Great Review of Danville by Justin Lascoe on Chain DLK!
Danville by Mark Snyder is one of those albums that triggered images and memories for me almost immediately. Although 99 percent of the album is little more than tones, drones, and layered synthesizers, it becomes much more that the sum of its parts. Danville feels like the soundtrack to a Kurosawa-esque battle scene, where after the fighting starts, the sound effects and dialogue are no longer heard over the score. However, instead of Kurosawa samurai battles, there are interstellar battles with space ships, robots, androids who no longer respond to emotions (whether or not they technically still have them), space stations with synthetic food processors, and computers who plan strategic battles with the effectiveness of the program traders of 1987’s Black Monday.
There are only three tracks which do not fit this mold to a T. The first being America 1958, which sounds like an early Dosh song minus the drums and the other songs being Leary and 1217071 which feature Holmes Ives. America 1958 is my favorite track on the album and has made it as an interlude on my last few synth pop play lists. Leary and 1217071 are the only songs I do not like but this is not because they are not good. It is because I am Jealous of Holmes Ives and wish I was the one to add percussion and vocals.
Alluvium is a visual accompaniment of some of Danville’s songs. The majority of the visuals are pictures progressively changing and overlapping one another, which fits the music’s overlapping tone type. Once again, America 1958 is the stand out track because it features stock videos from what appears to be commercials from products circa 1958.
What is great about Mark Snyder and his work is that he brings a much needed feel of musicality to the tone-and-drone set. Instead of similar musicians who are doing the most they can with softsynths and the little musical training they possess, Mark Snyder’s music is the soundtrack of someone who is using a wealth of musical experience to make perfectly simple music.