Line Out Records

Sinthetic 2 Live Review in Hard Wired

November 2002 - http://www.hard-wired.org.uk

I rarely fall over myself when it comes to reviewing albums that do not grab my attention visually. That is, albums with dull and plain covers never really make me want to play then straight away. Strange really. Call me shallow. I don’t care. This is one such album – with a plain white and simple cover, and limited text at that. Obviously the money’s been spent on the music rather than some fancy inlay.

But what is this Synthetic thing all about? Well, on the cd we have eight tracks, two from four bands, weighing in at 44 minutes of music. Taken from a live event apparently, where ‘drunken noise making ensues’ (so it says on the inlay). How music like this can be truly ‘live’ is anyone’s guess, but lets not let that spoil things eh?

The tunes all fall into what I would dub the Ambient Electronic genre, with a fine smattering of samples, and keyboards aplenty. It’s mellow, and very laid back, but with enough rhythm to keep your attention for the duration of the entire 44 minutes.

The sound quality is superb – this album actually made me stop what I was doing and sit down in front of the hi-fi to listen to it properly, it’s that well produced. Cranking up the volume doesn’t distort the sound quality either – this is electronic to the core.

Styles within the genre vary, from pulsating EBM melodies, to dark ambient tunes, bordering on prog-electro. Hey, this variation works!!

No one band, or track stand out on the album – it’s all good, but if I had to pick a favourite, it would have to be the track ‘Reclaimance’ by Drip Fed, with it’s beautifully sculptured beats and progressive melody.

But that's not all – put this disk into your PC/Mac, and find each live set presented as MP3’s – this gives you 23 tracks extra. Wow! Okay, some of the MP3s are those featured on the audio only part of the disk, but the extra tracks is a huge bonus! Hats off to Line Out Records for daring to be innovative!

So in summing up then, no big names, no gloss and no frills, but good, honest music, and the extra MP3’s make this cd a must have for anyone who gives a damn about a new and fresh music scene.

Keith Elcombe 3.5/4