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Skee Mask’s club music has always been rather wide-ranging in its stylistic reach. While you would probably stick the label of techno on Bryan Müller’s work if you were pushed to pigeonhole it, a sly sense of genre-hopping characterizes many Skee Mask releases which makes them difficult to pin down to a single sound. On ISS005, the latest in Skee Mask’s EP series for Ilian Tape, Müller flexes his production muscles one more - this is a record indebted as much to the 140 bpm continuum of grime, sublow and dubstep as it is to the more stately tempos of techno and house.
Incorporating these sounds into Müller’s music energises it in exciting ways. For one thing, the chunky low-ends and clattering programmed drums prove a good fit for Ilian Tape, a label whose output has always owed plenty to dubwise sonics. On the trio of tracks which close out ISS005 chemtrails of reverb and delay hover above whip-crack beats that owe a clear debt to tunes like ‘Pulse X’ and ‘Eskimo’. It is a thrilling sound, at once visceral and contemplative, and one that builds on the gains made on opening duo ‘It Danza’ and ‘Reefer Madness’. These tracks begin ISS005 in a slightly different space, ‘It Danza’s choppy samples and rolling melodies a little funkier than the other tunes while the erratic sub wobbles of ‘Reefer Madness’ invoke Loefah and Digital Mystikz.
ISS005 incorporates grime and dubstep into Skee Mask’s neo-techno sound with a deftness that solidifies his reputation as a producer of rare gifts.