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act 117 · synapscape · positive pop · cd

tracklist:
ammunition, thirsteater, face off, the power of love, smogue, bizarre disco junky, dubforce, orbleflex, charity, bielfield, reunion, skizzy biz, notorious

also available:

positive pop · boxset · act117.7
positive pop · t-shirt · ikon27

after such renowned and highly acclaimed records like "screenwalking (w /imminent)", "so what", the "remix item", "rage", "helix" and "synapscape" the latest album "positive pop" will surely convince the last critics. "positive pop" combines basically any style and sound synapscape has been standing for since ever - the different pop approach.

having gained tremendous experience through various side projects and thus having reached such a high status within the post-industrial scene, synapscape is giving the listener what the listener deserves and of course expects from the state-of-the-art visually as musically artists.

"positive pop" consists of 13 excellent structured tracks ranging from synapscape's ambience over distorted vocalised tracks, always with a rhythmical touch and a scent of dancefloor. the multi-layered distortions have been put more in the background whereas melodies and rhythm have been given more attention in the foreground - an overall never heard symbiosis of hard, harsh, rhythmical tracks and droning, deranged ambience. not to speak of the incredible production - here, enormous emphasis has been put on and your speakers will be put to a hard test.

call it positive ... call it pop ... call it synapscape ... no more "file under" or if you still need a category, file under synapscape ... truly a milestone in modern electronic music.

synapscape webpage : www.ant-zen.com/synapscape

reviews:

brainwashed
the latest offering by seminal ant-zen "powernoise" favorites synapscape is an interesting one. although "positive pop" is more technoid than anything released recently on ant-zen save for pal's last rebirth-rife album, it manages to sound quite fresh and interesting within the constraints of the genre. the first track, "ammunition," is a test of your patience, however - atmospherics accompanied by a piercing frequency which slowly raises makes for an interesting introduction. the track that follows, "thirsteater," is classic synapscape, while "smogue" is a beatless piece with a few high-frequency injections like the first track. "dubforce" is aptly named, sing reverb and a slower tempo to create a very interesting, dub-like feel for a synapscape track. reminds me of nine inch nails. the album continues as expected, not varying much from synapscape's tried-and-true (or not?) formula. if you acquired the box set, you're in for a very special treat - three (yes, three!) ten inch slabs of vinyl accompany the album, and the remixes and extra tracks featured on these records are (for the most part) golden. disc one is new synapscape tracks, whose standout is "bizarre vinyl junky," with its skittery, up-tempo beats. discs two and three are remixes, and here are where things get interesting. the remixers are varied, and while several of the remixes are formulaic and predictable (converter, asche, somatix), some of the results are downright surprising: savak's reconstruction of "thirsteater" begins with melodic synths straight out of your favorite idm track. hell-g's "notorious" is a dancefloor breakbeat track reminiscent of good-ol' position chrome, and imminent starvation's remix borders on glitch-techno, with miniscule hypnotic beats ripped right from panasonic. yes, the box set is most definitely worth your money. overall, not a bad album, but "positive pop" only reinforces ant-zen's latest direction: to be the next "stepping stone" for those getting tired of ebm and looking for something just a tad bit less friendly. (chris zaldua)

