Saturday, June 6, 2020
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VV.AA.: The Syncopaths Vol. 4

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The Syncopaths Vol. 4
Format: Tape
Label: Syncopathic Recordings
While previous releases in the “Syncopaths” series had a theme or a commonality of genre and tempo, volume 4 in the series is a label sampler in the more traditional sense- nine tracks from the label’s artists designed to show off the breadth rather than the similarity in their work, and to hopefully snag some new fans into checking out the longer releases from each artist.

So while overall this is electronica, broken techno and post-dance- with glitches, thumping sub-basses, complex rhythms and anti-rhythms, noisy percussive sounds and squeals- there are plenty more details to keep things interesting.

Dyl’s “Neuroticism” kicks things off in dramatic fashion and sets the tone, with kicks and genuinely painful-sounding drilling noises. Selm’s “Stank” is noisy in a more subdued and threatening way, built around a relentlessly pulsing bass synth that’s crisply broken up and mangled serially.

After that though, things get a bit more calm, for a while at least. DB1’s “NLTN” blends a cerebral drumming pattern with rustling atmospherics. Andrea Taeggi’s “Teagarden B” is perhaps the most ‘conventional’ piece, a brighter-sounding bit of robo-house with a lovely foot-tapping groove, while ANMA’s “Bateleur” is a captivating and somewhat retro, radiophonic-style exploration of analogue (or an analogue for analogue) electronic loop patterns with a velvety buzzing bass tone.

The compilation wraps with two longer and meatier pieces, just above ten minutes each. Pokk!’s “502” starts in the analogue space before stepping along progressively, tweaking noise generators at a walking pace on a nicely casual musical stroll. Pheek’s “Emphasis” is structurally similar, with a more digital tone and an unusual wallowing in underwater-style processing.

A good blend of consistency with variety across this 56-minute compilation makes it a strong showcase for a label clearly unearthing some very interesting electronica.