Atmospheric, multi-layered soundscapes is the hallmark facet of The Pels Syndicate new album Chemical Inconveniences. Think a down tempo, mellow version of The Crystal Method meets Mark Farina-style Acid Jazz. The tracks wax and wane from dreamy and ethereal to groovy drone electronica and leave almost no electronica subgenre unrepresented. The brainchild of Dutch keyboardist/sound engineer Frank Pels, the record is another notch in the belt of who is already an astonishingly accomplished musical mind.
The album opens to “Prelude Particles” and its myriad layers of synth. The different effects-laden sounds build through addition after addition. There is a constant pulsing synth note set behind layers of weepy strings and classic piano notes with slight electronic backing drumbeat. This track sets the chill tone that runs through the album. The trippy ethos of the title track “Chemical Inconveniences” again features a multitude of sounds that eventually meld into one soundscape while a chimey melody eventually appears at the foreground, while mysterious electronic clicks and clanks rest just underneath, serving as fills. “Mersik and Boomchik Dancing” continues the trippy feel with its urgent backing beat, spacey synth blasts and more simulated string notes. Again this track ascends and builds with layer placed upon layer as the track plays out. Finally, “Transition Zone” rounds out the fold with its loungey drum beat and atmospheric scope. At roughly the midpoint, stern effects-laden synth melody enters the fold, again illustrating Pels’ penchant for transitions within the body of his tracks.
Chemical Inconveniences is almost an aural resume of Pels’ ability and prowess within the electronica genre. His ability to create a sum from the multiple parts is proof that this guy hears things differently than your average artist/musician. What is noticeable about the songs is that they can be taken for face value as an album collection or utilized on their own merits as backing music for a movie score or even soundtrack. Either way you approach it; these are 11-tracks that have the ability to take you away to some other place.
by Chris West – firstname.lastname@example.org[Rating: 3.5/5]