equinoxe ausgabe 16
nur keine bange angesichts des cd-titels - synapscape sind keine boygroup geworden. ganz im gegenteil: Ôpositive pop' erhebt sich sogar noch über den äužerst gelungenen vorgänger Ôso what' und bietet meistenteils knallharten sound, für den die bezeichnung industrial alleine zu eindimensional klingen würde. vielmehr beweist das bielefelder duo - das sich ja bekanntermažen auch in einer vielzahl von solo-projects austobt - dass sie durchaus auch ganz anders können; so ist etwa Ôsmogue' finster-ambient der ersten kategorie, und würde sich königlich für einen fiesen horrorfilm oder auch zur akustischen untermalung eurer nächsten rollenspiel-session eignen (vorzugsweise wenn die handlung in einer nassen kalten höhle spielen sollte). dominiert wird Ôpositive pop' jedoch von rhythmusbetonten tracks, von denen z.b. Ôthirsteater' hohes clubpotential zeigt und zerrissener, harscher elektronik in ultra-verzerrung, wobei ich hier unbedingt Ôface off' erwähnen muss. die nur stellenweise auftretenden vocals fügen sich nahtlos ein und sind manchmal lediglich fast schemenhaft zu erahnen. ich hätte gute lust, hier noch ca. 2 seiten lang zu berichten, mit welcher liebe zum detail hier zu werke gegangen wurde, beschränke mich aber auf die kurzfassung: tim kniep und philipp münch ist ein aužergewöhnliches und vielschichtiges album gelungen, dessen qualität innerhalb des genres im bisherigen jahresverlauf seinesgleichen sucht. es dürfte sich von selbst verstehen, dass Ôpositive pop' ein absoluter pflichtkauf für scheuklappenfreie industrieköppe ist. (rainer metz)

side-line no.36 july-august-september 2001
boy, oh boy. this is surpassing all expectations. synapscape have clearly evolved another rung on the ladder to sonic stewardship. chilling ambient tracks, crunchy rhythm pieces, noisy beat affairs and melodious industrial dance all have their minutes of fame on this album. less multi-layered distortion has given room to loftier structures which highlight their ability craft more than just noise mayhem. incredibly crystal-clear and pounding production make every sound particle audible and still kick some serious butt. it's hard for me to sit still writing this,.it's so catchy i want to sing along to the vocals despite being naturally distorted beyond recognition. their musical evolution is taking on the same positive turn that pal and noisex did away from the power of unstructured noise towards the power of ordered sonics. technoid aggression meets industrial probing. also, don't miss his limited box set which offers an additional set of three(!) 10"s with bonus tracks and remixes by the current technoise elite (savak, somatic responses, imminent, asche, converter, silk saw, hell-g and navicon torture technologies). fucking brilliant slab of seething rhythmification. (ttm)

orkus nr.09 september 2001
spätestens seit dem zweiten album rage hält sich das deutsche duo synapscape wacker in der spitzengruppe der europäischen industrial-szene, und daran wird auch der vierte longplayer positive pop nichts ändern. sogar noch abwechslungsreicher als auf dem vorgänger pendeln die beiden zwischen düsteren ambient-landschaften und tanzbaren nummern, die dank backbeat-rhythmik, effektvollem gesangseinsatz und dateilverliebtem sounddesign auch nicht zufällig in die tumbe discofutter-schublade wandern können. electronica und hardcore-drum'n'bass scheinen synapscape nicht gerade unsympathisch zu sein, denn positive pop weist ohrenfällig in diese richtung. wer gelungenen, modernen industrial noise zu schätzen weiž, sollte an dieser platte nicht vorbeigehen. für den sammler gib es auch wieder eine limitierte box, die neben der cd drei (!) 10"-vinyl-maxis mit guten remixen von albumtracks sowie aufkleber, postkarte und einen metalpin enthält. (alexander maciol)

totenklage
german synapscape are one of the many ever so popular power-noise acts and one of the headliners at the maschinenfest in aachen this autumn. synapscape is noise, but it's structured noise or rhythmical noise if you wish. distorted rhythms and diverse sounds create the soundscape, which most often has a scent of sweaty dancefloor. it happens that the beats take a pause and noisy ambience takes over your beloved loudspeakers. personally, i feel that this ambience is less valuable than the dance tracks. one of the better tracks is "bizarre disco junky", which has cool distorted rhythm loops, extremely distorted vocals and beeps. my favourite track, and what i think will become a 'hit', is "orbleflex". with its massive drum and noise loops, it puts your eardrums in a state of siege. the forces of noisy beats won't let you go, because in the next track "charity", the noisy madness continues! with the hard-hitting "notorious" in my ears, i rest my case and establish that synapscape are one of the leading acts within this growing genre.

