Aleksander “Al Funk” Jankovik: musician, composer, sound engineer and producer. Synthmospheria: the musical brainchild of Pretoria-hailing Jankovik, and a fascinating exploration of acoustic instrumentation meets the wily perambulations of the world of synth.
Pulling influence from across the progressive genre boards of post-rock, and dreamwave ambiance, he stitches together a one-man cinematic musical medley which simultaneously straddles the line of retro-funk and futuristic synth soundscape.
The album is an extended exploration of just that. Launched off a classical piano springboard, synth weaves in strings, drums and a driving grooving bass. Ambient instrumental piano ballads reign supreme (from the post-modern leanings of “Clean Slate” to prog-pop sound of “Space X Station”).
Vocals are few and far between – see “Breakthrough” for some R&B vox sliding in to add a whole new dimension to the album – but root down every track in a kind of rhythm infused crux.
He’s got a melodic safe zone though, there’s a prevalent melody line which runs through each piano-led track – which begins to verge on grating repetition. But there’s nostalgia soaked into the seams of “Hanging on a Distant Memory”, and the modern rock of “Bones of Friends” is countered by fibrillating bass synth. He makes it work.