Against a sanitized backdrop of fast food music, Syndicate was conceived over rounds of beers to reduce the growing impact of harmful beats and caveman frequencies in the accelerated world today. Along the way, it transmogrified into a serious idea to create a space for sonic expression and visual experience in post-efficient Singapore. What initially appeared as rounds of accidental & random recruitment exercises soon resulted in the formation of an audio-visual collective with names that are no strangers to the scene and some that are just strange. Propelled by the inactivity in the electronic margins of the sunny island, Syndicate is here as a super-collective to fill a void. It is now set to tear apart music categorization and regurgitate something to call its own.
In short, we are a bunch of music geeks who wanted to venture beyond the standard palette of sounds that was available in Singapore. For those who are unaware, we are a bunch of electronic music producers, DJs and visual artistes leaning towards the innovative side of electronica club experience.
The idea started in mid 2009 over drinks among Cherry, Darren Dubwise and Kiat. There was a lot of frustration back then with the quality of music and visual offerings in Singapore. There was a ton of commercial house, trance, radio hip hop and nu-rave but they felt that there was so much more to explore within the electronica realm; music where people appreciate how it challenges the predictable, and the aesthetics of specific sounds within. The fact that our FM radio stations plays very commercial music doesn't help either. In order to make money and sell advertising spots, the stations here will play music that will appeal to the largest number of people, which can be rather generic sounding.
Where can we hear music which are pure artistic expressions? How do we start an audiovisual culture where it all blends beautifully together? So then, Syndicate was created. Producers like Max Lane and Izaak Stern, visual artistes like Brandon Tay and Rafi Dean and web mistress/DJ Sammy Panamuga and most important of all, the family includes friends and supporters. Syndicate is a community thing, it belongs to the music geeks, the punters and artistes who are from other collectives.
In 2010, Syndicate presented quality live international and local electronica acts, showcasing talents like The Crazy 88, Cosa Nostra, MC Masterpiece, Vanessa Fernandez, Case Woo, Kaye alongside Daisuke Tanabe (Japan), Kidkanevil (UK), Tokimonsta (USA), Free The Robots (USA), Strangeloop (USA), Razor Rekta (UK), Bomb Zombies (USA). Kiat, Brandon Tay and Cherry just completed a series of gigs in Los Angeles, showcasing what we do at the Low End Theory in Los Angeles & San Francisco, as well as the ever influential Brainfeeder Sessions, an event off Flying Lotus' imprint. In July 2011, Max Lane will be presenting his live show at Gilles Peterson Worldwide Festival in Sete, France.
For the rest of 2011, we hope to continue to support the local beats and visual artists' scene, as well as challenge ourselves to produce more new and exciting multimedia shows. In the pipeline is the exploration of concepts beyond the club space and working with traditional musicians for interesting cross pollination. It's all about opening minds up to new creative ideas in electronic arts & sounds, for everyone.
Here's a mini-mix from Syndicate's very own visual guy Rafi Dean, whose often behind the giant screen. Thank you, all those who have been supporting and collaborating. We thank you for your love.
"Syndicate has been a source of inspiration to me on a personal level. This is a thank you to all our supporters and all the musicians and visual artistes' efforts. The passion within each and everyone involved has been incredibly infectious and more often than not, lending to fresh ideas for the next session. Not many might know but I started out as a DJ and music producer but put music aside for almost a year as I focused my energy to other areas such as visuals and event production within Syndicate. Here I return the favour of blessed beats, sprinkled with my inclination toward the melodic. Featuring works from Lorn, Autechre, Shigeto and Singapore's Lioncity Boy - Kevin Lester. Thank you for the inspiration." - Rafi Dean