I just love dark and dirty drum’n’bass. But… I also love its jazzy, organic, and carefree flip-side. That is the sound of Syncopix. You walk out the door, on a crisp summer morning; the sun casts off the sharp shadows of the trees; and with the headphones on you trot to the beat. The light and upbeat rhythms tickle your eardrums with the high frequencies of snares, hi-hats and cymbals. You get into the groove with the minor chords and melodic pads. And just when things get rolling, the deep bass kicks in. An uncontrollable smile creeps in. This is what I’m talking about.

Hamburg (Germany) based Roland Bogdahn, has been producing drum’n’bass under his Syncopix alias since 2001. Along with Yaw O. Afram (MTC Yaw) he founded Form Recording, and then spun off Syncopix Records sublabel, on which he already put out about half a dozen of his own 12-inchers, and finally his debut full length album, Icarus. All the years past, Bogdahn has been mostly releasing two-track DJ friendly vinyl on London Elektricity’s London based Hospital Records and its sub-label, M*A*S*H; as well as Integral, Dutch Fokuz Recordinngs (sub-label of Citrus from Triple Vision), and Berlin based Hard:Edged among the many. There are also numerous collaborations and remixes – too many to mention for this writeup.

But this is Bogdahn’s first album. Even though it is unmixed, it flows very well, and is worthy of being a standout release apart from being just a collection of tracks. In fact, it only has two out of thirteen pieces which previously appeared on vinyl. The rest are all new (as far as I know). Geared more towards the listener, rather then the nightclub, Icarus is an album to add to your d’n’b archives. Recommended. Favorite tracks: Nightlistener and Disc Go!