Chemical Inconveniences

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Chemical Inconveniences

This is an awesome instrumental music release from the Dutch soundtrack composer Frank Pels that crosses melodic electronica and rhythmic chill out styles with a variety of wonderful musical soundscapes. Technically brilliant and musically engrossing on just about every level, ‘Chemical Inconveniences’ is a foot tapping, rhythmic journey traversing a range of terrific thematic ideas that demands repeated plays! Frank crafts superb and memorable musical themes around contemporary, hypnotic rhythms and sequences underpinned by a broad palette of sound with a complexity that is staggering.

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Reviews

  1. ASCAP music blog

    Review ASCAP music blog : ”We recommend Chemical Inconveniences, the new album by ASCAP member Frank Pels aka The Pels Syndicate. Pels has parlayed his expertise in commercial and library music into a compelling disc of chilled-out electronica and gorgeous soundscaping. We’re listening to it right now, and doing everything we can not to float off into the ether…”

  2. Warren Barker – Progresion mag

    This latest offering by Dutch keyboardist Frank Pels is more structured in terms of cogent melodic statements than predecessor Cinematic Blue. Everything still glides along ethereally but with less reliance on dominant minor keys — compositions resolve completely vs. hanging mysteriously in mid-air. Pels puts his conservatory training in composition, jazz piano and applied music electronics to effective use as each of these 11 pieces convincingly explores a different facet of electronica.

    Proggers will enjoy the symphonic ”Distorted Reality,” with its dramatic build succeeding lugubriousness led by a chiming synth line buffered by sad melancholic strings. ”Toxic Swing” sounds like an electronic Peter Barden, while ”Mersik and Boomchik Dancing” percolates not far removed from Tangerine Dream. ”A Beautiful Mind” is spacey dub-chill and ”Diagnosis One” will send you to soothing dreamland. A hauntingly uplifting ”The Day After” brings choir to the mix.

    Trance, new ahem acid jazz and drone vibes also ( quite tastefully ) inform this pristine, atmospheric excursion, lending the The Pels Syndicate’s wide-ranging progressive cred. This is a true original.

    14 out of 16 Stars !!

  3. Ross McGibbon

    My grumble about Frank Pels’ first release was the shortish tracks (short by Electronic Music standards) and cinematic soundtrack aspects – seeing to be more suited to colouring a film than a stand-alone piece of music. This is a big improvement. In terms of flow, the mood is more consistent from piece to piece (when chilling to this sort of thing, changes can harsh my mellow, man….). The sound is impressively wide and deep.

    The melodic invention is as strong as before, full of ideas and full of tunes. Frank doesn’t go for the big washy atmospheric thing you get on a lot of Electronica – this is much more Pop. His session work with people like Womack and Womack shows in his bright clear production and rich bass – this is designed to sound good to a radio pop audience instead of a niche market. A brave move for a man doing purely instrumental work but things are different “over there” in Europe. Less like incidental music, Frank has produced more independent tracks this time, with the tunes and hooks you’d normally get in vocal music. Colours are vibrant and beats are mostly lively, timbres are rich and the lower end of the scale keeps booming along (if you have a sub-woofer, you may hear furniture bounce).

    I’m normally a fan of even more soothing synth music but this is a refreshing change and the lack of vocals, combined with deep electronic beats, makes it a wind-down album after too much jangly indie music or a long night out.

  4. Electronic musicmall

    Chemical Inconveniences has a strong melodic content any highly contemporary style. Light digital beats click, tap, crunch and thud against liquid clear synths whilst complementary washes, arpeggios and electronic embellishments flush and drift in harmony. The rhythms range from the languid, dreamy laziness of A Beautiful Mind and Trying To Remember to the dynamic mid-tempo artificial hi hat flutter of Mersik and Boomchik Dancing and the synth-pop drama of Transition Zone. Tending mostly toward the lower end of the bpm spectrum, the album has a delightful laid back vibe that can function either as relaxing background music or as a rewarding headphones exploration. The eleven compositions here have something of the immediacy and catchiness of mainstream pop, yet they manage to retain a pleasing air of dignity and sharp IDM credibility. Glitchy tendencies, intriguing peripheral effects and crisp production steer the music deftly away from new-age cheesiness, ensuring that the harmonious warmth and tranquil appeal of Chemical Inconveniences don’t become too sugary.

