By Hollie McGowan
VANCOUVER – Today local West Coast music label Low Indigo releases “Smoke Mountain,” a collaborative project by Michael Red and Manchester’s Joe McBride, a.k.a. Synkro.
“I feel like this release hits the Low Indigo vibe directly on the head,” says Red, commander-in-chief of Low Indigo. “In a way, it represents the feelings that a lot of people would expect from the label over the years. There’s been a lot of diverting from what I see as the label’s central sound. This is a return to [it’s original] form.”
The idea to make the track came from a fateful trip in the summer of 2016 by Synkro while he was temporarily in Vancouver to play a show. “Joe had some extra days in Vancouver, so we decided to do a track together,” explains Red. “We both share a common love and understanding of melodic, mellow-er, emotive bass music. We are also both excited by modern minimal piano composition and both have a long-standing relationship with dub music.”
Not only is the track a return to the label’s initial sound and direction, it was also made how music traditionally used to be made; by two artists working directly in the studio together rather than over the internet. “We did this tune in two or three sessions together in East Van,” shared Red. “No emails or anything.”
Number twelve on the label’s list of releases, the track is also accompanied by a video shot by local filmmaker, Jason Mannings. Very gradually, the track begins with a gentle drone coloured by delicate crackles, whispers and reverb. When the beat drops, it is met with a pulsating melody that carries the tune through a variety of textured rhythms. As the track unfolds, a steady pan hovers above snow covered mountains, luring audiences into a deep state of relaxation and meditation.
“I [started by] described a slow moving drone shot over mountains and Jason already had existing footage of exactly that,” tells Red. “I also really enjoy the concept and experience of ‘slow tv,’ and how it’s in direct opposition to this notion of a world continuously speeding up. BC mountains are also connected to the tune because the studio space Synkro and I used had a balcony with a great view of mountains in Vancouver.”
The growing connection between Canada and the U.K. in terms of electronic music is proving to be a fruitful one for both sides. The last few years have witnessed considerable growth as a result of ongoing collaborations, particularly in regards to bass music and for labels like Low Indigo. “I love and am fascinated by regional music,” Red goes on to share. “Potential and possibility is very exciting to me.”
Smoke Mountain by Syknro and Michael Red is now available to purchase on Beatport.Jo McBride, Low Indigo, Michael Red, Smoke Mountain, Synkro