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Ron "DJ Skull" Maney is one of Chicago's originals, a man who caught the ear of Ron Hardy in the late '80s and cut his teeth producing jacking house and fearless techno in the mid 1990s. These days his releases are sparse, to say the least, but they're always worth checking. There's much energetic dancefloor fodder on display for this first outing on Chiwax, from the fluid breakbeats, darting synths and low end pulse of "R2" (which sounds like a Chicagoan remake of the Orb's "U.F.Orb" and deeper styles of the Detroit-influenced "Beyond The Forest", to the hypnotic deep techno grooves of "Revenge of the Synth". The EP's best moment, though, is the outstanding "The Synth", in which a positive synth motif rises and falls over a tactile, acid-flecked techno rhythm.
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