surface
und wieder etwas neues aus dem hause ant-zen. eines vorweg, lasst euch von dem titel "positive pop" nicht täuschen, denn diese cd ist alles andere als pop. industrial wie wir es gewohnt sind und auch so hören wollen. der erste track (intro ?) ist sehr sphärisch gehalten, man kann auch spacig sagen, aber dieses wort mag ich nicht. wie auch immer, denn nach dem ersten track namens "ammunition" geht es dann richtig los. "thirsteater", der 2te track dieser cd wartet mit gewohnten beatz und (ja richtig gelesen) mit gesang und dieser ist, wie soll ich es sagen, perfekt! (ich könnte schwören das bei diesem song mit dem rebirth gearbeitet wurde, aber das nur so am rande erwähnt). der 3 dritte song namens "face off" ist wieder ein wenig mehr ins spacige (schon wieder dieses wort) geraten, aber es tut dem song kein abbruch. einfach genial diese sounds und wenn man dann noch seine anlage schön aufdreht, kann man es schön geniežen. track 6 "bizzare disko junky" und track 9 "charity"gefallen mir persönlich am besten, denn da ist gesang, harte beatz, hohe sequenzen, kurz, einfach alles drin was man braucht um so richtig in seiner disko "abzappeln" zu gehen. diese zwei song dürften wohl mit sicherheit in einschlägigen noise clubs ein clubhit werden. (ich denke da an das "basement" in wiesbaden). wie man es von ant-zen mittlerweile gewohnt ist, sind die soundstrukturen an den richtigen stellen platziert und perfekt abgemischt. nur schade das der gesang ein klein wenig zu kurz kommt. wie auch immer, andere labels (ich möchte jetzt mal keine namen nennen) sollten sich endlich mal eine scheibe abschneiden, denn nur so lässt sich eine cd gut verkaufen. immerhin bekommt man für sein schwer verdientes geld etwas geboten. im grožen und ganzen ist die cd von synapscape "ruhig" gehalten, was auch mal ganz gut ist. man sollte nicht immer mit vollem gedröhne "ins haus" fallen. mir gefällt es sehr gut und bin jetzt schon mal gespannt wie "sie" es live performen werden. ich kann nur sagen, holt sie euch, sonst werdet ihr es bereuen. ha, und ich hab jetzt endlich mal was zu nörgeln!! das cover von synapscape ist zwar sehr schön, (hardpaper) jedoch kann man die schrift nur schwer lesen (oder ich brauche eine neue brille...). das cover ist blau gehalten und die schrift ist schwarz und die trackliste ist für meinen geschmack ein bischen zu klein geraten, denn dadurch lässt sich alles nur schwer lesen. aber nichts desto trotz, ich kann euch diese cd nur ans herz legen, denn wer synapscape kennt und mag, kommt an dieser cd nicht vorbei!!! und wie ich immer so schön sage....."this comes from ant-zen", love it or hate it!

