WORDS

Reconnecting with Synergy

 

Five years ago we announced Segment & Concept Vision’s reboot as Synergy. At the time drum & bass was still heavily dominated by neurofunk; a sound the Russian duo were neck deep and thriving in.

But times change, and sounds do, too. Over the years the pair have softened their signature hard-hitting blow to embrace more musical and emotional aspects in the music. It’s an exciting fusion that has found home on some of the most forward-thinking and innovative labels on the futuristic side of drum & bass such as Vision, NEU, DIVIDID.

Now add Pilot to that list as they’ve just dropped two of their most striking compositions to date. Satellites, with flowanastasia, is one of those truly triumphant set pieces with a walloping, heart-wrenching intro and electrifying vocals while Made Of Glass, with Skylark, is another show-stopping moment of cathedral sized synths and feels.

Both tracks hit hard and continue to galvanise Synergy’s position as neck deep and thriving in D&B fullstop.

Frequently spotted on Patreon, experimenting, pushing their sound and finding new artists and inspirations, we thought it was high time we synergised with Evgenii and Igor once again.

How are you both? How was the lockdown for you in Russia?

Hey! Glad to meet and talk with you again! Everything is well, mostly. We are trying to stay positive and do what we both like the most – music. Thanks a lot to our Patreons for this opportunity, it would be impossible without their support!

Russia just went back into lockdown recently, it is not as hard as in some European cities but it still affects our lives a lot in certain circumstances. It’s still impossible to travel, as Russia is in the red zone for most European cities and we are very upset with this. We hope it will finally change for good soon!

How did the time away from clubs influence your music and your creative approach?

First of all, we have both grown mentally during this period and realized a few main things about ourselves. One of them is that our music was dancefloor focused only, and we want to change this to make our music more versatile. It means that it should not work in clubs or festivals only, but you should be able to enjoy it when you are meeting with friends or when you are traveling somewhere in your car, walking around etc… It should be more eclectic and combine both dynamics and melody so you can not only listen to these tracks in clubs but also everyday, listening at home for example.

You just mentioned Patreon and how that’s been great for you during the time off road last year. What have been your favourite moments on that platform so far?

Yes, Patreon is a great platform where you can fully show how versatile your creativity is. It’s a very flexible platform, unlike labels, which have certain limits. There are none here and that’s cool. We were amazed at how many talented producers we met via Patreon. Some of them sent us their tracks to get feedback, some of them contacted us for mixing and mastering tips and, you know, we couldn’t imagine that so many amazing producers would subscribe to our services here. We were convinced it would be beginners only who just started their way into the music world.

One of these producers was Yoshuu, he sent us a few of his works for feedback and one of the tracks was Envy which we instantly liked and then played in our Neosignal-stream-podcast. Now it just got released on DIVIDID!

The power of Patreon! That’s sick. So let’s chat about you guys and  go right back to when we announced the Synergy project. Times were very different back then and the sound was very different, too. What were your ambitions back then? And how do they compare to where you’re both at now in 2021?

It was five years ago, wow! We were younger not only physically, but also mentally. We weren’t looking at any other music besides neurofunk and were literally obsessed with improving the quality of our sound. So many things have changed since then. First of all, in terms of music – we started listening to a lot of different genres and realized that we can find inspiration in unexpected things, and it is amazing. We stopped being in our studios for 16 hours a day, started to spend more time with our families and friends and fixed our sleep patterns that helped us to start recovering mentally as well. This was very important for us, because at some point it turned into a constant crunch without any pleasure. If it doesn’t make you happy why is this even necessary then? We definitely started focusing less on sound design-only in our tracks and started to pay more attention to ideas and the composition. It’s important to us that the listener is interested in listening to the track from the very beginning until the end, not only when it drops.

When did the Synergy sound really start to change for you guys? For me it was the remix of Abis’s If U back in 2019, that and the Vision release last year felt like major turning points for me as a listener and appreciator of Synergy, would you agree?

For us it all started with the Vector EP on Blackout Music, this is why it was actually named Vector aka new direction. Then the Exile / In Black single on Dividid Music with Signal aka Imanu, where we switched our sound from neuro to a more electronic music-influenced type of drum & bass, and also our remix for Suspect by Pythius. At that time, we were worried that people who know us as neurofunk artists would not accept those changes in our sound, but at the same time we couldn’t wait to showcase our new sound, and fortunately all these releases were warmly welcomed!

You’re working with some very inspiring people and labels aren’t you?

Definitely! We had a privilege to start our musical journey from working with Black Sun Empire, one of the nicest people we have ever met! Huge thanks to Micha, Milan, Rene and all the blackout crew for believing in us early in those days! We would like to thank each and everyone who has supported us on our journey and you too Dave, as well as all the UKF crew! Special thanks to our manager Thibaud who helps us a lot in everything!

Ah nice one. A lot of this influence on the drum & bass sound is down to the new generation isn’t it? People like Imanu, Caracal Project and of course Skylark, to name just a few examples!

Exactly! The big plus of this is that we’re all trying to expand the limits of drum and bass by bringing a lot of other genres influences into it. A few years back, Drum & Bass music was mainly perceived and associated with something rough and aggressive, but over the years, this changes with the introduction of new techniques and influences of other music genres.

Wicked. Moving on to the new release, how did you link up with flowanastasia for Satellites?

Originally we planned this track as a set opener only and made a very long intro that was 1:50min long. But then we realized that we wanted something bigger than just a set opener and decided to get a vocalist for this track. Our manager suggested contacting flowanastasia, because she had already managed to work with another artist from our team and turned out to be a wonderful person and a good professional too. We were blown away by her voice and immediately asked him to contact Anastasia and ask her to work with us on Satellites. Fortunately, she knew about us and agreed! After a short period of time we received the first demo and this actually became the final version from the first try, after re-recording it in a studio! We were afraid that it would take a long time, because writing a song, recording vocals is a very difficult process, but Anastasia and her vocal engineer Tyr Kohout did everything at the highest level and it was such a pleasure working on it together! Anastasia made this song very special to us.

Awesome. How about Made Of Glass?

We wanted to work on something with Thibault (Skylark) for a long time, we already tried to collaborate earlier, but the process did not go well because we did not manage to add something special to that song. But we continued to communicate, shared different tracks that everyone listens to outside of working hours, discussed various things that interest us and realized that we have much more in common that we thought, and that we needed to drop unnecessary thoughts and stop focusing on creating a banger, to just make a good track. Then Thibault sent us another short demo that was focused on melodies and it was definitely all we needed so we finished it really quick.

So what comes next? What can we expect from Synergy in the future?

We finished a collab with Phace which will be out in a few weeks on Neosignal in his Linked series. This is the weirdest track we ever worked on (in a good way) and we can’t wait to see a people’s reaction!  We are also working on more solo music, a very exciting remix for a major drum & bass artist, and a few more collaborations we are very excited about. We can’t say with whom as it’s still in progress, but you can expect to hear more Synergy in the next year!

Synergy – Satellite / Made Of Glass is out now on Pilot 

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