James Mann aka Syntax is a newcomer when it comes to making music but his debut entitled Sunrise showcases innate talent and an ear for aesthetics. The six songs on Sunrise are most comparable To Boards Of Canada and the ambient works from Aphex Twin. I would say that these influences are a little bit obvious for anyone who is familiar with electronic music. That being said I am willing to cut Mann a bit of slack since he started making music in 2014.
Mann combines alien planet-like soundscapes that merge with percussive elements and then layers them with more synths. The results produce feelings that are tranquil, mysterious and foreign. I always get this feeling from listening to Boards of Canada and I think Mann’s music evokes the same thing.
Mann opens up with a track called “Gamma.” He combines soft pads with rising helicopter-like sounding synths. It doesn’t take long before he layers soothing bongos on top. The ethereal sounds are hypnotic and serene. As the song progresses he adds more percussive elements but doesn’t go overboard. The second track is more atmospheric than the first while “New Horizons” implements a decent amount of low-end provided by the kick drum.
The most kinetic and fast paced track goes to “Cygnus.” Mann ups the BPM and utilizes an arpeggiated synth. Out of the six songs this is the one that’s most apt to get people on the dance floor. He closes with “Loris Nights,” which revolves around ambient noise that evolves and devolves over time.
Overall, Sunrise is an enjoyable EP. It’s consistent and Mann has figured how to pace his tracks. I think if Mann is able to create more of an original sound he will become a legitimate threat in electronic music.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook