Review: Skee Mask – ISS004

Skee Mask returns to Germany’s Ilian Tape for the latest episode in the Ilian Skee Series. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Ste knight takes a listen to five faultless cuts.

It would seem that Skee Mask can do literally nothing wrong, much like Munich’s ever-impressive label and his collaborator on the Ilian Skee Series; Ilian Tape. Yesterday (October 21st) saw the fourth installment of said series – ISS004 – hitting stores, and Skee Mask continues his run of form, delivering five braindance-heavy cuts that hold equal weight as both club tracks and home-listeners.

We’ve been waiting since February for a new original release from the producer, and his time in the studio has evidently been well-spent. We open the package with Juug the broken breakbeats sitting chaotically between intense bass-growls and top end percs that jerk and skitters around the ceiling of the production.

Slow Music adopts a similar breakbeat style, this time employing a sepulchral sub-bassline, the depth of which is positively Aitken-ous. Twinkling, effervescent pads permeate through the frenetic drums, giving the piece an almost Drexciyan undercurrent.

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The mid point of the release is heralded by RZZ; a track that takes possibly the most cavernous low tom in existence, and marries it with hyperactive hats, kicks and snares to wonderfully euphonious effect, heightened by the inclusion of stirring string swells and synth stabs – there are even vocal artifacts thrown in the mix for good measure.

The penultimate composition, Play Ha, veers more toward a techno production, yet still retains the broken theme that resides in the veins of previous tracks. A tribalistic chant (the Ha of the title) drops in and out of Play Ha, weaving in and out of the digital chatter that the piece contains.

Sphere in Total offers nightmarish visions of other-worldly vistas, its beat-less ambiance a mixture of looming robotic wails and snarls, and distended string shots that sound as though they are playing out in reverse. A perfect close to the EP.

With such a strong fourth installment, we can’t wait to see what the Munich-based producer comes up with next. You can grab your own copy Skee Mask ISS004 via Ilian Tape‘s bandcamp page, here.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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