Artist: Saul Stokes
Album: Formation

Released: 7 December 2012
Label: self-released

Formation Saul Stokes
Ever the innovator Saul Stokes should by now be known for exploiting the heretofore under-realized possibilities of the synthesizer studio. On Formation (30'09") he disarms his sounds enough to realize intelligent synthpop from the future - that is if the future is a bright, fun, friendly place. The four tracks have a candy sized coherence, yet magically take on a different color, mood and pace from one moment to the next. Although Formation is sufficiently complex, there is also an infectious musicality (and familiarity) to this work which catches the ear in a new way. Buzzing lead melodies provide a lovely voice in which to deliver Stokes' renewing messages, while gentle beats and grooves speed up then slow down - moving these compositions beyond squishy IDM and into the realm of intriguing thought experiment. Unique tones, novel arrangements, comprehensive synthesis and Stokes' joyful intensity fuel the listener's mental adventures. Formation is an album achieved through years of systematic experimentation - an excellent release from one of the most unique and creative musical minds of our time. The future starts slow, fortunately Saul Stokes is way out ahead waiting for us to catch up.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   24 January 2013

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