Seagram Synth Ensemble

REVIEW: Seagram Synth Ensemble – No Moving Air (2019 coloured vinyl)

SEAGRAM SYNTH ENSEMBLE – No Moving Air (2019 coloured vinyl)

Three young local lads united their computing power and formed the Seagram Synth Ensemble:  James Dowbiggin, Dave Klassen, and James Reesor.  Armed with Korgs, Moogs and Rolands, the trio recorded a remarkable new album called No Moving Air.

With a slightly minimalist bent, No Moving Air is a full-length album that can serve as a soundtrack for any quiet night.  Mixing new and old instruments, the synths form relaxing soundscapes with recurring patterns.  Hard to describe, but easy to listen to.  Floating in space, or under the sea — it is easy to close your eyes and put yourself in another world.  Some of the sounds resemble those recorded under Antarctic ice (“Amphiquarium”).  Others are dark, but not uninviting.  Everything seems to flow, except when flipping the record!

Handily there is a diagram on the back, done in the style of an electrical flow chart, to tell you when to “invert disc”.  The striking back cover (designed by James Dowbiggin) is more interesting than the front!  The lovely clear aqua blue vinyl was an unexpected surprise.

Moving on to side two, a hint of rhythm augments the epic length title track.  There’s a cool synth bell section and a variety of moods.  16 minutes well spent, though you might lose track of where and when you are!  The last few minutes are killer.

Without much experience in synthesizer music, this comes highly recommended.  It’s memorable and warm.  It has a niche and fills it nicely.

3.5/5 stars

VIDEO: Kathryn Ladano album release – live performance of “Flow”

Enjoy music just a little different from the norm?  Here are Kathryn Ladano and opening act, combining members of Harp+ and Seagram Synth Ensemble at the TWH Social After Dark Space January 11 2020.  My Samsung couldn’t get a good image in the dark, but the audio is decent in full stereo.  Enjoy the track “Flow” from the new album Masked and clips from other tracks on the disc!

The synthscape of the opening act was quite awesome.  Now, I don’t normally drink, but I was with Max the Axe.  Before long I had a rum and Coke in me and I was taken on this wild synthesizer trip through the cosmos!  For roughly 30 minutes, a stream of music emanated through the room, like a slideshow of NASA photos from the 1960s.  Can’t wait to hear the Seagram Synth Ensemble’s album which was for sale and now in my collection.

Kathryn Ladano played interpretations of music from her album Masked.  “Interpretations” because the music is improvised and never the same twice, they just follow the same rough blueprints.  “It’s better live” whispered Max (you can hear this in the video), and Dr. Ladano agreed.

Great show, great venue, try and catch them live!