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Initially coming from a background in the musically raucous worlds of 2 Step and Garage, Synkro has, over time, developed a sound that is altogether more introspective, more emotive and more emotionally complex. Stepping up here with his second release on legendary Apollo Records, Synkro delivers eight tracks that - while retaining some of the stutter and swing of Garage, are far more rooted in the textural world of ambient music for which Apollo is famed.

There is a consistency in Synkro’s work throughout this release that suggests an artist who is heading in a singular direction and very much crafting their own sound. All eight tracks come drenched in thick layers of smoky reverb and make use of long drawn-out, drone like textures to set up these atmospheric musical canvases within which Synkro then crafts his rhythmically complex, emotionally mournful sound sculptures. The use of vocals is sparing but effective and skillful, as evidenced in the spoken word samples and pitched up R&B vocals on Acceptance and Spirals, and the beautifully pitched effected voice on Don’t Want.

There is a move towards more organic textures, too, with a genty played acoustic guitar featuring prominently on Mutual Divide (a track that features fellow Apollo artists Indigo), and broad, open guitar strums forming the backdrop to another of the tracks here, Disappear. The use of these sounds and timbres again points to an artist crafting music that transcends the nightclub obsessed world of modern electronic music and creating music that has a more time-worn, grown up feel to it.

Listening to all eight tracks in their entirety, the listener is transported into a parallel aural universe of late night, reflective states that feel weighed with a certain sadness but still retain an unmistakable underpinning of hope. Within that, there’s something very current about Synkro’s output - a kind of expression of how fractured and disparate life in the early part of the 21st century has become - where hyper modern production technology rubs shoulders with virtually untreated guitar and sad, distorted voices; where the constant chatter of electronic communication fails to distort the isolation of the modern world. To be able to distill these sensations and emotions into music, as Synkro does, is a rare skill and guarantees that Synkro is an artist who we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the future.

  1. A1. Acceptance
  2. A2. To Be
  3. B1. Disappear
  4. B2. Recognition
  5. C1. Spirals
  6. C2. Illuminations
  7. D1 Mutual Divide
  8. D2. Don't Want

Published: June 2, 2017