tranceform
die assoziationen, welche die worte "positive pop" hervorrufen, sind sicherlich von mensch zu mensch verschieden, aber ich wage zu behaupten, daž gedanken an formationen aus dem hause ant-zen eher selten zu ihnen gehören. auch nach dem hören des gleichnamigen albums von synapscape wird sich dies nicht ändern. bevor manjedoch darüber zu philosophieren beginnt, was die künstler uns mit diesem titel sagen wollenmöchtenkönnten und so gut wie unweigerlich in eine überinterpretation hinabgleitet, zu der man womöglich noch den fakt heranzieht, daž positive pop mit ausnahme des eigentlich unbetitetelten debüts das erste offizielle album ist, in dem kein zum albumtitel gleichnamiges stück auf der cd enthalten ist, sollte man das tun, was ungleich lohnender ist: cd in den player, kopfhörer einstecken, lautstärke aufdrehen, taste play betätigen und sich die nächsten knapp 63 minuten zurücklehnen. synapscape waren schon immer einer der vorreiter des power noise und mit diesem album verteidigt die formation um philip münch und tim kniep diesen status erfolgreich. "positive pop" liegt musikalisch zwischen "so what" und der im sommer 2000 als kollaboration mit imminent (formerly imminent starvation) erschienen ep "screenwalking". insgesamt ist das werk, da die gewichtung bei den meisten stücken stark auf den rhythmen liegt, weniger noiselastig als die vorgänger-ep, trotzdem werden verzerrte klänge sehr konsequent und fast ausschliežlich verwendet, die einzig echte ausnahme bildet mit extrem klaren, technoiden tönen der letzte teil von skizzy biz nach dem sehr abrupten themenwechsel. der grožteil der 13 stücke auf dem album wird von rhythmischen werken mit sehr unterschiedlichen tempi, bis zum neunten lied alternierend langsam und schnell, gestellt. meine persönlichen favoriten sind face off, das zwar nicht allzu schnell aber dafür sehr abwechslungsreich gestaltet ist, sowie orbleflex, welches wesentlich schneller bei gleichzeitigem nichtverzicht auf kurze, rhythmusbrechende passagen gestaltet ist. nachschub für tanzflächen ist mit diesem album jedenfalls in hülle und fülle vorhanden, und wer sich beim stück bizarre disco junky mit verweis auf den albumtitel denkt, daž dieses stück wohl nicht das ist, was es zu sein vorgibt, irrt. besonders hörenswert ist imminents remix von ammunition, da er für imminent recht untypisch ist, er ist eigentlich sogar ein wenig kuschelig, in a somewhat bizarre way. neben den rhythmischen stücken gibt es jedoch auch vertreter für das gegenteil, namentlich den einklang ins album sowie smogue, welches auf mich durch seine eigenschaft als ruhepol inmitten eher aggressiver werke quasi wie das analogon zu a warm place, ein funktional ähnlich gelagertes stück einer anderen band, wirkt. aužerordentlich interessante klangkollagen sind charakteristisch für smogue, auch wenn es seine gesamte wirkung erst beim schon allein deshalb lohnenswerten sukszessivem hörem des albums zumindest bis zumindest diesem lied entfaltet. sämtlichen beiträgen zum album ist gemein, daž sie sich durch eine für dieses genre sehr hohen komplexität auszeichnen. während der ersten paar male, bei denen man sich des album anhört, wird es wohl noch nicht gelingen, sämtliche tonspuren bewužt zu erfassen. konzentriertes anhören der musik lohnt sich deshalb bei "positive pop" ausdrücklich, was bei den oben erwähnten ruhigen stücken, die man wahrscheinlich ohnehin eher nicht auf den tanzflächen zu hören bekommen wird, besonders deutlich zutage tritt. aužergewöhnlich ist weiterhin die wahl der klänge, die synapscape verwenden. so gibt es das beim abspielen stark ins technoide wechselnde, aber natürlich immer noch verzerrte charity als ein ins auge fallendes beispiel, aber man findet auch sonst bei fast allen stücken töne und tonkombinationen, die man so noch nicht gehört hat. bei praktisch allen liedern bemühen sich synapscape auch, keine monotonie aufkommen zu lassen. definierte unterbrechungen der rhythmen, ständiges einfügen und wegnehmen von tonspuren, effektives, aber nicht übertriebenes ausnutzen der möglichkeiten, die eine tolle erfindung namens stereo bietet, sind für dieses album kennzeichnende merkmale. ebenfalls auffällig ist ein unkonventionelles ende mehrerer lieder: ein sanfter ausklang mit monoton fallender lautstärke wird angedeutet und man hat das mentale einstellen darauf gerade erst abgeschlossen, wenn das stück plötzlich abrupt endet um vom nächsten abgelöst zu werden. die bereits in früheren alben verwandte option der nutzung verzerrter stimmen findet man auch diesmal wieder, inhaltlich etwas zu verstehen ist in der regel wieder schwer, als ausnahme können hier vielleicht bielfield, skizzy biz und reunion gelten. cd-inlay und auch die box sind in pappe gehalten. negativ kennzeichnen möchte ich die kleine schwarze oder gar dunkelblaue schrift auf blauem hintergrund, die es zumindest mir unnötig schwer macht, bestimmte dinge auf dem album auch nur zu entziffern. wie zum beispiel die titel der 13 stücke des albums. gerüchteweise habe ich aber eine leichte schwäche beim sehen der farbe blau, so daž es eventuell nur ein individuelles problem ist. fazit: mit "positive pop" verschieben synapscape die mežlatte für qualitativ anspruchsvollen power noise ein stück nach oben und liefern damit auch ihr bis dato bestes album ab. (andré leopold)

