- Even if it's not what they intended, the music that Synkro and Indigo make as Akkord feels like a response to the recent ubiquity of lo-fi house and techno. The project was initially presented anonymously, which makes sense—like Raster-Noton, their music is so pristine it's almost faceless. The two Mancunians have always leaned on techno as their biggest reference point, and over time they've inched closer and closer toward a traditional idea of the genre. Their debut album brings them closer still. Akkord is a fiercely technical take on dance music, one that you could dance to or simply admire in all its steel-plated glory.
A metallic feel runs throughout the album. It's sequenced beautifully, so that by the time they're pummelling you with full-on dance floor beats, you're practically begging for it. After two ruminative tracks, the techno finally hits on "3dOS," which could be the duo's quintessential track. The descending bassline feels like it's buckling under its own pressure, and at one point it simply jumps off into complete silence. It's a trick they've used before, but "3dOS" does it better, and that one-upmanship with their past material remains a theme throughout the album. From there, Akkord touch on a variety of styles—floaty dub techno ("Conveyer"), uncharacteristic slow burn ("Channel Drift"), even glitch ("Hex AD").
Akkord never lose sight of their core aesthetic, and get a surprising amount of mileage out of what seems at first like a limited palette. It's a more tightly-wound techno album than most, but that's sort of the point. Any interruption feels cataclysmic, like the little bits of drum breaks that cut free on "Folded Edge," offering up an enticing bit of unpredictability in music that otherwise feels perfectly measured. Off-the-cuff records have their appeal, but with Akkord, Synkro and Indigo prove how riveting a fastidious approach can be.
01. Torr Vale
02. Smoke Circle
04. Folded Edge
06. Hex AD
07. Channel Drift