A very sophisticated recording of electronic music
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1975 album is, in my estimation, nearly singular in the world of electronic music due to its sheer complexity. In fact, this album by American electronic composer Larry Fast is much closer to progressive rock than Berlin School electronica for example - there is just a lot going on in each of these compositions.
The six tracks on the album range in length from 2'58" to 12'50" and feature a range of tones and dynamic contrasts. Another interesting aspect of the music, and I never expected to discuss this in a review of an electronic composition, is the abundant use of melodies, harmonies, and most importantly both rhythmic and melodic counterpoint. In fact, it is amazing what Larry achieved with just the use of a mini-moog, an Oberheim Polyphonic, and a Mellotron 400. In fact, it makes me wonder what it would have sounded like if he had scored these complicated synthesizer pieces for rock instruments, including a full drum kit.
Interestingly, Larry's link with prog rock is not as tenuous as one might think with his being an electronic composer and he struck up a good working relationship with the prog band Nektar around this time. His excellent work can be heard on Nektar's Recycled album (1975).
This remastered album features restored cover art and excellent sound quality, along with some skimpy liner notes.
This album is very highly recommended to those electronica fans who want something a little more varied than the typical fare. Also recommended are two albums by Isao Tomita including Snowflakes are Dancing (1974) and The Tomita Planets (1976)."
snowleopard | Oregon | 12/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first album by Synergy, the studio electronic artist that is mostly Larry Fast, master synthesist, session musician, and keyboard player on several Peter Gabriel albums and tours.
There's a few things to know about this album, back when released there was very little in the form of pure electronic music. Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and sometimes Tomita were the names mostly seen in the bin at the record store, and Synergy. What made Synergy stand out was that not only was it completely synthesized, it was American, and often sounded American (if that makes sense) in that they tend to be a bit more "up" or active than some of the droning layers associated with his peers. But it also had a very full sound, one that to this day still sounds very rich and full. Adding to this, is that the compositions are surprisingly complex and evolving. This is remarkable considering that when this was recorded, about 99% of this music was played by hand, and overdubbed with none of the computer editing or sequencing that's been the standard now for over a decade. Fast would write the songs, sit down, play them to a click track, and painstakingly lay down track after track after track until the composition was finished.
Okay, but how is the music? Great! Pure analog bliss! People clamor for fat, lush analog sounds from synthesizers, well, this is it! The songs are great, sound great, and the album stands up to repeated listenings.
I also recommend Synergy's album Audion from this era with the highest praise. Chords, Games, and Sequencer are good as well, but if you haven't heard Synergy, I suggest you start with these two first. By the time Fast got to Jupiter Menace and Metropolitan Suite his sound had changed a little. Not for the worse, just different and should be viewed in a different light."