re :mote induction
with each album the sound of synapscape can be traced back to their first self-titled cd, from there each release being a step up in detail and production values. that first album being very much a raw affair, only hints of which still come through, with rage defining more of what synapscape is about. positive pop is clearly most easily linked to the previous album, so what, both having a certain commonality in sound definition. but with that this album takes another step across its 13 tracks, incorporating aspects of other ideas, taking previous ideas a step further while retaining that thing that makes it synapscape. positive pop is the fourth album by synapscape to be released by ant-zen, and with this it is clear that they remain one of the labels most reliably interesting and strong acts. to go with the release of this album there is also a box set version, which comes in a heavy card box (think saturn gnosis style format) - in which there are the usual stickers, badge, etc as well as three 10" records. with these extra records synapscape provide extra non-album tracks, and a series of guest artists provide remixes of the pop material. on the cd the most obvious stand out tracks are ammunition, the power of love and amogue, with bizarre disco junky and dubforce rounding out the strongest run of tracks on the disc. starting with ammunition we have the most minimal track on the album, scraping tones against edged bass lines. a restrained swirl of sound, snaking curves, sharply edged in a mix with hollow pulses. even with this reduced sound structure this is layered in an atmospheric manner, the strength of the detail being the strength of ammunition. moving on to the power of love we have a twitching line against a flitting bass, the two offering suggestion of melody before triggering layered beats. the beats crunch in a mid-paced steadiness, high pitched whines and bass swirls caught up in the layers. the beats deliver a lashing construct, typical synapscape harshness carrying against the contrasts of some of the other elements. the power of love bristles, reaching a stripped section where pulsing bass comes to the fore, suggestive and significant, before resuming the colliding percussive patterns. a clang of gong sounds as the piece collapses into conclusion the drone strips of amogue building from that, reminding in some of the more bass heavy and definitely atmospheric material from synapscape's first cd. micro-tones click and gather, a little buzz rising with the trickle of fractured sounds. more drifts of bass layer in a floating manner, the more diffuse detail to a minimum while this warmly stark feel envelops the listener. extracting out from this point that is perhaps more suggestive of templegarden's in some way there is a darker edge and the resumption of sparkling micro-sounds, shrill edged flakes. like ammunition it is the level of detail and the manner of construction which give this track its appeal. flowing from the power of love and amogue we continue with bizarre disco junky and dubforce neither of which quite makes it into the excellent category, but both are certainly on the high scale of good and carry this section on well. in a lot of ways bizarre disco junky is very much classic synapscape - a distorted snarl of vocals buried in the mix against layers of clashing percussion and hyper-strained bass lines, while sine waves squeal in a tortured manner. the end of this piece sees a tonal step function, a bass tone stepping by a notch in a manner, which pits purity against insinuating. dubforce goes for a more easy going feel, i guess dub styled bass could be said to unfold in the background, while slow beats clank and plod. guitar like chords play a steady, growl edged line, working through the increasing layers of percussion and now a higher ridge of guitary sound. the remaining material on the cd ranges from being pretty good to being decent but perhaps a little too typically synapscape to stand out. carrying well out of ammunition, thirsteater starts with a swirl of affected voices and bass, solid bass beat pulsing into that. this piece mounts, disruptive elements sneaking in at the edges. in some ways this is stripped by synapscape standards and is very much a contemporary technoid piece of the moment. when tim's vocals start to come in there is a greater sense of harshness and with that the band's individuality starts to come across more. face off follows, one of the slower starts with a trudging rhythm section - hard beat and sparked hi hats against a subdued bass. distorted vocals come in caught up in an incomprehensible swirl of sound, vague stutters of noise meshing together in that uncomfortable manner synapscape excel with. a clean tone sparks in orbieflex repeating before triggering a crunching beat line. there are pauses while other details work into this strained distortion, mixing with developing percussive spikes and pads. on percussive levels this piece is straight ahead, mid-paced, with occasional pauses and the buried detail giving it more of an edge. details which come up more often as the piece progresses, welling up through those pauses to become more integral. this carries on to charity which builds from a pattering of wiry beats, before building to a more clamorous affair. with the flat hard beats there are more intense spikes and the whole develops into that mass of distorted sound, within which there are the barest hints of melody tootling away. bielfield despite being one of the tracks that gets the mix treatment (twice even!) is the least interesting track on the disc for me, it sounds okay but for some reason doesn't inspire much more of a reaction that that. reunion is a better track, though again it perhaps tends a little too much to being just okay. skizzy biz is another of the good tracks, mounting with a repeating, tight loop of sound - bass edged and hiss imbued. a voice talks through this, clearer here than in the mix by asche, which works with the severely restrained voice of tim which can be just about heard through the layers of sound which have unfolded from that first loop. after awhile the piece strips to a bare rhythm backed by the hesitance of a bass drone, a real contrast to the sounds that went before, building up hints of a techno influence within the midst of that stripped form. with the box set there are three extra tracks by synapscape along with one synapscape mix and mixes by another eight artists. from that the new track womb is excellent, as are the mixes by savak, silk