    Chemical Inconveniences is a jewelcase presentation which is also available in electronic format. The front cover homes in on an image that recurs throughout the package, namely a mechanical-looking molecule structure with planet earth as the central sphere. Radiating metallic arms support shiny projections in diminishing fractal variety. This artificial contruct hangs upon a turquoise-indigo backdrop that is of similar organic-mechanic ambiguity: liquid ripples and perfect graduated sky. Track titles along with their associated timings are found both on the rear cover and within the two-panel inset. Contact information and brief credits are also to be found within.

    Dutch soundtrack producer/musician Frank Pels follows up Cinematic Blue with this latest album Chemical Inconveniences. A musician from an early age, Pels has toured and recorded with various pop bands as well as having composed music for numerous commercials, TV programmes, films, fashion shows, laser shows, etc. etc.. This solo release sees Pels’ pop-honed skills and keen cinematic sensibilities working in tight cohesion; the result is an unusual hybrid of melodic hooks and electro-chill with some very blissful vibes and rapturous presence. The technical quality is fantastic and there are layers to the music that might not be immediately apparent. Released via the AD Music label, tracks can be sampled via the AD website or The Pels Syndicate site own site.

  5. Sylvain Lupari (Synths & Sequences)

    Spectral waves of Martenot kind encircle the pulsatory and echoing ions which jump on time and forge the stationary intro of “Prelude Particles”. Syncretic tones pierce this vertical dance pounded by robotics chords, spitters of resonances, and hammered of sober percussions. If the rhythmic envelope stays of lead, the harmonious structure is simply delicious with its synth waves which snivel in the caresses of violins and tears of the piano. It’s a melody on a clashing rhythm, as on “Toxic Swing” and its dishevelled percussions. More quiet and balanced than on Cinematic Blue, the universe of Chemical Inconveniences always lays on a crossing of rhythms and atmospheres where the ethereal mists and violins of Orion transport beautiful melodious structures. But if the rhythmic envelope is softer, it remains not less still quite wild here and there. And it’s a little this musical universe crossed by paradoxes that we can expect on this amazing surprise which is The Pels Syndicate’s Chemical Inconveniences. Frank Pels weaves the big lines of an album where groovy, techno and upbeat rhythms are of used as music canvas to surprising melodies which are at the antipodes, both at the level of rhythms and their cores of emotionalism.

    “Chemical Inconveniences” pursues in this vein on a kind of break-dance structure with a zest of upbeat which leans on humming pulsations. The setting embraces the ashes of a jazz forgotten in a bottom of an alley with a delicate melody hummed on the notes that a piano is walking among felted echoing percussions, tetanised mists and iconoclastic tones, vestiges of the polyphonic ambiances which compose The Pels Syndicate’s universe. On a slow rhythm, shaken by the din of percussions, “Distorted Reality” conjugates candour and malice on a splendid structure of musing where crystalline arpeggios are swirling such as a nursery rhyme on a slow whirlwind of pernicious violins. It’s a great track which does all its effect! “Mersik and Boomchick Dancing” is a bomb of rhythmic intensity with its percussions of tap-dancing kinds and slamming ones which pound around a strange pulsatory suction and a bass line of which the feverish chords are galloping between the resonant hoops of a rhythm in constant effervescence. It’s a rhythm which doesn’t stop giving into complexity and originality before being finally tamed by a beautiful melodious approach which turns upside down the eclectic ride without perturbing its global progression. “A Beautiful Mind” is a wonderful down-tempo. It’s a huge chill-out filled with sensual steroids that a heavy bass with vicious curves and lascivious resonances penetrates in our ears to make quiver our body waves with a suave synth to soft tones of a perverse saxophone. It’s very good and rather suggestive.

