Skee Mask
Shred


3.6
great

Review

by Tristan Jones EMERITUS
January 30th, 2016 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Breakneck coasting

Shred is cleverly titled, with both ironic and soul-seeking implications. To explain, “shred” is synonymous with high-octane skiing/snowboarding, though - and German techno producer Skee Mask might agree - the real thrill is more far-reaching than the snow and trees immediately in front of you. Often, the intensity of Skee Mask’s rhythmic manoeuvres are counterbalanced by the weight of the ambience, without exactly being ambient music. It’s spiked adrenaline waned by constantly looking over one’s shoulders, where the sensation of losing oneself is fuelled by offsets of both internal and external energies. Opener “Everest” is an ascent, as the sounds of a heightened pulse synch up with each step, while the ambience mimics an environment that is both serene and impending. From then on, each track is a finely-crafted unity of man-made ambition and natural (though, synthetic…) draw. Some of techno’s strongest producers are capable of music blurring the line between mechanical and organic; here, Skee Mask’s is also geographic.

Impressively, SM maintains this balance despite varying intensities and styles: “HAL Conv.” moves with a slow, steady dub interlaced with soothing background noises; “Autotuned” is brooding jungle/ambient, as gyrating textures wash over the syncopated beats; “Shred 08” is bass-heavy, with rapid hi-hats and meandering synths. There really isn’t a weak track present, and Shred’s faceless protagonist is a personification of record label Ilian Tape’s exploratory quality: techno that expands and contracts, drawing from a bevy of styles, yet still backtracking to a sound rooted in Munich. It’s difficult to really tie Skee Mask to any other contexts, as the producer’s background is unknown to most. Fortunately, the way the sounds on Shred are accentuated, this ambiguity doesn’t inhibit the record’s lasting impact. His last effort, a four-track EP Junt, crafted a tone both savage and cavernous; Shred is the perfect expansion, both ambitious and calculated, but effortless in portrayal. It isn’t really a crowd-pleaser - meaning, the album seems to place a sole listener in its focal point, contently isolated yet addicted to adventure.

The more you navigate Shred, strangely, the less you care about the finicky details of source material. Riding the high becomes more important than relishing the unpredictability of the beat work. Most songs, like “Zenker Haze Trak” and “Reshape”, operate at two frequencies: an energetic, rhythmic bliss and a series of sedated cascades. As some point in the tracklist - maybe album highlight “Melczop 2” - the latter frequency becomes more powerful than the former, regardless of how pronounced the beats are. On “Japan Air”, the punchy bass kicks are almost secondary to the wispy synths imitating the sensation of “surfing” the air with your hand through an open car window. That sums it up, really. Shred captures the satisfaction of little breaks in the chaos, where time dilates a bit as you remove yourself from the methodical pace of your immediate surroundings only to plunge back in, renewed.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
January 30th 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

3.6/5

https://soundcloud.com/resident-advisor/sets/skee-mask-shred/s-z0DLO

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp02-skee-mask-shred

http://www.iliantape.de/itlp02-skee-mask-shred/

https://hardwax.com/13764/skee-mask/shred/

hal1ax
January 30th 2016


13651 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I must checkkit

Cygnatti
January 30th 2016


32791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

would i vibe? :]

Cygnatti
January 31st 2016


32791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Welp you're assertions were right. I would def dig this a bunch, the exact kind of sound that treeqt would 2.5. Sweet mix of different kinds of techno on here. :]

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
January 31st 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

yeah dude. it's super diverse but without sounding like an aimless mishmash. everything works together beautifully

MotokoKusanagi
February 1st 2016


1803 Comments


nice review johnny, illian tape is one of my favorite techno labels right now

have you checked out any of Andrea's releases?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 1st 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

thx man. and idk... if by Andrea you mean Andy Stott's moniker then yeah. otherwise, icr

MotokoKusanagi
February 1st 2016


1803 Comments


nah I'm referring to the Illian Tape signed Andrea. see below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8TQUx268nc

that Millie & Andrea release was dope though

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 1st 2016


30773 Comments


Everything you review always has the best artwork.

Digging: Plastic Mermaids - Suddenly Everyone Explodes

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 1st 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

a lot of the time I'll check an album based solely on artwork and genre tags

ShitsofRain
February 1st 2016


8136 Comments


album highlight “Melczop 2”

:*

but why didnt you mention panorama? also one of my favorite tracks. ambient works at best. my fav track of him is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5ppLlJo4ug though. so thick.

@andrea

check "machine" ))

Digging: DJ Nate - Take Off Mode

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 1st 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Panorama is indeed good but I didn't have anything specific to say about it : s



shame this is getting slept on but ifam

ShitsofRain
February 1st 2016


8136 Comments


resident advisor drones need to come out

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 1st 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

👀👀👀👀👀👀

MotokoKusanagi
February 2nd 2016


1803 Comments


"@andrea

check "machine" ))"

awesome, i love Andrea's spacey vibes mixed with the techno grooves

ShitsofRain
February 3rd 2016


8136 Comments


check my latest list for more

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 3rd 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

the feat board is looking dire (opposite of fire), plz Dev where r u

Cygnatti
February 3rd 2016


32791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i used to look at the featured reviews any time i opened up the main page

now i barely even acknowledge it bc none of it really interests me

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 7th 2016


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

just uploaded the bandcamp link ( https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp02-skee-mask-shred )

hal1ax
February 11th 2016


13651 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

japan air and panorama are jamz



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