Synkro is at his most comfortable when he is switching things up. With a catalog of releases that run close to a decade and a multitude of genres spread between them, whether it be ambient, downtempo drum and bass or even dubstep, the Manchester-based artist never sticks to one sound too long.
In the last few years, Synkro has released multiple EPs and his debut LP on Apollo Records, the ambient arm of the legendary R&S – a comfortable spot for the likes of Aphex Twin, Biosphere and Model 500 some two decades past. The legacy of the label has grown comfortably with releases from Indigo, Makoto, SW and Synkro himself. Continuing his streak with the label, Synkro returns with a new EP; a collaboration with the incredible IDM legend Arovane.
‘Refractive (Index)’ is a delicate touchstone of melodic warmth and rhythmic flexibility that is sure to deliver listeners a vibe that’s positively pulsing at the seams. With the four-tracker out for release today – Synkro caught up with Inverted Audio to chat about the project, how it compared to his other collaborations and what’s next for him. He also delivered a stupendous guest mix for our sister series, Newtype Rhythms, to boot. His mix starts at around 49 minutes in — with resident Sheepshead providing some ambient and experimental textures to start with.
Interview by Mitch Strashnov
Congrats on the new release on Apollo with Arovane — you’ve been quite at home with the label over the last few years with EP releases on and your Changes LP a few years back — what keeps you coming back to releasing on the label time and time again?
Thank you, I’m really happy with the new EP. I definitely feel at home with Apollo, it’s a real honour to work with them as I’m a massive fan of their early output with artists such as Biosphere, Sun Electric, Robert Leiner & Aphex Twin. Aside from that I love Rennat, Sabine & Andy [the label manager] — they have all been really supportive of my work from the beginning.
Refractive (Index) is a collaborative release with Arovane — a legendary artist in IDM circles since his City Centre Offices days; and how did that collaboration come to fruition?
Arovane has been one of my favourite artists for a long time now, I have all his early records on CCO & Din, his albums Tides & Lilies changed my life musically. When he sent me a message on Soundcloud — I was blown away & we got on really well as we both have a soft spot for a strange old hardware sequencer by Yamaha that plays a big role in both of our work.
Obviously you’re no stranger to collaborations, working in projects such as Akkord and Kiyoko — did you approach your work with Arovane in a different context than the other projects? If so, how?
This collaboration was a little different from others as we worked remotely & for most of my other collaborative projects we are usually in the studio together. But we both have a very similar sound palette & a good workflow so it came together pretty quick.
You have always found an emotional core within your tunes — even since the Smokin’ Sessions days a decade ago — this is something that’s been parallel with Arovane’s work as well. Was it easy to sync on tone and melody because of those distinct parallels?
Definitely, we both love complex rhythms and delicate melodies so our sounds fit together really well, we didn’t have to force anything & the whole EP came together naturally.
Do you have any plans on continuing this collaboration?
Yes, we have quite a few more tracks that didn’t make it on to this EP but we are working on Part 2 already!
What’s next for Synkro in 2018?
I’m launching my own label later this year called Synkro Musik. It will be focused on my own productions with collaborations & remixes from some of my favourite artists. There will be limited runs of hand stamped vinyl & digital. The 2nd track in the mix — “Luminous” — is taken from the first release on my label that should be dropping in the next few months with an amazing remix from Dev Paradox on the flip!
Finally, tell us about this mix you’ve made for Newtype Rhythms.
This is a collection of some of my favourite tracks from the past few months and as usual with me — I threw in a couple of classics, It kind of represents my current DJ sets as Synkro.
00:00 – 48:51 – Mixed by Sheepshead
01. Grouper – Moving Machine
02. Motohiro Nakashima – Mom Piano
03. Aphex Twin – White Blur 2
04. Eartheater – Switch
05. Ena – Shukka (Part 2)
06. Peder Mannerfelt – You Had
07. Telefon Tel Aviv – Eight Track Project (Archive ’99)
08. Makoto Yoshimori – Voiceless Scream
09. Susumu Yokota – Love Tendrilises (Montag Remix)
10. Gacha – Remember
48:52 – END – Mixed by Synkro
01. Oneohtrix Point Never – RayCats
02. Synkro – Luminous
03. Elsewhere – Procession
04. Aphex Twin – Lichen (1136 mix)
05. Steven Rutter – Binary Breakdown
06. µ-Ziq – Driving Is Easy
07. Synkro & Arovane – New Dawn
08. Tim Koch – Bloom
09. Chromatics – Red Car
10. RX-101 – Clatter
11. Blocks Escher – Gulls
12. Brainwaltzera – aegis outdive [sF]
13. Skeptical – Look Behind
14. SW:SVN – dx n-lip
15. Alaska – The Vortex