Auto-didactic musician / multi-instrumentalist / composer Mathieu Vandekerckhove might be known from his activities in acts like AmenRa, Caan, Sembler Deah or Kingdom, but since almost ten years, he acts as a solo-artist under the moniker of Syndrome as well. Last year, for example, he and ConSouling Sounds did release the surprising full length Floating Veins (on CD and LP).
This new creation is dedicated (again) to Mathieu’s son Wolf, and it is a very personal one-track record (you might consider it a musical poem), which lasts for almost half an hour. To concretise this work, Mathieu got helped out by his good friend and long-time colleague Colin H. Van Eeckhout (elsewhere in this special you can check out the review on a split including CHVE, a solo-project by Colin), as well as Josh Graham (of Neurosis / Red Sparowes / Battle Of Mice / Tribes Of Neurot / A Storm Of Light-fame). The whole was recorded at the Dekreun Studio (in Kortrijk, Belgium) by Hein Devos, whom Mathieu did work with before for AmenRa.
Now And Forever opens the sober, integer way, with a semi-acoustic passage, classifiable as Post-Rock (yet without any progressive element). After five minutes or so, the hymn transcends into a floating, mesmerizing soundscape, very meditative and hypnotic, and this goes on for a long time. The whole track seems to be divided in several parts, sometimes interspersed with quasi-narrative vocals, yet the distinctive pieces are very cohesive and float into each other very naturally and organically. As a whole, Now And Forever sounds less droning and hard-faced than Floating Veins, yet still moody and appealing. There’s less ‘action’ than before as well, but despite the more subdued approach, Now And Forever sticks to fascination and absorbance. It’s not an easy-listening record, yet at the same time very laid-back. Sonic Art for sure!