Metropolitan Suite by Synergy (Larry Fast) Polygram Chronicles, 1998 re-release of 1987 original http://synergy-emusic.com This one’s an oldie but goodie from the veteran synthesizer master Larry Fast. Recording under the name “Synergy” for the last 25 years, Fast has more or less defined a style: synthesized orchestral music with a cinematic complexity. No acoustic instruments were used to record this. Instead, he uses what was in 1986 (only 15 years ago!) the revolutionary technique of digital sampling to create instrumental simulations. “Professional” defines Larry Fast’s work: it’s concise, attention-getting, and filled with energy. You are never far from film or TV music in Metropolitan Suite even though according to the liner notes (very hard to read in this edition due to lack of contrast) the Suite and the other tracks on the album were not created for any visual production. Fast explains that he was inspired by the history of New York City and by a book about the early 20th century architecture of that city. Therefore you will hear, among the rather romantic evocations of bustling city life, echoes of jazz and ragtime. Fast’s own musical style relies on lots of open fifths and power chords in clear major pop harmonies. Only in his section portraying the Great Depression do more dissonant notes come in. And at least in this album, there is no ambient drift it’s all action, all the time. The other pieces on the album are intended, as Fast explains, to be “soundtracks to musical adventures” where we listeners are to make up our own stories. “Into the Abyss” sounds very much like the soundtrack to a STAR WARS-style space adventure, or perhaps the Olympic Games, while “West Side Nights” has a “detective story” quality, the tough guy prowling the sonic streets. The last track, “Redstone,” is a homage to the “surf ‘n’ satellite” twangy instrumentals of the ‘60s that we old folks remember so fondly. All together this is dynamic, optimistic, invigorating music and well worth taking along on your next long drive to keep road boredom away. HMGS rating: 9 out of 10 Hannah M.G. Shapero, EER-MUSIC.com 11/15/01
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