saw, converter, ntt and imminent. the first 10" in the positive pop box is the extra tracks. to start these off is the afore-mentioned womb, a minimalist click sequence, a bubbling motion of bit strings. passing it's first minute womb sees the growth of a bass line, a blunt blocky form with a seesaw tone building in one step above that. extra bass comes in as a fluid swirl, adding to the layered detail of this piece. womb maintains a subdued feeling, going for synapscape's more considered and atmospheric moments - but with that this is an atypical piece, incorporating contemporary influences into the synapscape paradigm. mounting with an increasing agitation, bass a buzzed pulse ridge and the clicks agitated sparks. over 9 minutes long this has plenty of scope for development and with that it is a highlight. flipping from that we have the harsher dirtbagger, wire bound, fragile lashed seesaw rhythms set off-kilter in hard loops. within these fractures we can hear strands of drifting sounds and muffled voices. this piece is a lot shorter going for the immediacy of a 3 minute pop track - but with a clear rawness that has a definite synapscape feel with perhaps a nod to the duo's participation in monokrom. on the second side of this 10" there is a remix of bizarre disco junky, re-titled bizarre vinyl junky. the spotty, bobbing rhythm, with the harsh vocals that make tim stand out, particularly live. there are twitches and pulses in this agitated detail, clearly synapscape to anyone who listens. the second track on this side is aerator, which goes for the same pitch, but in a less grating fashion. this has more of a technoid feel, upbeat and jagged in it's consistency - punctuated by the occasional whirr and motion of mechanisms. blipping lines and densening bass weave into this unruly texture, providing a headache inducing level of detail. on to the second of the 10"s and we have the first guest mix, savak providing the surprising melody of thirsteater. a sparse drift rising with the odd note, a flurry of breaks more reminiscent of gridlock. the details partake of the expansion, becoming more synapscape sounding past the first minute with the block rhythm. layering of alternate percussions and the drifting bass are more a result of savak's contribution. the impressions of this track gain emphasis as it goes on particularly reaching the peak of the last minute or so. the next mix is notorious by the unfamiliar hell g, pitching blunt breaks against gritty lines. there are bass plummets and flurries of d'n'b influence, clicks rattle in hi hat simulation. some of the elements here work, but others come across as a little too standard and the cluttered layering doesn't necessarily disguise that. i suspect that this will see some club play and is certainly a curiosity remembering that at it's heart this is a synapscape track. on the other side we have the first of the mixes of bielfield, silk saw providing the bielfield work remix. fizzing up there is a sense of spinning motion, stripping to a raw sense of bass and stark percussion. this bristles with that silk saw ominousness, clacking beats through layers of bass that display a gristle and a palpable depth. in this context i suspect some people will be turned off, but as a fan of both bands this is certainly a highlight for me. more aggressive than recent silk saw, but clearly with their influence applied to synapscape. converter follow with a longer mix of the power of love, amusingly titled don't call me timmi. with it's first minute and a half it doesn't remind of either band, drawn out, atmospheric bass lines, edged by spectral calls. notes play a rich, deep sequence with a vague rawness creeping in. then slow thumps and a fizzing static come in and the piece takes on a definite hardness, building towards a clanking, more upbeat rhythm structure while retaining some of the earlier influences. this has a definite dynamic, impressions of converter in some of the beats, but there is also a sense that this is a cleaner sound than that of either band. the final piece of vinyl sees a contribution by asche, who is a regular collaborator - ex-member of ars moriendi like phillipe and with the both phillipe and tim as well as andrea from morgenstern making up monokrom. skizzy has that distorted disco sound, glitching bare rhythms versus a more technoid beat structure. affected vocal samples loop against a deeper voice and a thick bass line. the whole forms a swirling form that definitely evokes impressions of the recent asche material. turn your back. face me has an early synapscape feel to it initially, with its pulsing bass reminding of something that might have appeared on one of the first two albums. however ntt soon show that their influence in this mix starting with a more piercing note cutting through, which leads to a blocky low resolution, dominating, pixellated fizz. a rapid tick oscillates within the slow aggressive mass of sound. synapscape extracted bass notes emerging against a more focused ntt scrape cycle. slow and dense, texture expanding with a rotary buzz and the return of the accelerated tick. imminent surprise with their mix of ammunition, a piece which is stripped right down, even more so than the original version. plodding, extending clicks patter in minimalist forms, creaks and electric lines provide background hints of a more traditional imminent influence. with impressions of bass and echoed beats we get a sense of the synapscape source. there is a greater impression of agitated and stored potential as the piece continues - all of which combines to make this one of the piece that has stood out from the earliest listens to the album. heading towards the last several minutes there is a step up, though the result is still minimal by the standards of most. if this is any indication of the direction that a new release from imminent might take i suspect it will surprise many, though it would certainly interest me - though of course referring to the original version of ammunition the direction this mix takes makes some sense, though obviously not every one would have gone in this direction. the remixes include with the positive box set see this third 10" completed by the second mix of biefield, the beilfriend gush remix by somatic responses. this starts with the squelch of somatics bass developing the rattle of synapscape beats. continuing with the contrast of somatic melody and beat structures with a certain reflective grit. clear somatics mix to the end then a harsher spike sequence to round the piece out. (ptr)

