Review: Having set our world alight with his third Ilian Tape 12", 2012, back in the spring, Munich man Skee Mask delivers another essential collection of loose-limbed, broken techno workouts. Typically, he's on point from the word go, enveloping swinging, off-kilter techno breakbeats with swirling chords and cascading melodies on brilliant opener "Inti". His love of African-influenced polyrhythms is explored further on the ghostly, percussion-rich club cut "Kappelberg Chant" (which, incidentally, makes great use of choral chants), while "Routine" is a warm, loved-up and evocative tribute to rave-era British breakbeat-house. His debt to British dance music's formative years also comes to the fore on killer proto-jungle jam "Skreet Lvl Dub".
Review: Munich-based mystery man, Skee Mask, remains at the top of our Ilian Tape favourites. While we love the work of brothers Dario and Marco Zenker, the two label founders, we think that this guy's sound is the creme de la creme of contemporary, dub-filtered techno. Serum and Junt were both absolute killer EPs, and the Shred album was also on our list of the best releases of 2016, so we're pretty psyched about this new single, the curiously named 2012. The opening "Kordman Return (Swing mix)" is Skee Mask up to his naughty break sampling and techno wizardry, all broken and loose, whereas "Palo Alto" sees the producer in a surprisingly sturdy, head-first mood driven by solid bursts of 4/4 and wondrous synths. Over on the B-side, "Fjorward Flex Dub" swings its mighty swarms of drums over a minimal flurry of melodies, in what feels like a sublime reinterpretation of heavy, 90s power-house; "Glass Museum" closes with a real twist thanks to an abstract, wide-eyed landscape of dissolving, jazzed-out percussion and moody ambience. Excellent material, as per usual.
Review: Having delivered one of the strongest electronic albums of 2018, Skee Mask AKA Bryan Muller returns to action with a tightly floor-focused 12" of broken techno rhythms and UK rave-influenced workouts. A-side "Trackheadz" is suitably weighty and forthright, with Muller wrapping drowsy deep space chords, hardcore style breakbeats and orgasmic vocal snippets around sturdy techno drums. Both B-side cuts are far more mellow in tone, with Muller underpinning swelling ambient chords and blissful chill-out room melodies with skittish, early IDM style beats. As with a lot of the producer's work, the vintage influences and inspirations are obvious, but the resultant cuts still sound warm, fresh and life affirming.