As Cultivated Electronics celebrate their tenth anniversary, label head Sync24 finishes a run of five collaborative releases that commemorate the label’s decade in the game with this: the 20th release.
From the offset there’s no fucking around. The first track, ‘Tri-Gate’, features Truss, a producer who needs no introduction. Boasting similar relentless sounds as his now put to bed MPIA3 alias, it’s fairly easy to pin point his influence on the track. It’s morphing, growling and heavily layered, with some irresistible synth sounds and a rolling kick drum. This is quite possibly the best track on the EP and will likely be the track many will come back to the most. Re-diving into the electro genre, Truss uses sounds that remind me of his work from almost half a decade ago - it’s refreshing to hear how he’s using that to push the boundaries of what the genre can be.
Track two, ‘Elliptical’, finds a collaborator in Radioactive Man, an artist more often affiliated with electro. This one blips, dips and shimmers. There is a squelching bass line which is just plain naughty. The incredibly fast yet rolling beat of the track is combined with deep and spacey breakdowns and works well. The huge medley of the rising and falling soundscape make it an absolute weapon, great for reaching a peak momentum during a set. If ‘Elliptical’ was to soundtrack a situation, it would be a cross-country run across Mars while dodging the occasional foe.
Jensen interceptor is half of the beast on track number three, ‘Wave ID’. It begins with a palpitation inducing kick and is sure to build tension on the dance floor. Building intensity as multiple layers are added, the track has a beautiful array of spaced-out synths and an attacking acid line with a crunchy distortion. Although more of an acquired taste, this track definitely gets my head bopping. It’s the way the sounds get more and more compressed throughout that I’m sure will get many focused on the dance floor. Madness!
The last of the four tracks, ‘We Animate’, opts for a classic distorted and alien-like vocal, reminiscent of Juan Atkins’ pioneering tracks under his Cybertron and Model 500 monikers. In this track we find Sync24 teaming with Steve Allman, resident at London’s Scand parties - a man who’s known across the board as an electro don. Beginning with a very simplistic kick and snare combo, the track morphs with phased synth sounds, dropping into a lovely, catchy acid bass line. The influence of Atkins is definitely strong here, and it’s a formula that still serves the two producers well; they beef it up and make it their own. Having said this, the track is the least original on the EP for this reason. In all honesty though, electro seems to be a genre where sounds are borrowed from artist to artist and track to track anyway (often with great effect).
Overall this EP is truly worthy to round off the 10th anniversary of Cultivated Electronics. When simply reading Sync24’s list of chosen collaborators I already had high hopes. These expectations were far surpassed.
By Joel Baker | Loose Lips