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James Kent

Groundbreaking DVD from Timekode Studios is a glimpse at the future of psychedelic animation.

Timekode Studios

We here at are lucky to occasionally receive videos and DVDs of psychedelic animation to review. Being fans of both psychedelics and animation we are always excited when something new comes our way. However, most often these "video trips" turn out to be little more than screen-saver material edited together with some decent music. Fortunately for us, the eponymous debut from Syncrosect is something far more than this, and totally raises the bar on what we should expect from psychedelic animation in the future.

Syncrosect is a collaboration between trance musician Mr Peculiar and visual artist The Shapeshifter. Taken solely as a compilation of trance music, all six tracks on Syncrosect are expertly crafted specimens of the genre. Mr Peculiar sticks to the time-honored trance formula of wrapping a long crescendo of frantic beats and sick bass lines around each other until they explode into some massive warped-out breakdown, then smash back together into an even harder and sicker version of themselves for the climax. In this respect the music alone is damn fine.

Now take Mr Peculiar's sick trance and add multiple layers of visual synesthesia over it. The Shapeshifter takes the beats and builds custom-rendered 3D graphics around them, each object a machine-tuned bit of space that moves in perfect time to the music, each part an integral beating piece of the throbbing video organism. Since the beats of each track start off very minimalist and build over a period of many minutes, so too do the video effects. At first it is repetitious, but each new beat, bassline, and ambient sound has a corresponding video component that works it's way into the mix, starting first with abstract forms then adding layer upon layer of complexity until an entire videoscape of grooving 3D-alien-shamen ravers are in your face and shaking their booty in the swirling virtual techno-sphere. And then there are the video breakdowns, which are simply mind-blowing, and can only be appreciated by viewing the compilation for yourself.

Overall I was extremely impressed with the quality and care that went into the creation of this compilation. I have not seen anything like Syncrosect before, and STRONGLY suggest that anyone who is a fan of psychedelic animation check out these guys first, because then you'll know what the state-of-the-art truly is. Syncrosect lands at the top of my pile. And my four-year-old loved it, especially the alien characters created by The Shapeshifter, and if you can keep a four-year-old glued to the screen through an hour of trance music, there must be something going on there...

Syncrosect also plays live. Check their website for tour dates and clips from the DVD. Mr Peculiar and The Shapeshifter are both from Australia, and their distributor is in London, so this DVD is not currently available in the USA (yet). You can order it online from one of the retailers below (worldwide shipping), or check the Syncrosect website for where you can find it in the UK.

Saikosounds, Hong Kong
Trance-shop, Germany

Tags : psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2004-06-09 00:00:00