There are artists who tow the line, following trends and fashions of the day. There are alternatively those who buck the trend creating their own unique path. Synth Sense fall into the latter category. We check out Symbol #9.
Whenever I hear a Synth Sense’s music I always feel a sense of injustice. The music has such an impossibly vast expansive sound, it is an audio and intellectual experience. This music should be experienced in huge stadiums with enormous swathing crowds holding candles raised in the air. The music has an almost religious scale of emotional potential. It is the sound track to realisation. But this is not how the music is experienced…
Occupying a secluded corner of electronic music, far from the oblivious gaze of the mainstream music media, Synth Sense are the shrine of those in the know. But it shouldn’t be like that. Dubstep kids and bass boppers need to hear this. I would like to think that Synth Sense will triumph popular taste in the same way Instra:mental became a buzz name amongst any self respecting trendy, in the know east London student a few years back, but I don’t think they will. I think their music will remain mostly unknown to majority, and passionately loved by a mesmerized minority.
If you have read this far and you don’t know what or who I am talking about, then this could be a musical fork in the road for you. Which pill will you choose, red or blue? Will you choose to know or carry on unaware?
Their latest work Symbol #9 is about to drop, and in staying with the themes of the series the tracks are not named but numbered 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4. We’re told by label boss ASC that this will be the final instalment for the series so is in many ways the grand finale. The numbering of the series has added a certain sense of anonymous mystique to the tracks, so easy it would have been to give the tracks grandiose titles as the music does warrant it, but instead you are presented with the stark realities of industrial electronica. To shed some light onto the tracks, we ask Synth Sense to elaborate on each piece. This is what they told us;
9.1 “We wrote this track straight after the 'Tomorrows World' album. The album was very stripped back and atmospheric and we felt that we needed to delve deeper into our analogue synths. Prior to making this track we had bought an album by 'Tonto's Expanding Head Band'. A track featured on their album called 'Jetsex' inspired us to really push our analogue equipment to get that stereotypical warm sound breathing and living within our production.”
9.2 “On this one, we shifted towards a more organic, melodic state. The vocal is sampled from a native Indian talking about our current state of our natural world. The main inspiration behind the track was the vocal itself. It inspired us to create a fitting soundscape which represents the message.”
9.3 “At the time we were listening to a lot of alternative deep techno from the likes of Demdike Stare, Raime and Andy Stott. ASC actually confronted us to make a techno track around the time of our exploration into techno which gave us the confidence to produce a very driven piece of music.”
9.4 “Being huge fans of FSOL and bands such as Pink Floyd gave us the inspiration behind this track. Being involved with Auxiliary allows us to bounce ideas and get inspiration from one another. It was only after hearing recent tracks by the crew, that we drew inspiration to use sounds such as dreamy hypnotic arpeggio's and subtle ambient field recordings, which were layered underneath a string of guitar recordings.”
As a listener there is a clear togetherness to the tracks collectively. Maybe it is a consistency in mixdown, compression or general building of sounds and audio form. It’s hard to quite pin point it as stylistically and structurally the tracks are each entirely individual, delivering a different feeling and experience. Following from the “Tomorrow’s World” album, we wanted to know more about how the EP came together. Synth Sense continue…
“The first 3 tracks of the release were written individually. Our intention wasn't to compile a collective release. The freedom we had after working hard on our album gave us the time to be inspired, turning the next page. At this time we were making music which wasn't focused on a particular project, we were just enjoying our time in the studio, but from there, ASC was able to hand pick the first 3 that he felt suited the final installment of the Symbol series. Once those 3 tracks were confirmed for the Symbol release, our intention was to create a track (9.4) which not only complimented the rest of the EP, but also enabled the listener to hear our versatility and influences in a wider spectrum of music.”
What Synth Sense have achieved with Symbol 9 is a transition. They have eloped out of the confines of genre. Is Symbol #9 ambient? Is it techno? Is it leftfield, electronica or drum & bass? It is all of these things, yet at the same time it is none. What can be said with some certainty is that Synth Sense are writing music that in the opinion of many has outgrown their peers and any conventional genre restrictions. We asked the guys where they see themselves in the grand scheme of things.
“As cliche as it sounds, we have never wanted to fit into any pigeon hole or stereotype. We would like to think that our production and arrangements don't conform to any genre, but rather exploit experimentation. Being signed exclusive to Auxiliary gives us the focus to produce music that we love.
The ethos of Auxiliary is about pushing boundaries and moving into new territory, which we strongly support and have always believed in. We hope that our music only strengthens what we and Auxiliary stand for.”