Syncretia is Melbourne jazz electronic musician Christian Findlay. He has a couple of self-released albums, a track on Uncomfortable Beats compilation Heliosphere, and collaborates with jazz spoken word poet IQ. He will be performing with IQ live at Haarp Media event Submersive/Subversive on Sunday 15 September at Horse Bazaar.
1. Mahavishnu Orchestra – Meeting Of The Spirits
The virtuosity on this track is outstanding, but as always John McLaughlin delivers guitar work like no other. All the members of Mahavishnu Orchestra come together to create a live sounding performance that is unrivalled in recent music. An extremely deep track that never fails to tickle the spirit.
2. Aphex Twin – 4
One of Aphex Twin’s simpler and mellower tracks. This track manages to find the right balance between Aphex Twin’s emerging style and organic tones. Uniquely Richard D. James who is an unforgettable pioneer whose music spans so many genres of electronic music.
3. Amon Tobin – Surge
This is one of the key tracks from Tobin’s groundbreaking album ISAM. The sound design is impeccable and as with the rest of this album Surge delivers otherworldly sounds that make you question whether or not this track was performed by some alien orchestra.
4. Mind Tree – Close Your Eyes so you can See
This is one of Mind Tree’s (Melbourne producer Mitch Nordine) more recent tracks. This track has hints of múm and Amon Tobin, but to lump Mind Tree in to any particular category would be a mistake. Mitch Nordine’s production and sound design are both up there with Amon Tobin, but as with Mind Tree’s other music, this track truly tugs at your heart strings in a way that few other tracks can do. This track was originally written for the sound track for the game Element4l.
5. Landau – Good Morning Gravity
Choosing a track from Landau’s album The Epic Compromise was extremely difficult for me because the whole album is a unit and such an integral part of why I love electronic music. However, the track Good Morning Gravity captures the spirit of the potential for electronic music to be extremely moving, and to also bring in elements of jazz. I will never get tired of this track.
6. Björk – Hunter
I don’t think it would have been possible for me to put together a list of music that I love without including Björk. This track blurs the line between electronic music and orchestral string music. While other artists have since done similar things, this track remains one of the most moving pieces for me mainly because Björk’s voice is so unique and enchanting. She is unique and she will always be a part of a unique movement in music where trip hop and electronica were brought in to the mainstream.
7. Boreal Network – Another Bad Dream
With the simplest of melodies this track manages to create a surreal atmosphere that I have no words for. The bit crushed tones and the distinct Boreal Network delay make this track sit in a place that other electronica never reaches. It never fails to make my hairs stand on end.
8. Portishead – Mysterons
As one of the pioneers of Trip Hop, Portishead’s Mysterons is a perfect creation. Beth Gibbon’s voice drives this track forward over an understated guitar tone that seems to be deeply rooted in a time and place tied to the outburst of creativity from the Bristol scene in the mid 90’s. An unforgettable track and no recent Trip Hop has come close to the authenticity emanating from this track.
9. Strapping Young Lad – Detox
Metal at its finest. While, good Metal is still being released to this day, I personally find that my favourite metal was produced in the mid to late 90s, and this track is a perfect example of this. What is most impressive about this track and the album City is that Devin Townsend was the main producer on this album and was one of the pioneers of the trend toward producing metal through similar techniques to electronic music. This style of production has lingered in the metal music scene but few have been able to recreate this brutal sound while maintaining a melodic and atmospheric aspect to the music.
10. Devin Townsend – Mountain
Another creation of Devin Townsend – Mountain and the album it belongs to Terria are gems of the broader metal genre. While the guitar tone of this track is impeccable in this track, the difference between this track and so much other metal from the period is Devin’s ability to mix synthesis with the guitar sound in his production as well as sample layers to create something moving and extremely complex.