SYNC24 – Comfortable Void

English / Polish version

SYNC24 - Comfortable Void
    ULTIMAE RECORDS
    SYNC24
    Comfortable Void
    2012

      1. Comfortable Void
      2. Inadvertent
      3. Dance Of The Droids
      4. 1N50MN14
      5. Nanites
      6. Sequor
      7. Something Something
      8. Oomph
      9. Wake (Live Edit)
      10. There Is No Spoon

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I love surprises. I love them mainly because they rarely happen to me, but they provide plenty of pleasure. The biggest surprise of this week was a shipment directly from Ultimae Records, and it was the most recent album of Daniel Segerstad aka SYNC24 (also known from a project Carbon Based Lifeforms) – COMFORTABLE VOID. His second solo album appeared in the music market on 21st of June 2012, five years after the publication of an excellent album called SOURCE, which sounds I perfectly remember, because they accompanied me in a few important moments of my life.

Usually while reviewing the album, I focus only on my own thoughts, subjective assessment of the material, this time I would like to bury a little bit in the mind of SYNC24 because I am surprised by a procedure used by this artist. In addition to a brilliant cover art, that is a tasty graphic piece (which is probably a standard for Ultimae) and its beautiful pictures delight everyone in COMFORTABLE VOID we will find something that is rare – I mean a brief analysis of the tracks, an explanation of their genesis, an attempt to present the point of view of Daniel and the inspiration that gave rise to such, and no other sound of the tracks. I was always curious from where came an idea for the specific track, why the artist chooses the concrete sounds, melodies, vocals, for what reason calls his track this way and not otherwise, whether the title of the track, the cover artwork that fits to the whole of the album has anything to do with music… Daniel Segerstad has presented his own point of view – I think it required the great courage, because by telling us how he got the idea for the track, how the artist himself feels it, he suggests to us how we can receive it, what emotions, images it can create. In fact, some of the descriptions Daniel used, penetrate somewhere into our minds, subconsciously stimulating our thinking, but certainly the do not demotivate us to express our own feelings and to create specific images in our imagination – images that are different from those mentioned by Daniel.

Taking under the magnifying glass the first track of SYNC24 latest album, which is called the same as the title of the album, COMFORTABLE VOID, Daniel writes something like this: ‘Sometimes I find myself alone in my studio with a feeling of absolute content. Tranquil and with a sense of mysticism. I treasure these moments and with pleasure captured one of them into a track. (…)’. For me, this musical proposal is a very mellow one, you can feel in it a kind of fulfillment, peace of mind. The photo of the forest probably from the period between autumn and winter, burst into life, enlaced by the fog, intensifies the feeling of mysticism and the aura of mystery. As with any creative work, sometimes you come across some critical moments when it seems that the specific ideas will not work out. While working on the second track, INADVERTENT, SYNC24 did not discover its nature at once – ‘This was one of those tracks that never seem to work out. I’ve made a number of versions trying to make it into something it was not meant to become. Once I understood the meaning of the track it was all very simple and it was stripped down to what it is, a beginning of something.’ DANCE OF THE DROIDS is a little bit industrial, raw, heavy at times track and these associations did not come from nowhere, because Daniel describes his idea this way: ‘(…) I had a vision of some sort of factory at night where machines and robots came to life.’ In a case of people who practice a liberal profession, the insomnia or working 24 hours a day is not surprising. In the track 1N50MN14 you can feel a breath of a sleepless, lazy night during which the specters appear when you are half asleep, your body begins to refuse to obey, but the mind is working on the higher speed. SYNC24 mentions that he often lacks a normal cycle of sleep, once he works 100 hours a week and other times he does not get down to work at all. It is this transitional state between the overwork and lack of occupation that makes the brain can not relax, and any additional, external images, voices, situations create some kind of scene. Daniel says that: ‘I tried to convert annoying sounds like a snoring girlfriend or an alarm clock and feelings of stress and restless legs into something positive.’ Once again, in the album COMFORTABLE VOID, in the track NANITES there appears a theme of robots, a bit of a science fiction climate. SEQUOR – I follow, I go after… What follows and to who or what listens SYNC24? It turns out that he listens to his inner voice, which he follows and which led him to this place, where he is today and without which he would not be who he is. The seventh track of the solo album of SYNC24 is what its title suggests – SOMETHING SOMETHING. It is just something indefinable, about what Daniel says this way: ‘Sometimes there is no story, no meaning and no message. Sometimes a track is written for the pure joy of it all. A simple melody suddenly becomes a theme and suddenly there is a finished track. (…)’. Moreover, the track was made in less than five hours, and it provides much more fun and for me it is one of the most interesting themes of this album. It reminds me a little a few tracks of Carbon Based Lifeforms, who can build the atmosphere in a brilliant way, tweak it by using some strong impacts and cause some shivers down the spine. As you can see without a great history in the background it is also possible to create something truly remarkable! The eighth track is something extraordinary! I love it from the very beginning, not only because I am a fan of such kind of melodies, the elements of suspense, the sudden stops of the pace and its acceleration, but also the multitude of associations, themes affecting the imagination. However, my imagination is much poorer than the imagination of Daniel. His vision is very colourful, rich in a variety of themes: ‘In a recent dream I was walking in a white concrete maze. After a long while I found a staircase, leading down. Below was a mountain landscape with a lake of lava, only not hot and from it emanated a faint music. A strange looking frog, about 50 centimeters of height, came out of the lake. It’s mouth was vertical and I could see no eyes. The frog slowly transformed into a woman as it walked up to me. She took my hand and led me into the lake. As I descended I could hear the music coming closer. I went deeper and deeper and the music got louder and louder. It was the most beautiful music I’d ever heard and it filled my whole being with energy. There were hundreds of strange creatures gathered down there. I realised that I had transformed into something other than human and become one with the music…’. OOMPH is my favourite one in the album, I can listen to it over and over. The penultimate position, I mean WAKE is slightly progressive face of Daniel, who wrote this track after waking up from a beautiful dream during one of the nights. THERE IS NO SPOON – the last track and a large portion of excitement. It is very pleasant to listen to this track, it is extremely deep, moody, and the impressions of Daniel are as follows: ‘I’m standing alone and there is no turning back. The first step is scary and exciting at the same time. Parting is painful but after a while I realize, this is what I wanted and I’m filled with that warm feeling…’. Farewells are always difficult, but parting with the good music is even more difficult…

Is it possible in the case of Ultimae that one day could happen something that would completely change the face of the label? For me it is a rhetorical question, because everything that comes out of the hands of this label, is a feast for the mind and soul. In terms of COMFORTABLE VOID each track, every little sound, melody, voice, graphics, titles of individual tracks make sense and are incredibly consistent and maintained in a distinctive, one of a kind, unique only for Ultimae style. What pleases me even more is the fact that the first time I had to deal with a public confession of the artist, I could get to know the process of creation and the soul of SYNC24, who himself voluntarily revealed it to us. I recommend the second solo album from this artist to anyone who wants to hear the sounds that arise as a result of the work of a sensitive soul.

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8 / 10
Kasia