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EP Review: Synkro – Acceptance

Last Monday saw the hotly anticipated release of the new EP from electronic artist Synkro. The 8-track EP titled Acceptance has been brought out on Apollo Records, the newly formed sister label of R&S Records. To celebrate the release of his new EP, a launch party was held at the Soup Kitchen bar, in his hometown of Manchester at the end of January.

The EP represents another big step forward for Synkro (real name Joe McBride) who has been releasing music on many popular labels including Exit Records, Box Clever and Med School since 2007. The artist has experimented with many genres of music, including dubstep, drum and bass, 2-step, dub, house and many other things along the way, however he is most popularly known for the melodic, ambient electronica that he has been producing over the past few years.

It is clear from listening to each track that Synkro hasn’t just stuck to one specific genre of music. There are elements of future garage, fast-paced electronica, and ambient sounds throughout the EP, and the inclusion of guitar chords shows his ability to make high quality music isn’t merely limited to the use of synthesisers.

The EP kicks off with the title track Acceptance which showcases Synkro’s mellow and ambient signature sound, but picks up with some eerie vocals and percussion sounds, and at 170bpm it’s the perfect track to get the listener in the mood and wanting to hear more. It’s catchy yet also pretty chilled, and the samples included create an open soundscape that really helps the listener to engage with the track. To Be fades in with an eerie sounding synth, and again includes vocal samples with a lot of echoic percussion similar to Acceptance, however the difference is most noticed with the drop in speed, and set at around 120bpm it makes the track a lot more chilled and easy to listen to.

Disappear was a welcome surprise to listen to, as Synkro’s usual style doesn’t normally include acoustic guitar chords. The addition gives a subtle nod towards the artists’ impressive ability to use many instruments when creating music. The track is slow yet fairly upbeat, and the mixture of instruments and soft vocals is a welcome change from what he has previously produced. Recognition is notably one of the strongest tracks, however at just over 3 minutes long it is also the shortest on the EP. The song almost finishes too soon which leaves the listener wanting more, although you have to wonder whether this was done intentionally to keep the listener coming back to the track. At number 4 it sits perfectly in the middle of the EP and succeeds in holding the listener’s attention for the rest of the songs.

Spirals immediately moves away from Synkro’s usual emotive style of music with the addition of catchy claps and melodic strings which sound similar to a harp. The track has more of an uplifting mood than Recognition, and holds similarities to one of his past tracks titled Look At Yourself, which was released in 2011. The sixth track on the EP titled Illuminations is the longest, and really showcases Synkro’s talent at creating soft, smooth music. The song features heavily swung clicks and claps, and alternates from being catchy in some parts, to ambient and chilled in others.

Mutual Divide features Indigo, an artist who is well known for often playing sets with Synkro and who has many tracks released on the same record labels. This track features a lot of acoustic guitar, crashing wave sounds and minimal additions, and sitting at a slow 75bpm, it creates a really relaxing experience. The last track on the EP is Don’t Want, which features slow elements and echoic vocals used similarly in Recognition. The track ends the EP well, with such a soft mix of sounds and minimal electronic samples; it relaxes the listener and encourages them to listen to the EP again.

Overall Synkro’s EP is a classic; the mix of soft, slow music with additions of electronic samples, ghostly vocals and an extensive use of acoustic guitar has created a great mix of fresh tracks. The fact that he has released an EP with 8 tracks shows a great progression for the artist, who usually only releases half this amount on his EP’s. Each track is distinctive in different ways, and really proves the level of commitment the artist has given to this release. The EP is easy to listen to and leaves the listener wanting to hear it again, which is a tough feat to achieve for many.

You can purchase the EP as a download or 12” vinyl from the following websites:
Apollo – http://bit.ly/Ul7VGj
iTunes – http://bit.ly/10ZtSdp
Juno – http://bit.ly/XLQrQW
Boomkat – http://bit.ly/114jLJ9

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