Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Overall Album Impressions
Bycemaster’s Voyage Of The Synths takes listeners on an aurally complex, musically layered journey through the vastness of interstellar space. Bycemaster combines intriguing, well-chosen synth sounds with strong melodies and atmospheric soundscapes to produce an interesting and engaging album.
Layering is something that tends to draw me into music and Voyage Of The Synths is full of luscious layers. I enjoy the nuanced and complex way in which all of the varied synth tones and timbres interact with one another. Each layer intertwines with the others to create textured and engaging auditory interactions as the album unfolds.
Bycemaster’s melodic writing on Voyage Of The Synths is another engaging aspect to the album. His melodies have a mournful, ethereal quality to them that mingles hope and pain. I enjoy the way the melodies shift between shadings of emotion as they move through the music. The wandering quality that many of them have fits the album’s mood well.
The choice of synth instruments is good here too. The album is full of unique and intriguing sounds that interact to reinforce the atmosphere it creates. The wide variety of synth sounds runs the gamut from fragile delicacy to snarling power and explores the sensations of vast star fields and cosmic structures sweeping by the windows of a spacecraft in enjoyable aural detail.
My Favourite Tracks Analyzed
“Intro” starts out as crystalline chimes sparkle into a cavernous auditory space as a sweeping, breathy sound shifts along with floating higher notes. Deep, rich sound swirls through and the elevated chimes are fragile as they tremble through the openness that surrounds them.
High synth twinkles like distant stars as twisting, bending sounds shift along with cosmic noises before a launch countdown and liftoff message is given. This intro nicely sets the stage for the cosmic journey upon which we are about to embark. There’s a quality of ethereal light to this track that puts me in mind of looking out at a starry sky, touched by those impossibly ancient pinpoints of light.
Above slowly shifting, rumbling bass sparkling chimes shimmer in an oscillating pattern as solid, gigantic drums form a hypnotic pulse to open "Launch Prep.” Medium-high, creaking synth forms an active pattern imbuing the music with a feeling of motion over throbbing drums and flowing bass.
In the far distance, starry light gleams before high, bending synths sings out a melody effectively mingling uplift with emotive ache. The throbbing drums shape that melodic pattern as it wriggles through the music and a lower, rounder synth pulse forms another sonic layer that balances out the higher sounds. Digital-sounding, sharp edged synth adds an interesting textural contrast over the drum and bass weight.
The lead synth twists and softly touches as it sails along. Medium-low synth slices in another active pattern, razor-sharp against the heavy drums. The lead synth drifts along in a warm, but aching melodic pattern. The synth sparkles in the background become more prominent and eventually the whole track fades out on them.
"In Orbit” begins as rough-edged, elevated synth sings a fragile melodic pattern with a wandering quality out into open space. Resonant, lost-sounding synth with a xylophone-like quality swirls to carry the melodic pattern as popping, hollow synth forms a more energetic, cutting pattern.
Scraping, distorted synth carries another layer of edged sound. Chest-thumping drums guide the music forward along with deep, pulsing bass. Clean, high synths spin out in a rapidly arpeggiating, oscillating pattern before intertwining, whirling synths form an energetic pulse.
What interests me the most in this track is the complex sonic interactions between the parts. Thin, raised synth carries a dynamic melodic pattern as the weighty drums throb. Chiming synth shines out in a twinkling pattern and clean, sharp synth moves in shimmering lines before silence falls.
Galactic, high synth bends as it carries a coruscating pattern before a jagged synth carries a bursting melodic line that imbues the music with forward motion as “Voyage of the Synths” comes to life. Tightly woven, medium-high synth spins out a textural arpeggio and colossal drums throb to propel the music.
The dynamic, gritty synth line is cut by hollow synths twirling in another, equally dynamic pattern. The cutting, rough-edged lead synth carries a melody that mixes leaping energy with hurting sensations. I am drawn to these emotional contrasts that are created.
An elevated note pattern repeats as a whistle-like synth carries the timeless melody that sounds simultaneously ancient and futuristic. The melody melds folk-like elements with slicing digital edges. The music grows into something gentler and fuller before we fade out on leaping arpeggios and into quiet.
“Interstellar” commences with distant, upward leaping synth and the steady, piano-like pulse moving behind it is joined by heavy, hard-hitting drums and dense bass. Now clear, medium-high synth cuts in clean lines that are joined by a rough-edged, repeating pulse that slashes into the music with great weight. The steady, gleaming synth pattern moves with the low synth's fierce power that creaks and growls over the pounding drum attack. A screaming, tense synth sweeps and flanges over the jagged pulse below it.
Cascading, distant synth wriggles and aggressive sonic laceration is joined by elevated, shining synth. The high synth effectively creates a contrasting diaphanous sonic pattern over the threatening power and cutting sound below it. The heavier sounds recede a little and the steady synth pulse quietens. The raised melody skips easily along, but the bass is still gigantic before breaking back into the distant synth as it rises.
Lost, airy sound flows as resonant xylophone carries a lush and soothing melodic pattern to start "Lost In Space.” Delicate piano trickles in the background, adding a lighter feeling to the xylophone’s rich metallic sound as a string-like sound repeats to guide the music. The xylophone has depth as higher notes dance into the music and heavy, oscillating bass adds trembling weight.
The xylophone keeps up a brushing and easy flow before complexity and darkness is added as a grinding, laser-like sound moves in. The piano keeps dancing with fragile ease. The contrast of the reverberant xylophone with the gritty bass and the tapping higher notes is intriguing. The track ends on lightly brushing piano and the xylophone vibrating out into silence.
Voyage Of The Synths is an intriguing auditory adventure that journeys through the stars on a tapestry of ear-catching synths, sonic atmospheres of cosmic depth and expressive melodies. I enjoy Bycemaster’s rather unique approach to creating synth-based music.
© 2022 Karl Magi