Synkro is a conflicting figure. To me, anyway. Joe McBride's floaty iterations of bass music whisper sweet nothings but are built with the steely and chrome-plated palette of techno, where all the edges glow and everything bleeds out into a warm cloud of enwombing reverb. It's all done to a tee; but too often the Manchester producer finds himself in maudlin territory that rings hollow and overreaching in its quest for beauty.
The thing is, he's got some serious production chops. His latest release on frequent collaborator Indigo's Mindset imprint dials down the cheap tool of cavernous reverb, but he still feels primarily like an expert copyist. "Looking at You" corrodes Synkro's usually enveloping atmosphere, striving for a refinement so ascetic it's uncomfortably suffocating or at the least anesthetizing. Despite the strong presence of a human element, "Looking" feels unpleasantly cold and calculated. Meanwhile on the flipside, "It's" is basically a lost cut from Mount Kimbie's Crooks & Lovers. All submerged keyboard tones and minuscule vocal samples, the similarity becomes hard to ignore.
It's the odd one out where Synkro strikes oil: "Girl" plops a soulful vocal sample on top of a rugged and tugging bassline. The resulting friction hints towards a much-needed element of funk; it seems that if McBride wants to make his tunes so achingly beautiful, he just has to rough them up a little bit. And maybe stop trying to sound so much like other people.
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Tracklist: Synkro - Look at Yourself A Look At Yourself