Review of Syndromes Album by The Golden Filter

Syndromes is a soundtrack to an eleven minute film of the same name (Or vice versa) on which New York based duo The Golden Filter worked with Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli. Starring Emma Aars and (It says here) focussing on (A)"Young girl with mysterious talents that finds herself unwillingly entwined in an elite underworld that only the ailing wealthy are aware of ", the film itself is a stylish and mildly disturbing love note to David Lynch, with the various musical interludes only serving to underline it's arty sense of disconnection.

The Golden Filter Syndromes Album

Filter-ettes Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman have form in this space as well, the fifty odd seconds of cinematic graininess Open Your Eyes helping to trail their 2009 d'but Voluspa. The duo also claim to be big fans of St. Etienne, an influence which informs much of Syndromes, and Pink Floyd, which doesn't.

Sarah Cracknell and co. are now of course national treasures, but it would be telling a big fat one to suggest that their joyous recherch' pop era is being celebrated here; rather as on For Your Broken Life or Kill Me what's being explored instead is the juxtaposition between a posh English girl's accent and some vaguely abstract electronica. Elsewhere Trappes gives a very good impression of Julee Cruise on the dreamy closer Mysteries of Love and Sarah Blackwood (In Client-esque perve mode) on Mother. This is all fine, if not particularly interesting, but when the duo head for the floor - as if either of them would do anything as ridiculously uncool as that in "Real" life - on the techno flecked Shake, the gap between art and soul narrows perceptibly. It's in this moment that the project is as fully realised as it's going to get, casting off the weight of pretension for something more primal. Like a twin without it's sibling, just experiencing Syndromes aurally is an incomplete experience, and accordingly it's one that doesn't bear too much repeating.

Andy Peterson

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