1. The Beginning of the End (00:53) 2. Enforcer (04:08) 3. Future Storm (04:11) 4. Empire of the Sands (05:11) 5. Blue Moon (02:51) 6. Navigation (04:59) 7. Beyond the Sun (03:50) 8. Space Overdrive (05:01) 9. Cosmic Gate (03:48) 10. Urania (05:48) 11. Nova 4001 (07:02)
1. No Atmosphere [Raindancer Mix] (05:02) 2. She is the Dark [Radio Edit] (04:28) 3. Vision 215 [Novan K Mix] (05:23) 4. Vega Velocity [Nevarakka Mix] (07:46) 5. Now is Forever [Stark Mix] (04:53) 6. Flowers Fade [European Version] (05:04) 7. Cosmic Gate [First Portal] (04:52) 8. The Night Sky [Demo Version] (04:17)
'The Eagle has landed! Well, that’s what the American astronauts said… not really sure what the Cosmonauts said. Point being, the follow-up to Syrian’s 2003 space-age debut De-Synchronized is here. Once again we find the Italian duo probing the other reaches of the universe and taking us on yet another futuristic sci-fi journey beyond the stars. I mean, these guys are really into the cosmic motif; the singer refers to himself as Andylab, while the synthesist prefers the moniker Voyager (real name Lorenzo Bettelli). They seem to fit quite neatly on the roster of A Different Drum, walking the line somewhere between straight-up synthpop, trance, and futurepop, as do many of their label mates. Given that there’s already a pretty packed pipeline of electronic music inspired by science fiction, a band really has to do something special to generate much interest. Let’s explore whether Syrian has accomplished that with this release.
The music is 100% clean and crisp electronic mostly of the dancefloor variety. The production is up to par providing the hard beats, throbbing bass lines, and sparkling melodies that modern synthpop listeners demand. There are loads of melodic hooks and hard beats, not to mention the steady supply of catchy lyrical twists. The atmosphere is often set by spacey synth sweeps and liberal usage of samples of communications between Cosmonauts and home base. The vocals often are vocoded and frequently two tracks of vocals are present in the same song with one FX treatment playing off another – a successful vehicle in my thinking. “Enforcer,” one of the three singles, and “Future Storm” are similar EBM-style tracks, displaying a harder edge than they had previously shown; both songs also feature an eerie theremin-type sound connecting them nicely. The gentle, dreamy “Empire of the Sands” strikes me as a musical interpretation of the epic poem Ozymandias. Another point of interest is “Beyond The Sun,” an instrumental that completely disregards the format of every other song on the album. It is not danceable, there are no samples or artificial reminders of the theme, and it barely seems electronic. The compositional style makes me almost certain that this is Syrian’s homage to the Mike Oldfield classic “Tubular Bells.” Another single, “Space Overdrive” is a hyper-bubbly chunk of bleep-blop synthpop that will actually make you feel guilty for liking it. The final single, the trance-influenced “Cosmic Gate,” is notable for its use of Italian vocals save for the chorus. The closer here is the spiraling instrumental “Nova 4001,” continuing a theme from their debut, which ended with “Nova 3001.”
Clearly these space-boys have grown as songwriters and producers over the past 2 years. Everything here flows together with precision. Harmony abounds. Not all of the tracks are perfect, the scope is narrow, and you really have to be a fan of both electronica and sci-fi to get off on this, but you’re on this website right? If there’s a problem, it could be that the sound is almost too accessible. In short, this is special enough to garner some attention in the crowded electronic marketplace. If you’re going to get this, I recommend picking up the limited edition containing an entire eight-track bonus disc with remixes from both this album and their debut.'