    With its structure which swirls with an aura of serenity “Feels So Good” bears marvellously the weight of its title. The melody is soft and whistled on a daydreamer synth which pours its melancholy on a parallel line of which the delicate oscillation draws a musical wave which fades out in a cloud of shimmering arpeggios. Light, the rhythm is clicking, pulsing and resounding with the sweetness of a stalk of silk in a tube of metal, leaving all the room to the harmonious envelope which is making proud of a beautiful violin veil. Waves to tones of Martenot float in search of a melody. They team up with limpid keys which sparkle of a luminous brightness and hop of a furtive approach in an iridescent fog where flit about some furtive cymbals. A bass line hiccups of a heavy elastic note and the lascivious and sensual rhythm of “Diagnosis One” sits astride the violins of thought, propped up by sober percussions and caressing the notes of an electric piano and these Martenot waves which sing and stutter under the harsh and hatched knocks of the fanciful cellos. What a striking track!  “Transition Zones” shakes the melancholic mood with a heavy rhythm arched on an abrasive structure. It’s a rhythm of steel and lead where humming pulsations are harpooning chords with hybrid functions. If some are harmonious, others adopt spectral forms and others shine like small allegorical pads and hatched metallic hoops which dance and collide over fine percussions strikings of free-jazz style. Between Moonbooter and Element 4 styles, “Transition Zones” turns towards a dance-floor structure with the appearances of a psychotronic techno house where the sound exhilaration has limits only the imagination strongly sharpened of Frank Pels. Bright crystal arpeggios sparkle near riffs of fuzz wah-wah and eclectic tones, immersing the intro of “The Day After” into parallel universes where morphic choirs roam on the wings of violins, espousing the honeyed crescendo of the melodious arpeggios. Abandoning its poetic and oniric approach, “The Day After” dives towards a rhythm funky – groovy, where a fat bass line spreads its roaring notes in the trail of choirs and violins, accompanying the fuzz wah-wah and supporting this pulsatory rhythm which dupes the heart and the choirs of “The Day After”. Tergiversating between the rhythm and the ambient, “Trying to Remember” sets its heart towards a fine ballad flooded with iridescent mist and layers, without having forgotten to brought  a beautiful harmonious envelope drawn in the shade of chords forgotten in the drawers of melancholy.

    The Pels Syndicate’s musical universe is pleasantly fascinating. It’s a universe where the rhythms and melodies arise from a rich sound fauna full of a soft originality and of a clever subtlety. Built on 11 titles embroidered in the meanders of a musical and artistic research worth of great sounds and tones sculptors as well as percussions designers, Chemical Inconveniences abounds in these melodies sometimes melancholic, oniric and poetic which clash on rhythms of steel and lead, upbeat, soft techno and\or groovy/ mellow. Caustic and attractive contrasts! Oppositions which get attracted and seduced for the biggest pleasure of our ears.

  6. Steve Sheppard (OWR)

    Frank Pels is without doubt one of the most innovative and original electronic music artists alive today and Chemical Inconveniences is a fresh euro journey through that genre.
    Take track one as a prime example of his genius, a smooth flowing piece that transports the listener into his world with an almost symphonic nature. Prelude Particles (Number 31) has some nice percussive textures, this laid back and easy track is the perfect gambit to open up what in truth is a superb album throughout.
    Falling like rain from heaven, we land in the realm of the title track Chemical Inconveniences. This veritable modern art gallery of music plays out with some tight and very original sounds, a chime of a bell and a perfect beat, the bass on this piece is awesome and draws the listener deeper into its concept. There is an almost global ethnic dance feel about this composition, the natural progression is particularly redolent of that the trance genre, but at all times it remains faithful and loyal to its EM roots and will be without doubt a real fan favourite.
    Time for some Distorted Reality, I know a few people who this track would be appropriate for! But Pels here creates something special. In almost Peter Gabriel style Pels opens this piece, with a real deep plunging resonating depth and the synths at this point are so powerful you will literally feel it vibrating inside your shell, within this track Pels revisits his former album Cinematic Blue with a composition that could easily fit into any sci-fi or action movie. The percussion in this track is deeply moving and is the essence for all that is good and grand in Distorted Reality.
    The progression from his last offering is even more evident when you listen to Toxic Swing. Here is a piece that isn’t only grand on the soundscape of reality, but has a great beat and tempo that pushes it along. I found this piece and its melody deeply moving and one could easily imagine a scene of devastation and desolation like Chernobyl as this track eats away at you with a latent sombreness and a degree of reflective memory of a sad and lonely past. Pels in my opinion has created within this track a masterpiece that should be featured on a grander scale.
    Quite who Mersik and Boomchick are I have no idea, but they must have a great deal of energy, for on Mersik and Boomchick Dancing, we, dear constant reader, are treated to a fast paced up-tempo composition that would suit any train journey or travel based musical sojourn, in short if you want music to travel to, use this track, in fact use any of Pels work, its fits so well with the fluid rapidity of movement, some fast paced synths, with a definite dance and almost staccato styled beat, this is one infectious piece of music.
    Now let’s slow things down and after an initial boom, we are gifted a harp that strikes some beautiful tones and then we are lulled gently into what can only be described as a sensual and seductive composition that is defiantly music to make love to! Caught your attention now have I? There is a constant rhythmic bass that drives this passion filled composition called A Beautiful Mind. There is everything to like about this track, it has a deep resonance about it that is undeniable, it has some wonderful layered synths and that harp, oh that oh so magical harp is a delight in its self, smooth chill out at its very best.
    Over the half way point dear constant reader and we are now shown a track that has many complex musical nuances within it, it’s called Feels So Good. A steady pulsing beat, but one that isn’t obtrusive leads the way and a soft chilled melody floats this graceful composition along. I loved the tempo and pace of this track, it had many elements within it, at times forming a pattern of mid 1980’s electronic pop and at other times slowing things down to a respectful and masterful chill out beat paced track, note the very clever hand clap on this piece as well, mixed with some dazzling symphonic synths, this is one of the most classy pieces I have heard in this genre for a long while.
    Diagnosis 1, a curiously named piece I know, but the beginning starts in an almost Gary Numan way, then lightens up and then like a Sunday drive pulls us along a country road filled and lines with trees, in a beautiful slow paced, but stunning vista of a piece that I must admit found delightful. At times it reminded me in parts on Kevin Kendles composition, Sundial. Stunning music, beautifully composed, one that I urge you all to playlist for that special moment out in nature.
    So let’s change things, lets up the tempo and let’s prime the beat as we listen to the piece Transition Zone. A real change of direction as we are almost treated to a track that would work well on any action based T.V Serial. Some deep paced synths power their way through this track, but in a very controlled existence, Pels has an amazing ability to compose such great emotive and powerful music, but it’s always well controlled and harnessed as to always have something left in the locker for you to enjoy. The longest composition on the album and will no doubt be a favourite for many radio shows to play, this is one sure fired piece of majestically created Electronica.
    So dear constant reader and listener we move to the penultimate piece from the album and it’s called The Day After. Now I remember a devastating disaster movie by that name, however this piece is one masterful opus that should be included in any movie, Pels still has that astonishing cinematic way about his creations and he treats us here to a real classic, listen out for the chorale harmonies and vocals thought-out. The orchestral backdrop makes this one of the most outstanding tracks off this spectacular release.
    Once more our journey is done as we listen to the last piece of album called Trying to Remember, I am trying to remember when I have heard such a brilliant job of production as I have heard on Chemical Inconveniences. So while the art gallery of Frank Pels and the Pels Syndicate begins to close its doors to us, this last track is a total classic end of album composition, full of dynamics and crescendos and revisiting the album melody in a respectful and thoughtful way.
    Reviewing this album has been a total treat, as it should be for your ears as well dear constant listener, for when your purchase this album you’re going to be buying one of the best composed and produced albums of its genre. In my view The Pels Syndicate are a cut above the rest, Frank Pels is a cinematic genius of a composer and Chemical Inconveniences is an utterly remarkable piece of work
    by a true musician who ticks all the right boxes in a genre that can at times be unyielding and at times stale.

  7. Stephan Schelle. Musiczeit

    ”The Pels Syndicate ist für mich ein neuer Name in der Elektronikszene. Hinter diesem Pseudonym verbirgt sich der britische Musiker Frank Pels. Sein Album Cinematic Blue“ ist bereits im Jahr 2010 erschienen, ich hab es aber erst jetzt, beim diesjährigen E-Live in die Hände bekommen. 14 Stücke mit Laufzeiten zwischen 2:53 und 5:05 Minuten Spielzeit sind auf dem Silberling enthalten, der bei A.D. Music, dem Label von David Wright, herausgekommen ist.
    Gleich im Opener „Searchlight“ weht dem Hörer ein frischer Wind um die Ohren, denn der Sound ist irgendwie neuartig. Nicht das es jetzt bahnbrechend Neues zu hören gibt, aber die Art, wie Frank hier seine Klänge aufbaut, das hat etwas Frisches. „Searchlight“ bohrt sich mit einer unglaublichen Leichtigkeit in die Gehörgänge.
    Und mit diesem Glasklaren Sound geht es dann auch flugs im nächsten Stück „Tesla Baby“, das sehr rhythmisch daher kommt, weiter. Diesem dominanten Rhythmus werden Basssounds im Hintergrund spendiert und herrliche Flächen schweben darüber, ergänzt um einige Pianotupfer. Das klingt alles so locker und leicht, ohne in seichte Gewässer abzudriften.
    Wie ein klassisches Stück, das bei einer Klavierstunde gespielt wird, klingt der Einstieg von „Eclectic Electric“. Sobald dann aber die Flächen auftauchen und der Rhythmus angezogen wird, ist es mit der Klavierstunde vorbei. Shuffle-mäßig, wie in einem Zug, der von einer Dampflok angetrieben wird, fährt das Stück dahin.
    „Tribal Civilisation“ bietet tribalartige Perkussion, die recht ethnisch klingen. Das ist ein richtig perkussiver Track, dem aber eine Melodielinie gegönnt wurde. Ein sehr schönes Stück. Flirrende Synthies und einen fast funkigen Rhythmus gibt es dann bei „Yellow In 64“.
    „Hardcore Vision“ hat einige schöne Stereoeffekte zu bieten. Und auch der fette Sounds kommt richtig gut, am besten hört man das über eine voll aufgedrehte Anlage (die Nachbarn werden sich freuen). Alle weiteren Stücke halten diesen Standard, ohne dass ein Stück abfällt. „End Games“ kommt mit unglaublich fetten Sounds und hat etwas von Soundtrack, wie viele andere Stücke auch. Mit dem Wort Cinematic im Titel liegt Frank da gar nicht so falsch, denn man hat das Gefühl des Breitwandkinos bei dieser Musik.
    Ob „Cinematic Blue“ das Debüt von Frank Pels aka The Pels Syndicate ist, kann ich nicht sagen, zumindest aber haben wir es hier mit einer sehr rhythmischen und frischen Scheibe aus dem Bereich der Elektronikmusik zu tun. Die Sounds kommen Glasklar und dynamisch aus den Boxen und die Harmonien können sich wirklich hören lassen. Ein gelungenes Debüt, auf dessen Nachfolge man gespannt sein kann.

  8. Skopemagazine

    Atmospheric, multi-layered soundscapes is the hallmark facet of The Pels Syndicate new album Chemical Inconveniences. Think a down tempo, mellow version of The Crystal Method meets Mark Farina-style Acid Jazz. The tracks wax and wane from dreamy and ethereal to groovy drone electronica and leave almost no electronica subgenre unrepresented. The brainchild of Dutch keyboardist/sound engineer Frank Pels, the record is another notch in the belt of who is already an astonishingly accomplished musical mind.

    The album opens to “Prelude Particles” and its myriad layers of synth. The different effects-laden sounds build through addition after addition. There is a constant pulsing synth note set behind layers of weepy strings and classic piano notes with slight electronic backing drumbeat. This track sets the chill tone that runs through the album. The trippy ethos of the title track “Chemical Inconveniences” again features a multitude of sounds that eventually meld into one soundscape while a chimey melody eventually appears at the foreground, while mysterious electronic clicks and clanks rest just underneath, serving as fills. “Mersik and Boomchik Dancing” continues the trippy feel with its urgent backing beat, spacey synth blasts and more simulated string notes. Again this track ascends and builds with layer placed upon layer as the track plays out. Finally, “Transition Zone” rounds out the fold with its loungey drum beat and atmospheric scope. At roughly the midpoint, stern effects-laden synth melody enters the fold, again illustrating Pels’ penchant for transitions within the body of his tracks.

    Chemical Inconveniences is almost an aural resume of Pels’ ability and prowess within the electronica genre. His ability to create a sum from the multiple parts is proof that this guy hears things differently than your average artist/musician. What is noticeable about the songs is that they can be taken for face value as an album collection or utilized on their own merits as backing music for a movie score or even soundtrack. Either way you approach it; these are 11-tracks that have the ability to take you away to some other place.

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