Comprised of musicians from Israeli rock, prog and jazz bands, Sympozion makes music that the quintet describes as "cool prog." That's a fair enough description of a sound that incorporates pleasant jazzy jamband tendencies with two recorders — yes, that plain-looking member of the fipple flute that the least musically talented kid used to play in your elementary-school band. To be fair, though, the recorders in Sympozion are played with great zeal and dexterity, and they become integral to the band's complex sound, which draws from Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa, Philip Glass, Igor Stravinsky and others. Piano (especially on "Grapefruit") and dual guitars (both acoustic and electric) are also part of the eclectic mix.
The eight songs on Kundabuffer — the name refers to an organ that, according to the Greek-Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, restores a cosmic imbalance within the human body — are mostly instrumental, which is wise. The songs that contain vocals ("Bird" and "Zona") are sung in Hebrew, with the voices of Arik Hayat and Dan Carpman buried in the mix. That said, the guitar solo that marks the finale of "Zona" is one of the album's highlights. The production quirk with the vocals is surprising, considering that Udi Koomran (Thinking Plague, Present, Guapo) produced Kundabuffer.
One last note about the recorder: Some reports indicate that the instrument, which dates back to medieval times, is more popular than ever. For some reason, though, I don't think it will catch on in most rock bands. Which gives Sympozion an even greater shot at success by – as the band's bio states – creating music that doesn't "repeat anything they have heard before." Let the buzz begin ...
2) Happy War Holiday
7) Too Much
8) Grapefruit Variations