We’ve lost count of what year of the synth revival we’re now on. Which is appropriate. It was timeless music then and it’s timeless music now. Which for something indelibly linked with technology is a somewhat ironic. It’s not like it didn’t leave traces on pop-consciouness. From The Who jacking Terry Riley to basically all of Synth-pop, abstract electronic music has had plenty of opportunities to anchor itself to a period and be dragged down to the depths with it.
But wherever it resides, it’s certainly not the depths.
Perhaps this is so eternal because it removes the mushy, ageing component of human interaction. We’re left instead with something so perfectly modern, a human expression divorced from some authenticating physical effort.
Byron Westbrook’s Dance in Free Fall is exhilarating, honestly titled and utterly, utterly human. It manages to pull off the wonderful feeling of moving at different speeds, tempos overlapping and occasionally meshing; a sense of vertiginous speed and geological time.
It begins with what initially sounds like a surf guitar solo via dial-up modem. It’s an exuberant, joyful expression, a headlong rush into a world of infinite points of light. Next comes the bass: stately; an expression of scale; a world for the light to inhabit. Together they manage to create something at both chaotic and utterly precise, that contradiction phasing in and out over the length of the song. Ultimately, crafting the most accurately named song I can think of. Indeed I’m questioning whether to delete this post and just post the title 72 times.
You can get this on the album Body Consonance which is out on October 13th. You can pre-order it from Hands in the Dark, right here.