Synthotherapy - No More, My Lord
Released: December 15
This newest album from Synthotherapy is probably one of the most interesting and unexpected re-contextualizations of previously recorded material I have heard in quite a long time. For No More My Lord, we are given a unique combination of modular synth tones and cut-up rearranged pieces of audio from the historical recordings of songs sang by prisoners on the Mississippi State Penitentiary's Parchman Farms. It is quite a haunting atmosphere given he history of these songs and the long history of slavery and segregation in the Southern United States. Given this context, Synthotherapy manages to weave these two very disparate elements together masterfully with dark and soul-stirring undertones that place further emphasis on the subject matter without taking from it at all.
One of the tracks that really stood out for me was the title track "No More, My Lord" primarily because of the sample used. In this piece of audio you can hear a prisoner singing out evocatively as you hear the sound of a hammer hitting wood rhythmically. The synths intertwined with this sample bring even more weight to the dynamic as a low bass line and tense arpeggio give a foreboding and somewhat cinematic atmosphere to the whole arrangement. "Rollin' Rollin'" also caught my ear quite immediately as the vocalist sings out alongside some positively unnerving synths and steady, slightly crunchy rhythm. It seems as though every time the singer does a flourish, it is quickly backed up by a noisy synth trill that gives it a difficult to describe kind of dynamic. The album is full of moments like this and leaves a lasting impression that doesn't quickly subside.