Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett - Synthesis
Play All    
1. A1 - Collision Course
2. A2 - The Executive
3. A3 - Hovercraft
4. A4 - Big Black Cadillac
5. A5 - Deadline
6. A6 - Hit Me, Hit Me
7. B1 - Forum
8. B2 - Where The Action Is
9. B3 - Getting It Together
10. B4 - Helter Skelter
11. B5 - Alto Glide
12. B6 - Mermaid

(£22.00 Incl VAT)

Be With Records

Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett - Synthesis


The “vivid contemporary sounds for a fresh visual image” make up the now canonised Synthesis from Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett. These two greats go deeper than usual on this collection, and the end result is a synth concept record of sorts. Released in 1974, it’s an essential companion piece to their Synthesizer and Percussion LP, released on Themes International Music in the same year. Like most of our favourite library records, Synthesis has that gloriously funky, “weird electronic music” vibe without ever being inaccessible.

With the awesome ARP Odyssey at the fore, Hawkshaw and Bennett have created a blissed-out soundscape that, whilst laid back in all the right places, somehow remains heavy on the funk. It’s a sort of throbbing, proto-G Funk sound and you can find it on many of these low-lit basement workouts. Take the ice-cool “Alto Glide". It’s a sunset-funk highlight with an electro-flute refrain that conjures those dreamier Dre / DJ Quick instrumentals from ‘91 to ‘92. Stereolab, Koushik (again) and all those Ghost Box artists were clearly listening very closely in the years since. The equally relaxed “Mermaid” glides effortlessly with soft, shimmering piano, understated percussion and kaleidoscopic synths. It’s a really beautiful piece. With these two soft-focus closing tracks allowing the LP to float away over the horizon, the preceding ten tracks have a more insistent, neck-snapping rhythm section to back the synth overload. Highlights include the head-nod funk of “Getting It Together” and the synth break in “The Executive", which informed classic video  game soundtracks.

For once Be With really is stuck for words to describe just how good this record is. Best just to listen. As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Synthesis comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis.

Vinyl, 12", LP (180gr.), Reissue