The Emotional Maximum
Founded by James Dean Brown in 1996, Narcotic Syntax was reboosted seven years later. While JDB had initially teamed up with the Perlon label heads Zip and Markus Nikolai for a few productions, Yapacc became the steady narcompanion in 2003. Releases include 3 EPs on Perlon and contributions to the label's "Superlongevity" compilation series.
Concocted of an abundance of sounds, samples, sonic fragments, and occasionally spoken and sung lyrics, their productions open up a musical narcoverse that resounds with the manifold cross-genre influences of their creators. In contrast, their 2006 release "Provocative Percussion" on the WIR (We In Rhythm) label strips the supercharged Narcotic Syntax sound down to a complex rhythmic meshwork as the title indicates. A fan once called it "poetry via percussion".
10 years later, in collaboration with Pit Spector, the skillful and essential underground player from Paris and member of Antislash, a new 12"EP is announced to be released on his Prospector label.
While there is a bit of unreleased material from another chapter: late in 2003 Narcotic Syntax started collaborating with Robert Conroy from NYC, known as chanteuse for the transatlantic sonic glamour duo Misty Roses. His versatile, powerful voice (which reminds of a young Scott Walker) brings back the human factor to the mahogany dance floor. Automatically, Narcotic Syntax ended up recording a narcollection of amour-fou songs, because love and song go together like nothing else. The trio brews a fine blend of syncopated rhythms, seductive melodies, dope sounds, and inspired lyrics while their sophisticated arrangements lead to intriguing resolutions. Plans included the release of an album, but 4 of the 5 tracks they recorded remain unpublished to date (a cover of "Electric Chair" by Acid Punk pioneers Chrome included).
In October 2007, guitarist Achim Treu joined Narcotic Syntax. Apart from his project Dauerfisch he is popular for having released as Fluffy Target w/Richard Cameron, collaborated with synthesizer pioneer Jon Appleton, and played with Berlin cult combo Mutter as well as with Electropunk rebel Alec Empire and Neo-Dada pioneers Der Plan.
Circle closed: Originally, Narcotic Syntax evolved from Hypnobeat, a project James Dean Brown had founded in 1983, presenting an early form of contemporary club music with a "neo-tribal" approach somewhere within the scope of classical Electro Funk and prototype Techno, and with a proto-Acid flavour. 2013 saw the exciting new evolution of Hypnobeat with Helena Hauff joining JDB. The duo's live performances are completely based on improvisation, exhausting the power of an untamed Roland horde: 1xTR-707 + 3xTR-808 + 2xTB-303 + an array of effects.
Transcending the Hypnobeat live experience, following a free improvisational approach, James Dean Brown and Yapacc decided to enter their 5th project phase and return to the stage again.
Narcotic Syntax profile (pdf)