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A Magazine for Sheffield


Paradoxically, minimalism has a lot going for it. We all either went through a period where we thought we liked minimal techno or a period where we had no idea it was around. They're both essentially the same thing.

Mildly tedious electronic fad or no, there's a certain amount of beauty in restraint. The simple act of holding a little back can open up whole new worlds of gratification. It's the same principle that applies to only eating half a tube of Pringles or watching no more than ten minutes of absolutely any Michael Bay movie.

Allowing simple musical motifs to speak volumes is something modern music has been indulging in since the 1960s. The New York Hypnotic School of classical musicians, which included the likes of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, pioneered a style of sonics that modern musicians like Aphex Twin and Fennesz adapted into ambient and drone soundscapes. Take the reconstructed floaty sounds of the 'future garage' scene that reared its head a few years back and welcome to the subject at hand; minimalist, ambient, forward thinking, upfront, future bass music. Before you get any ideas, I'm coining that term so back off.

Manchester's Synkro has been forging his name as a garage and 2-step artist for a good while but it wasn't until 2011's absolutely exquisite 'Look At Yourself' that you could really see his true floaty potential. His latest EP Acceptance is the sound of an artist who has truly grown into their own style. Packed to the gills with lush consonant harmonies, delayed vocals and crisp, expertly mastered beats, everything ambles along at a pace that betrays its true 135BPM roots.

The addition of reverb-heavy guitar strummings on nearly half of the offerings show a brief foray into a depth of new musicality, or just reinforcement of the idea that guitars in electronic music make you seem like more of a credible artist. Pick one.

The production value on Acceptance is so high that it makes speakers sing. Little Burial-esque nuances of rain and traffic slip through unobtrusively and bass lines feel like soft damp cuddles. It's warm and familiar yet current and edgy. Like a kitten smoking crack.

If this lush offering could be described as anything it would be whoopee makin' music for the bass generation. Minimalist, ambient, forward thinking, upfront, future, baby making music. Coined it.