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SYNTAKS – Ylajali

March 9, 2010

BARCODE: 804297909127
Cat NO: GI-91

Over a century ago, Norwegian author Knut Hamsun proposed a new creative ideal, a form of
literature that would take the intricacies of the human mind as its main object, effectively
describing “the whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow.” One hundred-plus
years later, Danish duo (and avid Hamsun devotees) Syntaks have taken up Hamsunʼs agenda
with single-minded purpose, naming their new album after a character in Hamsun novel Hunger,
recording it just blocks from where Hamsun wrote his masterpiece, and taking the authorʼs
ambitious mission statement as their own.
The album in question,Syntaksʼ luminous Ylajali, crackles with emotion and imagination, giving
form to its creatorsʼ vibrant inner lives.
In Ylajaliʼs beautifully scorched sonic landscape, acres of drones run beneath Anna Ceciliaʼs
wordless sighs; beats crunch like autumn leaves while synthesizers swell, flourish, and disappear.
Songs either tramp through hazy forests until they fade into the dark (the Boards of Canada-esque
“Love Camp 23”), or stack tone upon tone like translucent building blocks, building to forceful,
near-operatic crescendos (the epic “She Moves in Colors”). Syntaksʼ Jakob Skott is a drummer
by trade, and his percussion—-both live and programmed, but always lent an otherworldly
sheen—-plays the sinister counterpoint to Ceceliaʼs tender melodies.
“The Shape of Things to Come” typifies Syntaksʼ dreamlike musical logic, drifting through fields of
placid melody until sheets of guitar noise, metallic snares, and choir-like vocals rush in. Once the
stormpasses, all thatʼs left is the sun, glinting through the mist.
Hamsun would be proud: Syntaksʼ Ylajali is an ambient pop album as dense, emotionally complex,
and,ultimately, as mysterious as the human mind; and like any great mystery, Ylajali keeps its
audienceengrossed until the bittersweet conclusion.

1. Twentytwohundred
2. Love Camp 23
3. Phantasmogoria
4. She Moves In Colors
5. Buio Omega
6. Blue Sunshine
7. Mistral Moon
8. The Shape Of Things To Come
9. Dark Night

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