Boomkat Product Review:
Vinyl-on-Demand go above and beyond their usual European tape remit to present the dazzling synth projections of Hawaaii's Don Slepian circa 1971-1982, revealing the early DARPA tester, computer programmer and synth virtuoso's nascent recordings on vinyl for the first time.
Holding music from his super rare, self-released debut, 'Electronic Music from the Rainbow Island' (1978) plus two songs from the 'Uncontrolled Voltage' tape as Synarios with Lauri Paisley, this LP amounts an exquisite bounty of pioneering new age synth music, spanning themes for experimental dance along with algorithmic composition and dream-weaving improvisation on various Korg and ARP synths.
In operation since 1968, Slepian, like so many other early synth adopters, approached the sound from an intelligent, almost academic angle - which was probably required to handle such temperamental and complex machines - yet the results are anything but hard to understand.
They're wondrous, hyper-crisp compositions, ascending from the fluid proto-technoid patter of 'Evolution' - a 1975 piece for experimental dance - thru the sweeping symphonics of 'Glimmering' to jaw-dropping alien tape voices in 'Halloween Night' (1973), and the deliquescent tone poem of 'Horizon' (1978), before depositing two bubbling, soaring treats as Synarios, and the Bell Labs-programmed algorithmic bass funk and baroque melodies of 'Fast Motion'.
It all sounds like little else on Vinyl-on-Demand, which is really saying something when considering the breadth of their catalogue, and should be strongly recommended to any fans of anything from JD Emmanuel to Heldon or Cluster.