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Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives

Long Lost Relatives
True North - 1971

Michael Panontin
After the spacy textures of their groundbreaking debut, Syrinx (the trio of John Mills-Cockell, Doug Pringle and Alan Wells) set about exploring the possibilities of synthesized "pop" music. Following Gershon Kingsley's lead - he had first included an early version of his famously familiar 1972 Hot Butter hit 'Popcorn' as early as 1969 on the Music to Moog By LP - the band struck gold with the perky synth-sax dance of 'Tillicum', the theme song to CTV's Here Come the Seventies series. Mills-Cockell could even be seen coaxing his synth while the credits rolled, a scene that no doubt must have been equal parts bizarre and novel to its post-sixties viewing audience. The song was included here on their sophomore disc, Long Lost Relatives, along with other petite proto-synth-pop ditties ('Better Deaf and Dumb from the First'), sparse meditative new age (the lovely 'December Angel') and moodier meandering pieces more reminiscent of their first LP (the beautifully melancholic 'Aurora Spinray'). However, despite 'Tillicum' 's relative success - it reached a respectable #38 on the June 5, 1971 RPM chart - Mills-Cockell soon fled to Britain for a three-year sabbatical, soaking up old-world influences on albums like 1974's TV soundtrack A Third Testament.

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