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Synapscape, "Positive Pop"

The latest offering by seminal Ant-Zen "powernoise" favoritesSynapscape is an interesting one. Although "Positive Pop" is moretechnoid than anything released recently on Ant-Zen save for PAL's lastRebirth-rife album, it manages to sound quite fresh and interestingwithin the constraints of the genre. The first track, "Ammunition," isa test of your patience, however - atmospherics accompanied by apiercing frequency which slowly raises makes for an interestingintroduction. The track that follows, "Thirsteater," is classicSynapscape, while "Smogue" is a beatless piece with a fewhigh-frequency injections like the first track. "Dubforce" is aptlynamed, using reverb and a slower tempo to create a very interesting,dub-like feel for a Synapscape track. Reminds me of Nine Inch Nails.The album continues as expected, not varying much from Synapscape'stried-and-true (or not?) formula. If you acquired the box set, you'rein for a very special treat - three (yes, three!) ten inch slabs ofvinyl accompany the album, and the remixes and extra tracks featured onthese records are (for the most part) golden. Disc one is newSynapscape tracks, whose standout is "Bizarre Vinyl Junky," with itsskittery, up-tempo beats. Discs two and three are remixes, and here arewhere things get interesting. The remixers are varied, and whileseveral of the remixes are formulaic and predictable (Converter, Asche,Somatix), some of the results are downright surprising: Savak'sreconstruction of "Thirsteater" begins with melodic synths straight outof your favorite IDM track. Hell-G's "Notorious" is a dancefloorbreakbeat track reminiscent of good-ol' Position Chrome, and ImminentStarvation's remix borders on glitch-techno, with miniscule hypnoticbeats ripped right from Panasonic. Yes, the box set is most definitelyworth your money. Overall, not a bad album, but "Positive Pop" onlyreinforces Ant-Zen's latest direction: to be the next "stepping stone"for those getting tired of EBM and looking for something just a tad bitless friendly.