Friday, October 16, 2009

Mistral Moon EP - Syntaks

Mistral Moon EP

Ghostly International.

SCQ Rating: 71%

If you haven’t kept up with Jakob Skott lately, you might be surprised to learn what you’re missing. Following his solo Syntaks releases and his collaborative work on Morr Music’s Limp, Skott began working with Anna Cecilia – first as a one-time vocalist and later embracing her as a songwriting colleague. Now a duo and signed to Ghostly International, Syntaks are poised to unleash their new album Ylajali on November 3rd, 2009, but enough catch-up history. To whet our appetites and reintroduce themselves, Syntaks have issued a teasing preamble of whats to come with Mistral Moon EP, a free digital download available from Ghostly.

Citing Eno as a sonic father-figure, the duo kick off in classic Music For Airports fashion with the echoed vocals of ‘Sudden’, which Cecilia mouths over loitering low keys and an emerging backbeat. Although this track is more of a segue than a fully fleshed-out composition, there’s no denying how infectious and lavish ‘Sudden’ feels, capturing the widescreen cinematics of M83 in barely three minutes. When ‘Mistral Moon (Illuminated Version)’ begins, it’s almost pay-off after the former’s breathless anticipation. What ‘Sudden’ seemed hesitant to disclose, this EP’s title track dives into with crystalline melodies and sparse beats that approach Ulrich Schnauss’ shoegaze ambition with a patient, post-rock discipline. With every keyboard note given added dimension by Cecilia’s far-off coo, Syntaks back off at ‘Mistral Moon’’s halfway point, allowing a brief contemplation of descending synths before regaining its prior glory. With revved up guitar effects and more excited break-beats, ‘Mistral Moon (Illuminated Version)’ closes in graceful fashion; a powerful statement of production savvy and romantic songwriting.

And yet Mistral Moon is no EP. This is a teaser, a brief coming-attraction event to get indie-electronic fans talking around the watercooler (or in our case, vinyl shelves) for Ylajali’s imminent release. And guess what? It just worked.

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