Cult Toronto Outfit Syrinx Celebrated with Career-Spanning Release
Published Aug 24, 2016Toronto prog/electronic trio Syrinx's early '70s catalogue is about to be celebrated in full via a new compendium. Combining a pair of LPs, singles, demos and more, the band's Tumblers from the Vault (1970-1972) sees release as a triple LP, double CD and digitally on October 14 via RVNG Intl.
A press release explains that the trio of keyboardist John Mills-Cockell, saxophonist Doug Pringle and percussionist Alan Wells first linked up in the beginning of 1970, after each having bounced around Toronto's creative scene. It's added that the band's direction came in part through Mills-Cockell's time at the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory of Music, where he ran a "DIY electronic music course in the school's basement," and also via experimenting with LSD.
While Syrinx were not the first to mesh synthesizer sounds with organic instruments, it's explained that "they blended these sounds in a holistic way, allowing the acoustic and electronic textures to create one organic voice." The band's experiments in early electronic sound were chronicled on a self-titled debut in 1970, issued through the True North imprint. They'd follow that up the next year with Long Lost Relatives.
The trio are perhaps most well-known for their song "Tillicum," which had acted as the theme to documentary-style TV show Here Come the Seventies. The song had appeared on Long Lost Relatives, but would also see release as a standalone single that that hit No. 38 on Canada's RPM charts.
Syrinx would also go on to collaborate with Toronto Repertory Ensemble conductor and composer Milton Barnes, a team-up that produced a suite called Stringspace.
Tumblers from the Vault (1970-1972) is a 23-song set that presents the collected work of Syrinx, including their albums, demos, the single mix of "Tillicum," and the Stringspace suite. You can see the full details on the release below, where you'll also find a stream of the act's "Hollywood Dream Trip."
Tumblers from the Vault (1970-1972):
1. Tumblers To The Vault
3. December Angel
5. Field Hymn (Epilogue)
7. Better Deaf And Dumb From The First
8. Aurora Spinray
9. Melina's Torch
10. Journey Tree
11. Field Hymn
12. Chant For Your Dragon King
13. Hollywood Dream Trip
14. Father Of Light
15. Appaloosa – Pegasus
16. Tillicum (Single Mix)
17. Melina's Torch (Solo)
18. Better Deaf And Dumb From The First (Alternate / Vocal)
19. December Angel (Demo)
20. Stringspace Live – Syren
21. Stringspace Live – December Angel
22. Stringspace Live – Ibistix
23. Stringspace Live – Field Hymn (Epilogue)