***** Sync 24 – Inside The Microbeat (Cultivated Electronics CE040 – 2021)

Sync 24’s debut album occupies minds and bodies with psychedelic a la carte electro. Having shaped from Cultivated Electronics a remarkable label, Philip Bolland has acted as a real small business founder, being active both in the managerial and production duties for CE’s sought-after electro catalogue. Now, instead of betting on status-driven success – not too unlikely for top tier labels or artists -, Sync 24 embarks on more intriguing paths and takes unprecedented turns with an impressive set of tracks. Whereas calling it ‘electro album’ is not entirely precise. Averting the genre’s middle-of-the-road trap, the artist presents a compendium of musical ideas that are translated into an extraordinary journey through various spheres of electronics.

Opening with warmly waving “Oriental Sunset”, the next track “Inspired Law” emits almost religious flair with juggled Lord-themed vocals. Solid beats in “Drunk On Delays” arrive with cosmic chimes, with humans being sucked into the matrix of fantasy world, and the title track “Inside The Microbeat” examines the matters of future machinery. On the C-side, robot dancehall “Sluper Smashed” with acid residues and “The Arrival” represent the bass-heavy side with braindance supplies in the backpack.

D-side begins with “Haunt Times”, which feels like sneaking into a dark castle with broken windows and caught in the maze of strange voices and synth worms. A track so captivating that I feel like an insect hitting a light bulb in a dark autumn night. Chemical experiments for the strong are conducted in “Solvent Flavours Revisited”, catapulting the post-Woodstock vibe into our days. “Lightwire” gathers speed with a nasty bass line, releasing immense amounts of energy, while clear-cut broken beats return with steely tremors in “Avoid The Ploid”. In the company of pensive acidic builder “Spatial Racing” we are heading back to home dock.

If UNESCO world heritage sites would be extended to music, this work would be a case to include. Definitely an album not only the author should be happy about. And if looking for something exquisite, a hundred copies of the limited edition are pressed on triple colour vinyl and placed in a gatefold sleeve, with an original and hand-finished canvas print of the artwork by Will Barras.

Buy ltd vinyl / digital from Cultivated Electronics (UK)
Buy vinyl from Juno (UK)
Buy vinyl from Decks (DE)
Buy vinyl from Biit.me (EE)

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