Kiyoko- Sea of Trees
Specialising not just in d&b but also general bass/electronic music, Auxiliary is a label that’s been a firm Broken Culture favourite for a while now with incredible releases from the likes of Sam KDC, ASC and Synkro keeping things mellow. Their latest offering is one they’ve kept fairly quiet about up until now, and for good reason. Kiyoko is Synkro alongside a lesser known, but seemingly no less talented, friend who produces under the alias Bering Strait who’ve joined forces to create an album, Sea of Trees, purely from analog kit.
As with most music that bears Synkro’s name on it, it’s a decidedly down tempo, genre defying affair. However, being longer than any of his previous releases at seven tracks, the duo have been able to use this to their advantage and take you further into the late night, atmospheric worlds Synkro creates with his solo tracks. It becomes more about the vibe and emotions conjured by a collection of music rather than individual stand out tracks or particularly soothing drops, maintaining a fairly steady pace other than the slightly more up beat drums underneath the beautiful guitar melodies of Dulcimer.
What always strikes me about Synkro’s production is the overwhelming amount of detail and layers, something that comes through here, despite a much more stripped back sound. Reverberating pops combine perfectly with rainfall esque crackles and reverses in Rainfall to great effect while vocal samples crackle beautifully underneath the understated yet encapsulating melodies of Shinegawa which eventually fades out into a news report, something very few can make soothing!
This isn’t a piece of music you’ll find topping the charts on beatport or even in the bag of your favourite DJ. It is however, exceptionally good armchair music that perfectly suits that late night bubble we all find ourselves in at one time or another. It flows nicely together as a constructed album, one of those that’s so tranquil you almost forget it’s on despite it being very emotive, and the purely analog nature of it adds to it’s charm and elegance. In a world where technological advances and cheap equipment make it easy for anyone to become a producer (of sorts), it’s refreshing to hear those that can still hold it down on hardware and those that still relish those twelve inch plastic disks.