Onto ‘Synaptic’. After a sweeping intro, ‘G Tone’ indicates that FEOS means business from the off. There’s no sign of longwinded wallowing as morphing acid lines tweek the groove, which moves into 'Chemo Sensor' (the album is a mix) and we sense that FEOS has control of the beast. Okay so he’s established by now that this is a minimal tech house mix. Or is it? Pascal himself describes it as 'hypnotic mind music', but there’s enough energy maintained to avoid any sense of the morose.
'Can't Get Enough', 'Ausklang' and title track 'Synaptic' continue the fluidity, testing speakers with jerky business, but Pascal 'Brings the Beat Back' to quash any hint of this mix losing its way - solid stuff. Percussion and touches of acid sit alongside the more traditional FEOS trance tones predictable it most certainly is not. 'Tanzbomb', with assistance from Robag Wruhme, lives up to its title: its decadent, disintegrating synth simply explodes.
Approaching the end 'Stargazer' sounds a little more familiar, a vague nod to Bpitch, before we reach my personal fav: The dulcet-toned beauty of ‘Sunset' finishes the mix on a hint of the sadness that the night is ending and it’s time to go home.
‘Synaptic’ is an interesting mix of fourteen of FEOS' own tracks, and sees FEOS holding onto his roots. I needed a few listens for this to grow on me, and though its trancier techhouse feel (in parts) may not sit well with lovers of Guido et al, it thankfully avoids overdosing on minimal. Pascal’s previous album 'Self Reflexion' showed strong Detroit and Chicago influences, and was a better outing for it, but 'Synaptic' proves FEOS keeps moving on, as all good producers do.
With minimal music producers causing such a frenzy at present, it's refreshing to see one of the original techno icons on the European scene illustrate why it's important not to be pigeonholed.