tentacles
with rhythmic noise becoming an ever increasing element in the post-industrial scene, the drive to out do oneself must be intense. the top bands must be under a lot of pressure to remain in their position. synapscape, with the release of their latest cd, positive pop, again prove why they are on the top. there is a difference between rhythmic noise and other industrial sub-genres. since experimentation is a key element, and dance floor appeal only a secondary consideration, the top bands must strive to out do each other, and their previous work, through the creation of new sounds, broadening their reach. ebm on the other hand is based more so on dance floor appeal, and so the top bands of that genre must submit to the mediocre, to retain their larger fan base. something too new would scare off those people. the beautiful thing with the album positive pop, however, is that it is very danceable, and yet, experimental. each song is danceable in a different way! this will just further the entire cause, gaining new fans while at the same time, not disappointing the old who are eager for something new. it should also teach us that we don't need to settle for the same all the time. in fact, synapscape are now eager to cast off any sort of categorization (such as rhythmic noise) that could possibly hold them back, or pigeonhole them. this is music that wishes to redesign the standard and keep it moving, never becoming static and formulaic. this is done by incorporating different musical styles, and even mixing different hybrids of styles (you can't just categorize each song as style a mixed with style b). the label itself acknowledge the problem that people may have, for the need to have a 'file under', the need to categorize everything. they suggest "if you still need a category, file under synapscape." this is an album that will have to be played again and again, for i'm sure that the sounds will grow. that each time i hear it, i will hear something slightly different. (squid)

