Kasra
Ski Mask


5.0
classic

Review

by Evok USER (30 Reviews)
November 6th, 2018 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: finally.

Roughly 16 years ago Kasra founded Critical Music – one of drum & bass’ most well respected labels and a driving force of innovation for the genre. He’s undoubtedly been a busy man during that time, and between running a label with a release schedule as perpetually busy as Critical’s and working as a top-shelf DJ, it’s really no wonder we’ve never coaxed anything more than the odd collaborative track out of the man. That is, until now. As if it weren't enough for Kasra to unleash a flawless collaborative EP with Enei earlier this year, the man decided it's as good a time as ever drop an atomic hype-bomb onto the drum & bass world.

Incredibly, Ski Mask marks Kasra’s first actual solo release, an event in itself that many thought might never happen. When asked about it in a recent interview, he stated that this long wait has mostly boiled down to being too busy and not having the kind of confidence in his production chops that a label boss probably ought to have. However, his public address on the matter (while sensible) is easily considered overwrought with humility as soon as the startlingly gyrated bass line of the titular opening track hits your subwoofer. Its forwardness is immediately disarming, and by such a point you should already know what’s in store: an EP rife with deep, deep, deep rollers bursting with the kind of frequencies that send dancefloors into an absolute frenzy. Coursing through the rock-solid 19 minutes of Ski Mask’s runtime is a truly anthemic charm that doesn’t rely on overabundant technicality or tooth-grinding intensity to carve its path into your daily rotation. There’s a special decade-and-a-half-of-creative-fermentation kind of finesse on display here, as if Kasra’s subconscious mind has boiled and refined the genetic building blocks of drum & bass’ finest evolutionary success stories into their most unadulterated elements and built them back up into a shining apex of everything the genre represents. It all adds up to a tastemaker’s wet dream – four fully-realized and self-actualized cuts capable of stealing the limelight in any DJ’s set. It might be short, but there’s enough range here to fill out the frame and then some. “Miso” steps as hard as it rolls with metallic leads frothing through a spectrum of distorted lenses, and its jarring funkiness is contrasted brilliantly by “Alburz”, whose sultry sub-sonic frequencies emanate the kind of vibrational intensity that poses a real health concern to anyone with a weak ticker. Smoother still, the gorgeous closer “From The Outside In” is a bird’s-eye view of what masterclass liquid drum & bass is all about, with breezy soul-driven vocals quietly peaking through a thick wave of reese-bass and understated synth leads.

All this jibber jabber might sound like the hype train’s wheels grinding on the tracks of sensible objectivity, but the truth of the matter is that this really is a landmark release whose combination of outstanding quality and historic significance should cement it as a classic EP in every sense of the word. It might have been an agonizingly long wait for anyone hoping to get a full stack of tracks from Critical’s chief operator, but luckily we can all take a collective deep breath because the wait was worth it, and Ski Mask has lived up to every lofty expectation that preceded its highly anticipated release.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Evok
November 5th 2018


7594 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cop it here: https://criticalmusic.com/releases/ski-mask-ep/

Digging: Break - Another Way

Dewinged
November 5th 2018


12186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just realized we have almost the same number of reviews Evok, and this is a really nice one. Site needs more drum and bass for sure. I guess this one comes off your list so I'll check it first.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

Evok
November 5th 2018


7594 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Holy crap it really got featured. Thanks mods! And thanks Dewi. I doubt many people will be dropping 5s on a dnb ep but whatever, this thing is straight fiyah and a bit of a landmark release.

Brostep
Emeritus
November 5th 2018


4392 Comments


Ugh this is huge, good rev as always Evok

L4titudes
November 5th 2018


3616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ohhh nice... don't mind if I do

Wildhoney
November 5th 2018


271 Comments


You contextualized this release so well that you even got me excited, and I know nothing about Kasra or Critical Music

Listening now, pretty sweet so far

SpeachImpediment
November 6th 2018


105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yo, this is fantastic

Hawks
November 6th 2018


62460 Comments


Def gotta hear this.

Digging: Senses Fail - Life Is Not a Waiting Room

MotokoKusanagi
November 6th 2018


1587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really good and hard hitting. best DnB EP since Naibu's Fall in 2013?

Evok
November 6th 2018


7594 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you dug this you should defs peep that Kasra x Enei collab ep and Alix Perez's latest ep as well.

MotokoKusanagi
November 6th 2018


1587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good look. i'm no DnB expert and usually stick to techno / house, but i really do love some when in the mood

50iL
November 6th 2018


4888 Comments


Holy shit Evok, looks like I'll have to check this

Digging: Fela Kuti - Gentleman

AnimalsAsSummit
November 6th 2018


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

looks like an EVA dancing on the cover

Dewinged
November 6th 2018


12186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The last two tracks are really good, wish there was more vocals but good stuff Evok.

AnimalsAsSummit
November 7th 2018


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

these drums hit hard af

THVRTVVN
November 7th 2018


288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is really fucking cool

AnimalsAsSummit
November 7th 2018


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fuck bro

Evok
November 7th 2018


7594 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

tru

ComeToDaddy
November 7th 2018


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This slaps super fucking hard, damn. Great review too

AnimalsAsSummit
November 8th 2018


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

by far one of the hardest groovers of the year if not the hardest



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