NSI: Sync (Non Standard Productions)
What an odd assortment of tracks from the ever-restless duo of Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric, Moritz Von Oswald Trio) and Tobias Freund (Pink Elln, Sieg Über Die Sonne). NSI stands for Non-Standard Institute, and it shows in their unpredictable output. While the two are capable of slick and gorgeous arrangements in their various projects, NSI captures their desire to tinker with sound and technology in a way that feels playful and organic. It is not as academic or severe as some of the output of Mego artists like Mark Fell or as studied or dark as Pan Sonic, but it captures some of the same spirit of improvisation and mischief. Sync consists of 24 tracks, each numbered off as a variation of the title, which work as sketches or motifs. At times the results are repetitive and hypnotic, at others a bit disjointed and abrasive, but never so severe that you reach for the volume or skip button. Rarely do tracks push beyond two minutes, but this brevity and sequencing makes the scattered quality go down smoothly.