Tag Archives: Synkro

Kiyoko – Fragments EP [Samurai Horo]

Synkro & Bering Straight’s Kiyoko project returns to Samurai’s vinyl-only Horo imprint with another lush EP of downtempo beats. Fans of the duo’s work will know what to expect – effortlessly beautiful compositions with massive, sweeping pads, soft percussion and a decidedly “less is more” approach. The whole EP is stunning but the achingly beautiful echoed guitar melodies of Lost Object stand out in particular. Check out the clips below and head to the Samurai Music store to grab this one now.

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Tokyo Prose – Presence [Samurai Red Seal]

Living up to the promise of early releases is no mean feat for any artist in any scene. For D&B, it’s not so much the “difficult second album” of rock and pop as the “difficult first album following several great EPs or singles”. The album format may have become more popular in recent years, especially for purveyors of the deeper side of the music, but that makes it no less difficult to do well, and many have released competent LPs which nonetheless either feel too filler-heavy or merely like a collection of singles rather than a coherent body of work.

Thankfully, Tokyo Prose’s debut suffers neither of these criticisms. The quality and depth of the production is breathtaking, and the tracks flow effortlessly together through commonality of tone and spirit. Make no mistake though, there’s more than enough detail and variation to hold your interest across the LPs 13 tracks.

Picking favourites is a difficult exercise as with all top quality LPs, especially with the likes of Lenzman, Synkro and LSB popping in for collaborations. The soft strings of Covet, the effortless downtempo of 16 Bar Cycles and the uplifting piano and reverb drenched vocals of Small Gains all stand out, but this is an album where different tunes are likely to speak to different listeners. One thing is for sure; from the opening  chimes to the beautiful, beatless outro of Dance With You, every new track is a treat and a pleasure. Check out the clips below and grab yourself a copy on vinyl or CD from the Samurai Store.

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Frederic Robinson – Vamp EP [Blu Mar Ten Music]

The follow up to Frederic Robinson’s excellent Mixed Signals LP just dropped on Blu Mar Ten Music and as with all of his work it’s a treat for fans of the deeper side of 170 BPM electronica. As well as the original mix of Vamp Til Ready (one of the album’s standout tracks) we’re treated to an extended live reinterpretation of the track, which captures the essence of the original while embellishing it nicely.

The true highlights of the EP come on the brand new material though. Synkro comes in on remix duties with a fresh take on Mixed Signals, lending it his trademark shuffling percussion and airy reverb-drenched atmospheres. I can’t think of a more appropriate producer to have picked and the rework is stunningly beautiful. Finally Frederic himself comes up with the rather Gold Panda-esque Wheels, dropping the tempo to 130 and getting a house vibe on; from the driving back beat to the odd rhythms of the lead sounds it’s an interesting look at the man’s talents at a different speed.

Check out the clips below and grab this on digital now from your favourite retailer.

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Sun & Bass 2013 Review – Part 1

After too many years of staring at the lineups and wishing I was there, 2013 was finally the year for a pilgrimage to Sun & Bass. Held in San Teodoro on the beautiful island of Sardinia, the festival offers eight nights of the best D&B DJs in the world. If you don’t believe it, have a gander at the lineup. Given the length of the event, this review will be split up into separate posts. Read on for part one…

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Mosaic Vol. 2 [Exit Records]

It feels almost redundant to be reviewing this but just in case anyone has somehow slept on what is definitely one of the best compilations of 2013, then feast your ears on Mosaic Vol. 2. Bringing together some seriously deep and innovative cuts from thirty different producers and spanning four plates of vinyl for the wax enthusiasts, Exit have truly outdone themselves.

Among the standout tracks (and this is a tough choice given the quality on show from all concerned) are the glitchy madness of Rockwell’s *)*[808], the lush halfstep liquid of Synkro’s The Way and the classic Fist Level 2B from Insta:mental (only been waiting three years for this one guys…)

Elsewhere Kryptic Minds deliver a fantastic slice of moody halfstep with Burnt To Ashes (a rare return to the 170 tempo since their exit to Dubstep realms several years back), Om Unit and Sam Binga collab on some deeply hip-hop/footwork influenced business, and Fracture & Dawn Day Night bring us the sounds of the ghetto on Sick Wid It. Check out clips of every track below and watch out for this one dropping on digital July 29th with vinyl following on August 5th.

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