The Russian trio known as Psynchro (comprised of Noxen, Cooper and Deontriq) have only been releasing for about a year but they’re hitting the big labels quickly and with force right out the gate. They’ve put out two EPs to date on Cyberfunk and Major League DnB and they’ve also already had tracks on Eatbrain, RAM and Shellshock Compilations. Their Lobzik EP on Eatbrain, however, signifies their first multi-track with a big label and, most likely, the beginning of their rise through the ranks of hard drum & bass.
With a style that combines tornado-like spinning snares with all the techy synths and sound design of techstep and early neurofunk that’s been left behind of late, Psynchro are filling a gap in the neuro and hard D&B timeline. Their unique technique brings that heavy neuro aggression back to a deeper and more funky place. It’s no wonder labels are quick to snap them up. The four-track Lobzik is a showcase of the trio’s style and more importantly a reminder that neuro will never get boring.
Beginning with the surprisingly emotive “Signature,” Psynchro brings those who don’t know them yet immediately into their world with cheeky windups before each drop, whip-fast beats and those characteristic spinning snares. The synths in this track are held back a bit compared to other Psynchro tracks and the background sounds are brought slightly forward so that’s why, despite the track being so techy, it still has quite a bit of emotion to it. Old school dark and techstep fans will also notice a little throwback vocal sample from the 90s punctuating the sound throughout “Signature” that makes it that much more fun and funky.
It seems Psynchro are determined to bring the best bits of old neuro and its progenitors back to the future. To wit: the very next track “Yogurt Language” has a drum loop that was popular in the late 90s and early 00s in hard D&B. In fact there are a lot of throwback techniques in this track if you know where to listen. Still thoroughly modern, however, the cinematic intro and breaks tend to blend into another emotive twinge running through the track: a high-pitched melody juxtaposed just in the right spot to get the listener in the feels.
The title track is a collab with Toyfon, with whom the trio have collaborated quite a bit on past releases. This track, while feeling quite full and heavy those whip-fast snares, is actually quite minimal compared to “Signature” and “Yogurt Language.” That said, the tech production and sound design here are on par with some Current Value or Hybris work. Perhaps a fusion of those two heavyweights is a good descriptor but this track also stands on its own as unique to the artists who made it.
Last on Lobzik is another collab track with Ridley Dynamics called “Random Connection” and it’s so damn techy that if techy D&B were a finite commodity, “Random Connection” could say it used all that was left. While all the tracks on this EP are down for the dancefloor, this one is where those of us dreaming of an actual dancefloor can picture skanking out the hardest to at a rave on the Juno space orbiter. Maybe someday we will.
So, Psynchro and Eatbrain have now served warning with Lobzik: this trio will be another fantastic breakout artist of 2020 as their work will step up the game of the whole hard D&B world. It’s wonderful to see, 20-plus years on, artist can still draw inspiration from the early days of neurofunk and make such fantastic modern work from it.
Lobzik is out today, May 22 on Eatbrain. Stream or purchase here.