Synthex, aka the 13-year old enthusiast Dutch synthesist Jeffrey Haster, is a most frequent visitor at Dutch Em-festivals. In addition, he loves twisting knobs on analogue gear (in search of a nice sound or effect) and is a big fan of the music of Jean-Michel Jarre.
It’s no surprise the latter has been a big influence in recent years, when Jeffrey was curled up in the process of composing and shaping his own compositions that have now led to his 66-minute debut “Pythagoras”. Its output was recorded between January 2011 and January 2012 in Jeffrey’s own Dream Studio and has been mastered by Ron Boots. Previously, various self-brew compositions were posted on Bandcamp and YouTube.
The music on the 9-track “Pythagoras” proves this youngster is not afraid to play and that his piano lessons have paid-off to further improve his playing skills. At first, Jeffrey sounds a bit unbalanced and rough at the edges in the two-part title-track, where he seems to lose himself in the two 10+ minute pieces. His output more than once reminded me of the early music of Ad van Gerven and some others of the Eindhoven School of electronic music when they made their initial steps in EM.
The songs “Samos” and “The Shadow” e.g. are fine, harmonic pieces, as they show more relaxation in Synthex playing style, offering him more grips on the structure of the composition. Although its structure remains simple, Jeffrey nicely turns up the melodic/rhythmic song-like alley on “View from Above”.
The best pieces though for me are found at the tail of the recording: there’s the soft and mournful soundscaping making up “Visages”, a contemplative piece dissolving in time and space. The final track, a kind-of church-symphony in a nutshell, opens with organ sounds and then shifts to warm synth sounds, bringing some of the early music of Eric van der Heijden and again Jarre to mind.
All in all, “Pythagoras” makes a nice first effort, worth to be heard.