some people might think. They like sequences, of the good old-fashioned style, subtle as a brick and don’t see why you shouldn’t crank them up, and up and up. Why should there be a limit to the number of sequencer lines you can have anyway? They let rip and just keep going. I mean, there are three tracks here averaging over twenty-five minutes each, one over half an hour with hardly a moment to catch breath. The sounds they choose are all so mid to late seventies but of denser proportions than I have heard from anything actually coming out of that period. Some reviewers are going to hate this for its pure lack of sensitivity or originality but these guys are having enormous fun doing what they love doing and this fun is infectious. It certainly left a smile on my face throughout the entire album. It is also true that there is the occasional bum note but on the whole the lead lines are melodic and fit the mood so well that they don’t really grate, it’s all just part of the fun really. A swirling wind, or rather ‘Analogue Wave’ gets the appropriately named title track underway. It is accompanied by wonderful cosmic twitters and other deep space effects conjuring up images of a desolate planet far away from our galaxy. After three minutes the first sequence makes an entrance. And what a sequence it is, rapid and bass laden enough to shake the floor. A slow lead line, fitting the mood perfectly, gently fizzes over the top. I was concentrating on it so much that I missed the appearance of the second sequence which was even more bass heavy than the first. It all goes together to make an amazingly thick wall of pulsating analogue sounds. Another sequence comes in, a little higher register one, faster and more melodic than the others, morphing in and out of the mix. We are less than 10% into the album and already wonderfully close to overload. ’12:21 pm’ commences with Sci Fi type electronic bleeps and solar flares. It’s another one for all you space cadets out there. Just lie back and drift to the deepest regions of the cosmos. It isn’t long however before a steam roller of a sequence rumbles forth. Little splashes of cosmic colour add detail as a second sequence forms low in the mix, spewing steam like a locomotive as the initial line of pulsations become even more thunderous. Again there is nice detail underneath as another melodic lead line plays over the top. This is no pretty little ditty however, being just as mean as the maelstrom it is accompanying. Another lead comes in, even more full of attitude than the first, mellotron putting the icing on the cake- wonderful stuff! There is many a morphing of the sequences and even with five minutes to go the pace increases with additional rhythm and new lead lines heightening the excitement still further. Rarely, for me, has twenty odd minutes passed so quickly. Now you might think that the guys have pushed the style just as far as it can go already but you haven’t heard ‘Dark Skies’ yet! There were doubts as to whether people could take the full version of this track as there were edits done but at the risk of it just being too much for some people it was decided to not curtail the beast so you have the full almost thirty five minute version. It begins in similar cosmic style to the previous two numbers but even more intense with a no nonsense deep reverberating drone creating an intimidating atmosphere. Repeated, slow stabs of sound echo from the speakers then in the second minute a rapid but melodic sequence surges forth full of excitement and energy. Fasten you seat belts as there is now going to be no let up for the next, almost half hour! We step up another gear just a few minutes later as yet another, even faster sequence falls into formation, the backing becoming denser as we go and an almost battle cry of a lead line flashes over the top. Mellotron adds a little softness but to be honest is virtually drowned out by the storm. The sequences morph and for a moment, I though we might be slowing down for a breather but no, instead in comes a repeated salvo of drums and then a steady rhythm, as if golf ball sized hail is smashing into the ground. This is accompanied by another lead line, this time flashing like lightning. It is as if we have all the most devastating atmospheric conditions happening at once. The drums momentarily depart being replaced by a repeated three and then four note melodic motif but the energy level is just as high as before. More lead lines come and go, the best so far making an entrance in the sixteenth minute. It’s almost catchy but also very exciting, like laser beams shooting up from the ground, greeting the lightning from above. It’s one hell of a solo, ideal for air keyboard whilst the rest of your body moves to all the complex lines of pulsations bubbling away underneath. Unbelievably more sequences keep coming. Yet another lead solo is introduced in the twenty fifth minute as the backing is stripped down to only three sequences or so but it’s still more powerful than an exploding nuclear reactor! With seven minutes to go we get more mellotron and a sort of calmness does start to take a hold by the thirty- minute mark. Even so a lone sequence can still be heard slowly winding down amongst more cosmic effects until the finish. Take the CD out of the player and go for a lie down. (DL)