Synkro has turned out nigh-on forty releases over the years, but this is the very first full-length album he has released. Changes moves in and out of soothing ambient drifts, always eventually being joined by carefully-crafted beats. Nice to see that Synkro has adapted his sound to the format. Out on the Apollo label.
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- Changes by Synkro
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Despite releasing a multitude of EPs this is Derbyshire based producer (and one half of Akkord) Synkro's first album and to these ears it has really been worth the wait.
‘Changes’ is one of those electronica albums which sneaks up on you. You may play it once and think "that was nice". You may play it twice and think "yeah but Burial and Boards of Canada have already made similar evocative soundscapes". Yet once this record is allowed to seep into your soul it becomes it’s own entity and you start to wonder how you ever lived without it.
Apart from the two previous mentioned wizards of evoca-tronica, the dark swirls of Mount Kimbie are the most natural early comparison. I’m not sure if it’s anything to do with his northern workplace but this album has a bleak hillside vibe throughout. On ‘Shoreline’ the sound of rain beating down is slowly drowned out by pulsating bass and snippets of soulful vocals that recall early Darkstar. In fact many tracks begin with this kind of dark ambience - as if the sounds are buried in the ground and Synkro has to dig them up first. ‘Your Heart’ emerges from the murk with a lovely twinkly piano motif that belies its bleak origins and there’s no getting away from the similarity to Burial on the title track; over churning, swirling synths sit foggy vocal samples and static-y scattershot percussion. but hey ho….Burial’s recent material has split his audience so anyone yearning for his early late night sound will find spades of it here. There’s something a little too novelty about ‘Holding On’s pitch shifted vocals and ‘Empty Walls’ vocals are just a little too polished for me but this leads onto the loveliest thing here ‘Body Close’ - an utterly gorgeous example of how simplicity can create the best most touching music. It is made up of a series of piano notes with fizzes and crackles stirred into the mix. This Basinski-style composition leading in turn into the extremely Boards of Canada ‘Midnight Sun'.
To be honest I’m not overly bothered about the look-back referential nature of this music and any chin scratching complaints about lack of originality are easily swamped by the immersive glory of the music.
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