Syntax Erik represents a new school of thinking from the Norwegian electronic music artist. He and the likes of De Fantastisk To are paving the way forward to communicable dance music with an emphasis on entrancing melodies and evocative progressions in a modern, minimalist context. Without doing away with dance music’s most functional aspects, Erik has arrived at a sound that’s softer around the edges and yet subtly achieves the same purpose of some of his more aggressive counterparts from the continent. The producer embodies the whole history of electronic dance music without ever really succumbing to anything as concise as Disco, House or Techno. His tracks are all of these things combined in an effort to get at the exact core of what ties them all together – getting people on the dance floor.
I Can Feel You, his second EP out on Tromsø label Beatservice in a year, stands testament to this ideal yet again in three atmospheric tracks that breathe as much as they pulse. House percussive arrangements are at the core of all three compositions, but in the time they take to expire, the synths and vocal samples can go from Electro to Disco and back again, without batting an eyelid. It’s in their progressive nature where much of the charm lies on this EP. Midnight Express introduces various synthesiser parts throughout the 10 minute workout, each part rolling over the other, building the track up through three phrases, before breaking it all down again in sober progressions. Erik gives the stark metallic nature of his music a human face through vocal samples, and on I can Feel you it’s particularly evocative alongside the fleeting synths as they dart through the stereo field like a pin ball dictated by a drum machine. The rubbery synths highlight Syntax Erik’ s ability with the machines, an ability that’s inherent to many Norwegian electronic music artists. There seems to be a natural understanding of the machines with Erik and, in the extensive soundscapes of the EP, the listener is never really aware of an uncontrolled improvised moment.
From the rubbery bass lines of I can Feel you, to the tender windswept atmospheres of A blindness you can’t focus, Syntax Erik’s music on this EP sounds intimately composed, professionally purposeful with the unique emotive charm of a mature producer. They are three incredible dance tracks, I would not be opposed to hearing on my headphones, and there’s not a single track on I can feel you that could ever motivate a negative observation. Even the Fantastisk To’s remix of Midnight Express is inspiring as they bring a bit of UK funky flair to their snares. Their interpretation is a livelier affair as the emphasis turns to shoulder popping beats, without the extended progression of the original. Alongside Syntax Erik, they breathe new life into the Norwegian electronic music artist, one that acknowledges and upholds the traditions of the music, but forges ahead in the age of defying genres and minimalist arrangement. And that’s exactly how you would sum up Syntax Erik and his latest EP I can feel you.