Exposé Online banner

Synthetic Block — Synthetic Block
(Mindspore MSP-0005-2, 1998, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1999-01-01

Synthetic Block Cover art

Synthetic Block is not a group, but a cleverly-monikered front name for one-man Connecticut synth battalion Jonathan Block. And quite frankly, this is one of the most exciting one-man homemade projects I've come across in a long time. Block uses lessons learned from 70s electronic pioneers and applies them using latter-day technology. And he succeeds gloriously. Much of the disc consists of pulsing, bubbling, slowly shifting synth pieces that mainly remind of Tangerine Dream circa Stratosfear. But there are also dark, droning, sequencer-hammering moments that bring Heldon to mind. Plus odd-meter workouts that bring to mind no one in particular but Block himself. Not only are his compositions good, but the sounds he produces from his synthesizers are rich, organic, and fresh, and they are entirely appropriate to the style of music; suggestive of analog synths without being imitative of them. Drum machines are used judiciously. A more than admirable first effort.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Jonathan Block / Synthetic Block

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Present - High Infidelity – High Infidelity is Present’s seventh release of intelligent music that extends the tradition laid down in Trigaux’s previous releases. This new CD contains three songs: "Souls for Sale,"...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues