Syrinx Effect – Snail Songs EP (2014)

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Creating soothing, soulful sounds can come from an endless combination of sources, and Seattle’s New Music duo Syrinx Effect does it with just a trombone and a soprano saxophone. Oh, and also a little bit of pedal effects, used slyly. That’s what caught our attention about the last time trombonist Naomi Siegel and saxophonist Kate Olson released music, just last spring with the aptly titled gnarly & sweet.

Now the girls are back with more of that trippy goodness via another Bandcamp release Snail Songs, another half hour of ambience achieved by acoustic means with technological assistance. “Assistance” is the key term, here. You’ll here their horns looped, “echoplexed” and otherwise modified, but there’s no mistaken the source sound for anything except a sax or trombone. Technical help doesn’t become a crutch or gimmick for Syrinx Effect, they’re real adept at leveraging to enhancing, not obscure, their talents.

Cascading trombone oscillations serve as a soft bed for Olson’s thoughtful brooding (during “Moon or Crab”), and sometimes they mesh their respective sounds so effectively, it seemingly comes from one instrument (“Respired By”). “Another Day of Rain” is the one track of the five that includes percussion, itself artfully created by a recorded performance of an old pandero that was looped live. But while it make you sway or even dance, it doesn’t intrude upon the layers upon layers of syncopated patterns fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and pulled out/inserted back in to modulate the mood.

The genius of the music lies not so much in the performance of it — which is captivating, anyway — as it does in its conception. Any musician can go get these toys, but Syrinx Effect knows how to use ’em.

Snail Songs (EP) went on sale April 11, 2014. Purchase and download the Snail Songs EP from Syrinx Effect’s Bandcamp page.

*** Here are the remaining dates and places for their West Coast Tour now underway, Catch ’em while you can:

Sunday, April 13. Berkeley, CA
Improvisation Workshop at The Jazzschool
2pm, Advance: $30 ; Day of Workshop: $45

Sunday, April 13. Oakland, CA
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society presents NEW MUSIC at LeQuiVive Gallery
Syrinx Effect, Enjoyer, Nava Dunkelman + Pauchi Sasaki
$5-10 suggested donation
doors @ 7pm

Monday, April 14th Sacramento
Nebraska Mondays at Luna’s Cafe

Tuesday, April 15th. Santa Clarita, CA
Railroad Cafe, Coffee Bar, Gallery
24307 Railroad Ave
W/Spaceman Band and Cape and Curtain

Tuesday, April 15th. Hollywood, LA, CA
740 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Friday, April 18th, Eugene OR
The Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway Eugene OR 97401
8pm, With Douglas Detrick’s Cartography Trio

Saturday, April 19th, Portland OR
The Waypost
8pm, $7-$12 sliding scale
With Get Smashing Love Power and Young Nudist

Thursday, April 24th. SEATTLE!!!!
All Ages, featuring a special collaboration with movement artist Paige Barnes
Jaam Rek Studios (2000 S. Jackson st.)
tickets: $15/18 dos, $8 students/sliding scale

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron

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