Following the Cultivated Electronics 10th anniversary release series, comes this, their 21st release. Titled Split Excursions Vol. 1, label owner Sync24 and relative newcomer Privacy (of Lobster Theremin fame) collaborate on the first side, while DeFeKt takes both tracks on the other.
It’s full power from the offset. ‘Hard To Tell’ kicks off with deep rolling kick drums, which boast an interesting rest between each loop, instantly adding an erratic atmosphere perfect for the dancefloor. Then comes the kind of morphing/squelching bass line we’ve now come to expect from Sync 24. As the track winds down, the final impression is made by a bleep scale breakdown. Layered throughout the track is a disorientating, echoing vocal sample that ironically states “It ain’t hard to tell”. Well, it ain’t hard to tell it’s an absolute weapon, that’s for sure.
Track two is ‘General Data Standard’. It’s another squelching powerhouse. This time (as the name suggests) it's somehow even more reminiscent of sci-fi due to a spacey, three note minor-sounding motif, which washes over the track and acts (depending on which way you look at it) as either a beautiful distraction, or the focal point above the percussive intensity. At points, it sounds as if the Artificial Intelligence that sets this so called ‘General Data Standard’ is actually whispering to the listener in the form of a compressed vocal sample. It’s hard to tell if this AI is friendly, but I bet you’ll be dancing manically to its utterance next to a human stranger who views it with similar ambivalence in the not too distant future.
Although ‘MG1’ opts once again (seemingly) to adhere to the style set down on the A side, we find DeFeKT throwing some of his own defining ingredients into that tasty soup. Namely, a wiping bleep that could easily be compared to a warping car alarm sound. Having said this, we all know full well it’s from Darth Vader’s personal TIE Fighter being knocked by a drunk storm trooper after a victory party aboard the Death Star, rather than just your mum’s Ford on the blink again. This time we find a more acid-y line throughout with the percussion leaning more toward the industrial. The cherry on top though is the prominent vocal sample “Control” which repeats just the right amount. A drawback of the track is the descent into an arguably tacky white noise breakdown at about the three-minute mark, but odds on it’s just there for a bit of fun.
As an aside, this is in many ways how I see this type of electro - as serious fun. With an energy far too often discussed in the same bracket as techno simply because you’ll often find the pair accompanying each other in a mix, or DJs who play one or the other often featuring on the same line up. In reality though, the way it gets people dancing and the momentum that picks up in that sense surrounding it, is far more akin to drum and bass.
‘MG2’ although still a great, high-energy electro track, doesn’t bring much new to the table when inevitably compared to the three prior tracks on the EP. Having said this, it would be a lie to call it bad, but when there are tracks of such a high calibre on the same record, it’s hard not to scrutinize. The track is still doubtlessly a rolling acid-y belter and would definitely hold its own on the dance floor, and could be used as an effective and easy DJ tool.
A split EP is a funny thing, because, although both sides of this EP are magnificent, the comparison between Sync 24 and Privacy’s A-side and DeFeKT’s B-side will take place in the mind of anyone who hears them both, even if they deny it. Having said that, the energy stays high throughout, and I can’t wait to hear these tracks in a club environment.
Released June 19, 2017