It’s not easy to construct a good V/A compilation that keeps the listener engaged all the way, but the minds over at Synphaera have managed to do exactly that with a lot of style and grace.
Chris Bryant and Don Tyler (together known as Ascendant) have started Synphaera Records out of need for a suitable platform to release their own music; however, soon it became clear to them that more artists could fit into the roster. The ethos: high quality ambient and downtempo electronica with retro characteristics and modern execution. And of course, delivering a strong V/A compilation is an excellent way to present the world their vision. Diving into Starseed is the best way to get to know the label and its sound and style, and for many it will be the start of a love relationship.
Synphaera is not here to break any boundaries, but it’s certainly here to bring something fresh, reveal new talent and spread the work of already well established artists. Starseed does exactly these three things with ten luminous tracks. The voyage starts with Ascendant’s “Inception”—a brilliant uplifting opening that perfectly sets the mood with lush swirling synth work. Afterwards, Martin Nonstatic‘s glitchy designs kick in with a dark aura. Motionfield slides in next with addictive themes and deep resonance. Germind slows the pace down a bit with some tribal space motives. Organic and synthetic beautifully collide. Subdream flows in suitably with something completely dreamy, fluid and kaleidoscopic. Fourth Dimension‘s “Unity” comes next. A slow-burning mystical experience that shows a different side of the duo, which released a lovely album on Synphaera this month called The Core.
The voyage continues to pulse spaciously as “Deimos (On Orbit Edit)” by Chronos sweeps in. An epic, celestial piece of ambient. Omelic then changes things to crunchy downtempo electronica with “Orbium.” The slow landing starts with Transponder‘s ethereal mysterious drones and finally Solaris brings us back to earth safely with “Solaria.” It’s not easy to construct a good V/A compilation that keeps the listener engaged all the way, but the minds over at Synphaera have managed to do exactly that with a lot of style and grace. Starseed is probably the best compilation in the field since Ultimae‘s Fahrenheit Project series. Let’s hope it’s a harbinger of more good things to come.