FTEL 009 - February 2013

Synkro - Acceptance EP
Apollo Records vinyl / digital

I'm glad releases like this exist, I really am. For all its ditzy paint flecking, watercolouring the woodblock rhythms, Synkro displays a deeply human connection to mentality with "Acceptance". It's a symptom no less present than on the eponymous "Acceptance", with the vocal "I just wish people could accept each other for what they are on the inside" a precluding and idiomatically noble excursion into New Age Dubstep. But forget the tags, what dominantly breaks Synkro significantly from the norm of form is unrivalled.

Lapses of pure time signature or sequencer signposts keep the grooves mixed up in a layer of foggy fudge, the higher plain being nodded to here Dub Techno with lyrical accent smarts. Synkro's sound is as much a discombobulation of Dubstep as a transmuting to Ambient, taking a step off presets and carving a niche for himself. Apollo is an appropriate label: once home to "Atmospheres And Soundtracks" by Eno(s) and Daniel Lanois, the current climate sees the post-Dubstep - indeed, post-everything generation pack the dance in a hailstorm.

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Natan H & Amy Jean - For Her
Man Make Music 005 vinyl / download

Hand-machinery percussion that sounds like a razor trimming a flowing beard; operatic gasp-gasms of voice that keep the 4/4 tidily based; swooning, swooping, bassy pads cloying at the fundamental 4 bar/16 bar exploitations of "For Her" - a real party viber or gone off jive? It's the former, taking a "Doctor Detroit Techno" reverence to reverb as the production is nuanced and considered. Timbres of the handclaps are doused with a delightful delay to accentuate the vocal samples, and the bassline works really well together with the drums. This theme carries into "I Know", with more sonic information: "I know you're sick and tired", yet it continues to plait a big room Deep House metronome, with seeming weaves of horns, synths treading Hinduist levels, jabbing bass stabs wub-wubbing over the lead. "Rush" is anything but rushed, a slower tempo, passionate kiss of chilled House. These three tracks are no fodder - they belong in any Electronica enthusiast's collection.

Sample at Tailored Communicaton

Scale - Melting Point EP
Omni Music download

It's not 1997 any more, for some D&B's golden era with the rise of syncopated Techstep. Scale would fit right in, marrying the electronic clatter of early Technical Itch with the forward propulsion of Decoder. This three track EP hefts around the 168bpm mark - "Blacklight" benefiting from a low torque / high frequency modulated bassline that plays tricks with time and space. "Mutated Soul" mashes up the Apache, doing a 3/4 time (where half-step and double time mix), whereas "Melting Point" is perceptually eager to lock itself to pure two-step but doesn't quite compute, sampling Goldfrapp, coming across fresher as a result. The music in this EP deserves vinyl if it was a possibility from Omni Music; for now Chris Eschaton is just going to keep on keeping on with hearty goodness by the sounds of it.

Download from Subvert Central