Planetary Peace - Synthesis (1983 - 2016)

Planetary Peace is a husband and wife duo consisting of Will & Cath Sawyer. They moved from San Francisco to London and brought a custom made analog synthesizer with them, as seen on the cover. Together they recorded this single tape, called 'Synthesis' on a TEAC reel-to-reel tape recorder. Because the analog synthesizer was custom made, the plane delayed their flight to London because they thought it might have been a possible bomb [1]. The album itself is their only album and contains 20 tracks varying in length, containing both instrumental and vocal compositions.

To simply put it, this is new-age music. It has a high spiritual atmosphere and most songs lyrical themes are about nature, personality, religion, birth and the cosmos. The synths are soothing and sweet, nothing is to harshly recorded and everything remains subtle and rather freeform. Because of that, the music has a rather child-like tone to it. Most instrumentals could have been imagined, being used as an intro for a 60s/70s kids tv-show, reminiscent of Fingermouse [2], Les Onyx [3] or The Moomins [4] for that matter. Other instrumentals sound more sinister and have a more 'eerie' vibe. It also, in a way, sounds similar to early Peaking Lights or Lucky Dragons.

Like said, this album contains 20 tracks in total, which adds up to over an hour of music. Some songs combined sound coherent as a single piece, but overall there isn't a structured order in the tracks that I can discover. The songs that I really enjoyed listening to are 'Country Of Love' [5] which is an 8 minute during ethereal track which has this hauntingly nice synth in it. Another track I seem to really come back to is 'Haré Om' which is a more darker track with a little bit of an oriental feel, which bleeds in really nice with the following track 'Highland Memories'. Other track which are great are 'I Am That I Am', 'The Call', the really cheerful 'Song Without Warning' and 'Wave Motion'.

Some of the tracks on here are well past the 6 to 8 minute mark. This makes some of these tracks hard to go through; a rather tough listen. This is mainly because some of them are rather repetitive and therefore boring. A song like 'I Am Om' loses it's sense of passion a little bit, after the 20th time hearing 'Iiiiiii aaaaaaam Ooooooohhhm'. Of course stating that this record feels more like a compilation than a single coherent piece, it is rather easy to skip a track and don't loose the overall sustain of the music.

Overall I really enjoy listening to Synthesis by Planetary Peace. It's a gem uncovered from a yard sale and repressed to be enjoyed again for a limited audience (there are only 80 repressed copies, but fear not you can download the mp3s form Love All Day's website) [6]. The songs were meant to be distributed among friends and coworkers, but because of Love All Day records a handful of people are going to be lucky owners once more. The music adds up to the mystical realm of new-age tapes and releases that have been hand-made and released all throughout the last 50 years and it will have a rightful place among those records. Some songs really seem to grab my momentum while others lose that same vibe by being a little to repetitive to me. All in all it's enjoyable and sweet while simultaneously being haunting. Synthesis aspires to a certain mysticism for the curious. [7.0/10]

Published on: Dec 07, 2016 by Gerard - list of changes