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Synkopy 61


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Synkopy (a.k.a. Synkopy 61) is a Czechoslovakian five-piece (2 keys, guitar, bass, drums, vocals) whose leader and primary songwriter, Oldrich Vesely, was once a member of another great Czech band: Modrý Efekt. Many comparisons can be drawn between Synkopy and Modry Efekt, not the least of which is a penchant for experimentation and bringing other styles (hard rock, blues, powerful rock vocals) into the sound and giving them their own progressive twist. Of course, Synkopy, with two keyboard players (Vesely and Pavel Pokorny), are more keyboard driven than Modry Efekt. Slunecni Hodiny burns with powerful melodic vigor, but does suffer from a somewhat substandard production. Kridelini and Flying Time are Czech and English vocal versions of the same album, an outstanding one, maybe even their best: It’s one of the few cases where a foreign band sings in English lyrics and really pulls the feat off without sounding shallow. Zrcadla is also a strong one, but far more direct than the others.

Synkopy 61 emerged from Brno in the late 1960s and over the years produced a string of singles, EPs and two mini-albums, just never a full-length long play. Their music is described as beat music with a few progressive touches, and the 10” songs as Uriah Heep-influenced heavy rock. I have not heard any of this early material, but apparently most of it can be found on the Valka je vul (Best of) CD compilation.
After the band broke up, its keyboard player and primary composer Oldrich Veselý joined Modrý Efekt for their two classic albums, Svitanie and Svet Hledacu.

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