When I was young I seriously wanted a Synthesizer. I would buy Sound on Sound magazine and gaze lustily at the sleek keyboard designs covered with wheels, knobs and buttons. Oh, the potential of sound! It bubbled inside, all cauldron like. The prospect of algorithmic noise was like a siren call to adolescent me.

I seriously coveted this particular model

Nothing ever came of it. My dalliances with the making of music have never gone any kind of distance. I guess it’s still part of me, in pontentia, like so many knots of unresolved thought. Frankly, I have a hard enough time pinning down the things I have decided to pursue so probably best not to complicate matters. Recently I downloaded an open source soft-synth which i could easily spend many unproductive hours messing with. I’ve been trying my best to avoid it, tbh – convincing myself that it’s for the best.

Wow, this introduction did not sound anywhere near as melancholic in my head…

There’s something profound about improvised music, the coming together of musicians and their instruments to create music with no blueprint. It makes me think of the Burroughs/Gysin concept of the Third Mind – specifically that idea that when two artists collaborate completely a new consciousness arises, a Third Mind, from the components. You can hear something like this when you listen to now‘s Synthesized Valentine; an hour long jam of minds and electronics. Except Now aren’t two minds creating a third, they’re five creating a sixth.

With so many members I seriously worry about the mental stability of that sixth mind…

The first thing I thought whilst listening to this was an image. A bucket full of mobile phones, each having their own unique panic attack. But as the track continues a sense of cohesion settles it, almost a song structure. A drum machine comes into the mix and suddenly you could almost be on the dance floor. This won’t last though, not more than a few minutes, the schizophrenic sixth mind won’t allow it. It’s ability to hold together an avenue of thought is severely compromised.

Throughout Synthesized Valentine this flux between cacophony and structure is holding court, rising out of the primordial soup of waveforms and rhythms, this cellular automata of electronic sound, coming together for a fleeting synchronous orgasm of form, before everything flies apart again. Those moments could almost be single releases.

But to focus on those moments is to miss the point. This is more about the journey; A delightful squelchy tour through the circuits of collective mind.

Synthesized Valentine is out now on kittenrock.

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