Vital Weekly, co. Staalplaat
since their debut-album "synapscape" six years ago, tim kniep and philipp münch have positioned themselves among the most interesting power noise-acts coming from germany. seventh album titled "positive pop" picks the best of earlier synapscape-releases and ends up with a harsh technoid album that both works on the underground dance floor and for the more body shaking chill-out-journeys in your favourite armchair. some tracks on "positive pop" uses subdued noise-drones suppressed by heavy distorted beat-loops with processed vocals appearing once in a while. other tracks let the drones of noisy power electronics rise from the sub-level into the centre of the listening experience. positive pop musically lies in-between synapscapes double -cd "so what" and their collaboration-cd with imminent (formerly imminent starvation) titled "screenwalking". after one hour of sonic pleasure "positive pop" ends up being the overall best album from synapscape to date. (nmp)

black #24
das neue und inzwischen vierte album von synapscape heižt "positive pop" und dürfte wohl mit seinem namen für unruhe unter den freunden der chrunchigen rhythmic industrial-front sorgen, aber ich kann entwarnung geben! von pop ist weit und breit keine spur zu sehen und zu hören (eigentlich schade), obwohl einige sounds etwas klarer strukturiert erscheinen und der distortion-gesang mehr in den hintergrund gerückt ist. so bestimmen wie immer fiebrige atmosphären, sich überschlagende zerr-rhythmen, hämmernde bässe und unheilvolle samples das klangbild von synapscape, man bedient sich in allen schubladen von ambient bis techno und verschmilzt das ganze zu dem eigenen typischen sound! leider steht mir zur zeit das album nur als vorab-cd-r zur verfügung und so kann ich noch nicht viel über die auf 960 stück limitierte box sagen. diese soll neben der cd, einen metal-pin und uffkläbern noch eine 3fach-vinyl-10' beinhalten, auf welchen neben 4 weiteren tracks von synapscape noch remixe von savak, hell-g, silk saw, converter, asche, navicon torture technologies, imminent und somatic responses zu finden sein werden - kolossale sache das! (m.f.)

l'ame electrique #2 november 2001
just place the disc in your cd player, sit back and relax... no, you are reading the wrong review! synapscape's return is a brutal one and no innocents shall be spared. 'positive pop' is one rough power electronics album that crushes everything that stands in its way. the vocals are again distorted (in a noisex manner) and there are some 'peaceful' ambient interludes that make the listening of the album a really violent experience - you know: ambience a la converter (he he!). watch out also for a limited edition containing the cd, one ten-inch with four extra tracks and two ten-inches with remixes, plus some more goodies (pin, stickers etc). if xynapscape haven't managed to convince you for the sincerity of their malignant intentions, this time they certainly will. always nice doing business with such fine gentlemen. (monsieur x)

moving hands
german synapscape are one of the many ever so popular power-noise acts and one of the headliners at the maschinenfest in aachen this autumn. synapscape is noise, but it's structured noise or rhythmical noise if you wish. distorted rhythms and diverse sounds create the soundscape, which most often has a scent of sweaty dancefloor. it happens that the beats take a pause and noisy ambience takes over your beloved loudspeakers. personally, i feel that this ambience is less valuable than the dance tracks. one of the better tracks is "bizarre disco junky", which has cool distorted rhythm loops, extremely distorted vocals and beeps. my favourite track, and what i think will become a 'hit', is "orbleflex". with its massive drum and noise loops, it puts your eardrums in a state of siege. the forces of noisy beats won't let you go, because in the next track "charity", the noisy madness continues! with the hard-hitting "notorious" in my ears, i rest my case and establish that synapscape are one of the leading acts within this growing genre. (johan astemark)

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