The new album from System Syn is full of poppy, catchy, sing-along EBM tunes: in short, nothing bad, but nothing you couldn’t also get from Assemblage 23 or Apoptygma Berzerk. What makes this different, though, isn’t the songwriting or the beats but the variety of unique and interesting sounds and effects. “Through This” distinguishes itself from more run-of-the-mill club tracks with some memorable, purely synthesized drum sounds, for example, while “Existence In Neutral” and “Now” use everything from choir samples to vocal layering to add impact to floor-pounding club tracks. System Syn’s Clint Carney also plays keyboards with Imperative Reaction, and like that band’s more recent work, this album is full of driving beats and clean vocal melodies, but Carney also shows a bit more enthusiasm for gentler pop moments. “Into My Veins” is more reminiscent of VNV Nation’s recent ballads than anything else, and “Somewhere,” despite its high-BPM drum machine, is more wistful than aggressive. “The Saddest Sound Was You” is the most remarkable track on here, showing Carney’s voice at its most emotive, delicately riding over lush synthesized strings. In a weird way, it’s almost reminiscent of some of the gothic torch songs performed by Rozz Williams just before he died – dark and postmodern, but wrapped in a certain timeworn delicacy – and it sounds nothing like the rest of the album. Still, it’s the big dance numbers that are going to garner most of the attention, and System Syn’s quite adept at those, too. Carney’s production skills and attention to fine sonic detail set this album apart from the rest of the futurepop herd, making for an album that will appeal to DJs and music fans alike.
Visit Clint Carney online at www.systemsyn.com.
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