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Sync 24 - Inside The Microbeat (Cultivated Electronics)

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Forthcoming on Cultivated Electronics – Inside The Microbeat – the long awaited debut album from Sync 24.

London based Sync 24 aka Phil Bolland has cemented himself and his label – Cultivated Electronics, as integral parts of the electro scene. Phil has put on events via his Scand parties, DJ’d, played live, produced, and put out his own music and consistently released high quality electro on his label, which has over forty releases on it now, for over two decades. The man certainly has a dedication and love for the scene that is not often seen. I am pretty sure that the vast majority have heard of CE and Sync 24, but for those that have not you are in for a treat, go check out the back catalogue.

The physical release is a thing of beauty, eleven tracks across three limited edition colour vinyl plus a canvas print and a limited-edition tote bag. This will be restricted to 100 available and will only be available via the CE Bandcamp. It features the art of Will Barras, an award-winning animation director based in London, who is also associated with Bristol’s Street art scene and was a founder member of the Scrawl Collection.

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On to the music. The album starts with Oriental Sunset. Great track, great opener. It sounds like a soundtrack to an old computer driving game. Next is Inspired Law Wonky chords, then bass fade in, closely followed by an electro kick, then hats, then the snare makes sense of it all. Builds, drops, an almost manic morphing synth line, disembodied vocals echoing and delaying. Brilliantly programmed and executed track, and one of those breaks in the middle that make you double take the record to make sure it hasn’t finished. Drunk On Delays, the name of this track gives you a hint.

Solid electro dancefloor fodder, with absolute delay madness, proper disorientation tune. Awesome. Now for the title track, Inside The Microbeat. Ominous pads and slowly throbbing bass, fidgety, stuttering snippets of vocal accompany hats and other percussion. Then the electro kick. Sluper Smashed is next. This starts with more of a broken beat style kick, industrial style sounds, futuristic laser bleeps and stabs. This has a start/stop, chugging funk to it, almost like some weird broken electro train from the future. I absolutely love this track. The Arrival, an electro beat and laser stabs, hypnotic bleeps and beeps, deep undulating bassline, then more urgent aggressive stabs come in like some sort of alien warning system. Haunt Times, this sounds like scanning through an alien radio.

Weird voices, static or interference, an arpeggiated synth line a bit surgeon like, relentless, we’re still scanning the alien radio and coming across random bursts of vocals, if you can call them that. The electro kick and percussion somehow tie all this in together. Incredible track just keeps building and building. Solvent Flavours Revisited is next.

Off kilter backwards sounding noises closely followed by a solid electro kick and snare. Vocal snippets laden in effects, sweeps and stabs, low bass. This track is a bit punk, would sound amazing over a huge system. Lightwire starts with a kick and not much else, a few weird noises, sweeps and stabs, then the relentlessly rolling bassline comes in. It just builds from there, proper dancefloor electro. Simply epic. Avoid The Ploid.

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An electro beat and clap, followed swiftly by some heavy 808 kick and snare. Claps and stabs, then comes the bouncy, up and down acid sounding bassline, the vocal sounds in this are awesome, the energy in this track is off the charts, peak time dancefloor tune. On to the final track of this unbelievable debut album - Spatial Racing.

Haunted pads give rise to a driving acidic bassline, a bassline that is subtly being morphed, as the rest of the elements of the track build patiently around it. This track is over ten minutes long and Sync 24 really shows his skill at his ability to build and control a track, truly masterful. What a fantastic way to round of your debut album. Stunning track!

What can I say? An absolute masterpiece of an album, brilliantly executed from a guy that puts so much into the scene we love. 10/10

Review by: Matt Sever