I am very proud to let you know my new album, Mirrorland - The Land of No Limitations, is finally ready! Well...it needs to be pressed, but the music and the artwork are finished. In january 2012 I started working on the songs that would become the Mirrorland album. So it is great to see the work is now done and soon you can enjoy the music.
- The First Frontier [8:21]
- Another Perspective [5:29]
- Maze of Confusion [7:40]
- Mirrorland [5:00]
- Into the Unknown [4:20]
- Voyage Without Limitations [5:15]
- Timewindows [10:13]
- Artificial Infinity [9:22]
Let's start with the artwork. I am really proud to present you the cover of Mirrorland. You can click on it to see a larger version. This cover has been created by Paul Tippett of Vitamin P. He has created some really beautiful prog rock album covers and I was very happy that he was willing to do a cover for Mirrorland. What do you think of it? Please visit his website to see his other work as well: http://www.vitaminp.co.uk.
But we have more news about the album! Late 2012 I got in touch with Gert Emmens, initially for my live debut on E-Day 2013. I asked him to add drums to a track I was working on. The live show went very well and one of the songs worked out so good, that I decided to include it on the album. Since Gert played on this song in the live setting, I asked him to also contribute to this song on the album.
And it doesn't end there. When working on a track, I tried to do a guitar bit myself, but that didn't work. Ron Boots suggested to ask Frank Dorittke for the guitar part. Well, it is safe to say Frank added an awesome guitarsolo to this track.
2013. Jeffrey Haster/www.synthex.nl
A beardless young person! A young teenager who makes electronic music! That makes serious? How a 14-year-old kid can manage to seduce adults' ears who have more of 4 times, sometimes 5, his real-life experience? Nevertheless his music comes from Groove. A very selective label when comes the time to choose its works and its artists. Thus this is serious. Synthex is Jeffrey Haster, a young Dutch musician. A keyboard and synth virtuoso, fond of Jean Michel Jarre's works, who has pricked the curiosity of Ron Boots, who also mastered “Mirrorland”, with a first homemade CD-r entitled Pythagoras that he released last year. Since then, it's the honeymoon. The circle of the Netherlands School EM musicians became infatuated with this whiz kid who received a concert of eulogies during his performance at the last E-Day festival of 2013. And of what is made “Mirrorland - The Land of No Limitations”? Honestly? It's a good album of sweet EM without complexity among which the rhythms, the ambiences and the melodies are drawn from influences which oscillate between Space Art, Thierry Fervant, Jean Michel Jarre and sometimes Gert Emmens who is also playing drums on the opening track and on "Artificial Infinity".
And from the first cords, the first beats and the first harmonies of "The First Frontier", we are literally plunged into the ambiences, as cosmic as harmonic, of Jean Michel Jarre. Prisoner of a morphic veil of heaviness, the rhythm seems slow. It pounds and skips weakly by binding itself to organic pulsations, to Gert Emmens' very Teutonic drum play and to percussions which squeak like a tail of rattlesnake. All rhythmic elements which made the delights of the French synthesist cosmic tempos. The synth is sober while being very melodious. Its tunes are earworms. They hang smiles on our hearing which remembers itself these viral melodies evaporated inside the dreamy solos that Jarre used to merge in his cosmic envelopes. The impression of being into the universes of the French synth wizard is even more accentuated with the slow rhythm of "Another Perspective" which looks so much like these soft rumbas, in a more melodious way I have to say, which closed the first 3 albums from Jarre. Imprisoned into heavy industrial mists and convoluted sound effects, "Maze of Confusion" is a little more complex piece of e-music with an absent rhythm which beats of its muffled pulsations and pounds of its sequences, as much harmonious as unpredictable, under long synthesized braids. The title-track shows a more intense approach, even dramatic, just like the very melancholic "Voyage without Limitations", with sequences of which the ringings forge a slow allegorical carousel. Frank Dorittke's guitar brings a poignant touch of despair with solos which cut the sighs of melancholy. After the ambiospherical "Into the Unknown" and the somber "Voyage without Limitations", which reminds me so much Thierry Fervant, "Timewindows" offers a musical approach which goes away from territories of Jarre to borrow a spheroidal movement of sequences very near Gert Emmens' slow hypnotic rhythms. The intro is colorful of iridescent breezes where are sounding chords to tones of a romantic guitar . It's a slow ambiospherical intro which unfolds a morphic cosmic coat up until the first movements of sequences which make waddle its keys a little after the 3rd minute. The rhythm is serene. It winds ambient territories that a synth caresses of its relaxing breezes and of fine twisted solos. One would really say Gert Emmens. "Artificial Infinity" embraces again the cosmic atmospheres of Jarre before being doubled by a delicate play of sequences and harpooned by Gert Emmens' more forceful drumming. The rhythm becomes then hopping, like a cosmic ride which gallops slowly under weeping solos. Dithering between its sober pace and its fleeting velocity, "Artificial Infinity" spreads its 9 minutes torn between rhythms broken in some lunar moods which sometimes remind a certain Vangelis.
Without breaking anything, nor reinventing the wheel, “Mirrorland - The Land of No Limitations” from Synthex is a pleasant album which lets glimpse an immense potential for this young artist of the electronic succession. I take this album as an invitation. An introduction into the heart of the influences from a young artist who should draw attention for a long time. The potential is there. His sense of writing is undeniable and his harmonies are quite catchy, lively. He should be quite an act in a few years. In the meantime, we feast because it is done properly and it listens to very well.
2014. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
In my opinion, it was just a matter of time before this youngster would come up with his first mature, factory-pressed release, having heard his remarkable first steps that made up "Pythagoras".
"Mirrorland" contains 55 minutes of highly accessible melodic music, which is joyfull, warm, uplifting and dreamy. Jeffrey Haster shows he has a great ear and a knack for soft soaring melodic lines, mesmerizing soundscapes, spacy sound effects and accompanying sequencers. At the same time, his cosmic music (for which he received valuable help and assistance from Gert Emmens, Frank Dorittke and Ron Boots) doesn’t hide the many influences from professionals such as Jarre, Garrison along the the German league of electronic bands and musicians.
In the middle of the eight compositions we find the free form "Into the Unknown", a collage of spherics. Something similar is found on the airy, lush intro of the strong "Time Windows", followed by a style shifting back to the exciting early days of Eric van der Heijden, Ron Boots and Bas Broekhuis from the Eindhovense School, but transported to the possibilities of today. The album finishes in a rhythmic manner, blending Jarre’s style with highly melodic output.
Another very nice effort, Jeffrey!
2013. Bert Strolenberg / SonicImmersion.org