Jonathan Block, using the moniker Synthetic Block, produces what he calls Progressive Ambient music – exploration of the ambient and space domains infused with progressive overtones. Sequences magazine said the music “is certainly not the usual sound we expect coming from the U.S., but it's a fresh approach to electronics which is most welcome.” While Wind and Wire wrote that “it isn't quite ambient or techno, but takes elements from those genres and combines them into its own unique mixture.”
The third Synthetic Block CD, “Sonic Approach,” is scheduled for release in spring 2002 on Hypnos/Binary Recordings. Block has also released a series of limited edition CDs containing live and unreleased recordings, available through mp3.com.
The second Synthetic Block CD, "The Opposite Of Staring Into Space," was released on Ironing Board Recordings in 1999. The disc was named as one of the 50 most significant releases of 1999 by the Star's End radio show. And Expose magazine called the release "very sonically satisfying…the music moves purposefully and fluidly."
The first Synthetic Block CD was released in May 1998 on Mindspore Records. In reviewing Block's first disc, Expose wrote that the music had "odd-meter workouts that bring to mind no one in particular but Block himself. Not only are his compositions good, but the sounds he produces from his synthesizers are rich, organic and fresh."
Radio shows that have featured Synthetic Block music include the nationally syndicated radio shows Echoes and Star's End. Block’s music has also appeared on numerous compilations.
Block began playing the piano and guitar at age 10, influenced by such bands as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jefferson Airplane. After a few years, Block taught himself the bass, which he played in bands through high school and college. Block began using synthesizers as a means to create otherworldly music, with the aim of performing solo. Influenced by the more atmospheric moments of King Crimson and Pink Floyd, Block joined the burgeoning ambient/space music scene of the early 1990s, releasing a number of cassettes under his own Ironing Board Recordings imprint.
Block is also a published poet, with more than 50 poems that have appeared in journals around the world, including Phoebe, The NRG Anthology, The Chiron Review and Riverrun. He has also taught poetry for the Writer's Voice program in Connecticut.