Sunday, February 21, 2016

Syrinx - 1971 - Long Lost Relatives

Long Lost Relatives

01. Tumblers To The Vault (3:26)
02. Syren (5:57)
03. December Angel (8:58)
04. Ibistix (8:04)
05. Field Hymn (Epiloque) (2:52)
06. Tillicum (1:54)
07. Better Deaf And Dumb From The First (2:54)
08. Aurora Spinray (3:26)

- John Mills-Cockell / synthesizer, keyboards
- Doug Pringle / saxophone, bongos, bells, guiro
- Alan Wells / congas, timpani, gong, tambourine

Additional musicans:
- Milton Barnes / string section director

A masterwork which against all odds, prevails up to this day.

Against the odds of sharing their name with 2 other bands, being way, way ahead of their time music wise and coming from a not exactly "Electronic nor Avant Garde/RiO" country like Canada in 1971 (Tim Hecker and Aidan Baker came much later ).

Not to make a big fuzz, but this work would have been by far, more appreciated in the more "open-minded" , Avant Garde and RiO sub-genre.

It deals a fair amount of synths and electronics, but basically, its music structure is not exactly electronic-like based or better yet, it is the perfect balance between both sub-genres (although the RiO spirit outweights the electronics.)

John Mills-Cockell who makes his synths sound like "real" strings (not joking), headmaster of this SYRINX, had an electronic project in 1968 which went by the name of "INTERSYSTEMS" , which only release appeared the same year, by the same name. So it is undisputable, that Syrinx has an "electronic" upbringing. But bandmate Doug Pringle's bold, , strong yet subtle saxophone lines, makes this kind of "magic blend" happen. In short, in this, their second 1971 last release, they went for all the marbles. (of course the percussions of Malcolm Tomlinson and Alan Wells (deceased November 3, 2010), build up this alternate structure.)

Daring, original, genial, well balanced, way ahead of their times in both sub-genre's musical composition language and absolutely unpretentious. The mark of the true geniuses



  2. RUSH fans wouldn't want to know that their Godz were name-checking the group Syrinx on the title track to the LP "2112". Both groups were based in Toronto, though (Rush formed in roughly '68) and Neil Peart, their lyricist, was in the same area playing in various bar bands. Syrinx were well-known enough in Canada, particularly Toronto, that it seems an obvious conclusion that Rush were Syrinx fans.

    I'd classify Syrinx as an early ambient electronic band. Their sound is very impressionistic and wintry, to me evoking the long shadows cast by tall pines as the sun sets over Canadian snowdrifts. The music is underwhelming in a good way, and as the reviewer points out, absolutely unpretentious.