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Synth Album Review: "Jump To Alpha Boötis" by Alpha Boötis

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Alpha Boötis' "Jump To Alpha Boötis is a richly textured, unique slice of dynamic synth music that crackles with energy and drive.

“Jump To Alpha Bootis” starts off with a big blast of hard-edged guitar along with a dense, rough synth oscillation that forms an urgent, driving background. A triumphant melody soars in, full of power as the sax’s reedy richness cries out in full voice. There’s a powerful feeling of triumphant, surging energy in the melody as it evolves. The emotive sax cascades through with quick bursts of medium-high synth sound that move in time to the jumping beat. The sax wanders in a jazzy exploration before a howling guitar breaks in.

Shifting electric bass supports the ethereal choral sounds that call out, tinged with melancholy. Drums charge, guitar growls and the whole track surges forward. A funky bass comes in high synths leap and throb and the intensely lush sax cries out again. There’s cosmic swirl, drum throb and climbing energy as a guitar maelstrom adds weight to the soaring melodic line. The track ends with a high, hollow synth solo that has a martial triumph to it.

A tremulous vibration of static shifts above bass depths that pulse in slowly to open “Ecumenopolis.” A rapidly rising, elevated synth line comes in as dark bass and drums seethe together in a steady throb. The sharply shining guitar leaps in with a slicing, energy-filled melody over the depths underneath it. There’s a ferocious guitar charge that shoves the track forward with aggression over the drums.

The synth has its own sharp edge as the melody arcs up on the howling guitars that sizzle with dynamic power. The nasal sax adds a warm, near classical touch to the music. The track slows to a hard-hitting drum beat and twisting heavy synth tides. The lead guitar melody flies and dances in an intricate line over quickly moving synth and the uplifting melody of the sax cries out.

“Wormhole Gas Bar” comes into life with a rumbling, guttering flow of synth joined by a sharply cutting robotic voice and a cosmically spinning arpeggio. An accelerating pulse of high synth wriggles into the music as a bursting, funky beat and an equally funky guitar line moves in.

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Elevated, bright clouds of synth drift over the groovy drum and bass line in a most enjoyable way. The lead guitar and synth carry an evolving, dynamic melody over the throbbing drums that shape the music. A whirling guitar solo that climbs and flies out in a knotty line that unfolds intricately through the track. The music moves into a gliding, drifting segment where the voice of the jazzy, emotive sax winds through, feeling a little melancholy. The track ends on groove and funk.

A sharply flickering, repeating synth pattern joined by a steadily pulsing beat and a cosmic wind that sweeps through the track to open “Serpens Nebula.” The track creates a strong contrast between the minor key, shadowy sax that calls out and the grinding, churning guitar pulse that moves with it.

The sax’s ache is broken by the surging aggressive guitars and battering drums that seethe below it. The music returns to the shadowy, melancholy sax line carrying over the wildness below it. The snarling rage goes on and we return to the funky main melody segment.

“Circling the Belt of Orion” starts off with a clean-sounding guitar that strums in along with flowing, gentle synth that glides out while the drums add a smooth pulse. An ancient melody flows in on a recorder, full of resonance and a sense of melancholy dreaming. The strummed guitar adds a folky element and the sax’s smooth voice takes up that sound. The sax starts to break into a jazzy, separated pattern while the drums pulse onward.

The recorder calls out, inflected with a Celtic sensibility, while the reedy, mournful tones of the sax move over the equally ancient drum sound. A synth choir comes in high above the hand drum percussion that gently touches the music. The bright strings and the recorder’s clear tones sing in while the beat pulses below the timeless melody.

The coruscating synth replaces Gojira’s chugging guitar on this cover of their song “Another World” while swirling synth mists flow. Thunderous guitar batters in now while the slower beat throbs and the powerful vocals rise over the trembling synth pulse. The vocals are warmer and fuller than Gojira’s snarling delivery.

Guitar roars and chugs as the drums pulse and the vocals soar over the aggression underneath them. A delicate synth slides in with a soft, hurting melody over the tidal power below it. Elevated sound arcs up high over the other music elements. After a drum fill, the track throbs again while the vocals climb as high chimes dance in an arpeggiating pattern that glows and slowly fades.

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