Review: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol.13: Sunergy (USA, 2016)

“And so the master meets her apprentice” that would be an appropriate prologue to Suzanne Ciani’s collab with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The two American synth-heads have been brought together to fulfill the 13th volume of the FRKWYS series with this hypnotic 3-piece epic focused on the exploration of the Buchla synth.

Ciani once stated he really loved the Buchla, and after listening to Sunergy you can see she still feels love for “the machine”. Unluckily she’s not the only one, in fact Smith seems to share a lot of that feeling and probably, she’s trying to steal her colleague’s loved one too. Good for us that this love triangle originated three lengthy, weird and pulsing serenades. -one of them is a bonus track-.

And when I say “love” you’ll think “summer”. This album is solar indeed. It’s the moment, in early summer mornings, when you see the sun languidly raising itself up upon the mist while the dew sweetens the grass and you can’t help yourself but cherish this as it’d mean eternity. A New Day presents this magical, eye-glimpse long voyage with sparse old style synths, which seem to be borrowed from a vintage Atari or Nintendo game. However, everything has its dark side, as every dawn has its sunset just like every rose has its thorns…yeah, that! (!?) Closed Circuit fades itself in a darker atmosphere. The sweetness of the dawning sun, the freshness of the tender grass and all the wonder we discussed a while ago, suddenly sink into a black sea where you’re tenderly but relentlessly crushed against the rocks at each pulse of those weaving synthetic instruments.
Too bad the best track has been left over, or rather stored as a bonus one. The clear Tangerine Dream memories on Retrograde with its bright, popping digital arpeggios which echo like weird sunbeams clashing towards a wall of candies (what? I’m on LSD most likely) is either lovely and fulfilling.

Ciani / Smith collaborative album Sunergy sure is a champagne-taste record. We can’t say it’s bad, actually it is all the opposite, but if your aim is to digest it well and possibly get the bloody best out of it, then you must be careful on how you swallow this uncanny love pill.

Label: RVNG Intl.
Katlyn Aurelia Smith: Bandcamp |Website
Suzanne Ciani: Website
Release Date: 16th September 2016
Reviewed by Matteo “Teo” Gruppi

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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