SYNERGY by: Larry Fast, Passport Records # PPSD-98009
When we first decided to start doing reviews in Polyphony, the first thing that came to mind was the Synergy album. This album is not new, it's been out since last fall. Since it's release I haven't found anything to take it's place at the front of my stack of records.
In my opinion, Synergy is easily the best example of a one man, fully synthesized recording since the turn of the decade when Gershon Kingsley, Beaver and Krause, and Mort Garson were actively synthesizing.
In addition to his outstanding mastery of the equipment, Larry Fast composed all but one of the pieces on the album. The patches used throughout the album, although taken singly many are basic and straightforward, complement each other so that the overall effect of the album is very powerful. The subtitle sums it up very well — "Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra".
Although it isn't mentioned in the album notes, I suspect that fifty or more voices were used in some of the sections. All Synergy albums were pressed in QS quad which also adds some heightened stereo effects.
Polyphony readers will also be interested in the fact that Larry Fast is a fellow electronic experimenter and constructed several circuits, such as auto quad panners and galvanic skin response controllers, which were used in recording the album. He has built some PAIA kits that he uses along with his Mini-Moog, ARP 2600, Oberheim, Mellotron, Eventide and other varied equipment. I strongly recommend Synergy as an example of what synthesis is all about — creating music from the ground up.