Skee Mask
ISS010


4.0
excellent

Review

by bmelt CONTRIBUTOR (14 Reviews)
March 29th, 2024 | 66 replies


Release Date: 03/28/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: he just doesn’t miss

It’s genuinely commendable when an artist can maintain a considerable level of influence over a broader genre whilst continually trying new things. German techno producer Bryan Müller, a.k.a. Skee Mask has been paving his way ahead by setting the bar for others to reach. This wasn’t done with a reinvention of the wheel per se but with a firm adherence to always looking forward while also understanding what makes ambient techno so great to begin with. At prima facie, it’s a simple formula that’s often executed, yet rarely ever replicated with the same charisma. The diverse, jack-of-all-trades, sub-genre hopping brand that Skee Mask has defined his career with has only become more distinct as the years have gone on. His most lauded releases to date— full-length LP’s Compro and Pool, helped cement Skee Mask as a ‘household name’ when it came to anything regarding dancey electronic music. Though really, it’s his overlooked ISS EP series on Ilian Tape that’s authentically flexed his chops over this time. The aforementioned LP’s are a little of everything a la charcuterie board of outsider-electronic variants, his EP’s are generally more cohesive in theme. Here on the tenth entry of the series, ISS010’s ‘framework’ focuses on classic dub and dance/house electronica with an emphasis on hardgroove techno. The release itself somewhat continues and builds upon what ISS009 had going on, further leaning into the bouncy rhythms and aquatic atmospheres associated with the previously mentioned styles. All the while continuing the subtle increase in accessibility his preceding releases have been hinting at.

The DJ’s approach manages to come off as comforting, but somewhat removed in design— thus producing a peculiar ‘safe-place’ to get lost in. Skee Mask is quite effective in creating minimalist techno and ambient soundscapes that envelop energetic rhythms with snug ease. The fade-in to ‘Double Standard’ sounds like it’s playing from a remote warehouse rave you’re trying to make your way towards on foot during a light snowstorm. Though unable to make out where it is exactly— you continue to follow the sound of buried bass and the glimmer of shrouded lights that leads way to an exteriorly icy building that promises warmth literally and figuratively within. On the less tranquil side of things, when initially hearing ‘Small Stone S700’ you wouldn’t be remiss to feel as if it’s the sickest Tekken character-select screen music you’ve never heard before. Skee Mask stays true to the well-produced but thin drum sounds deeply rooted in classic dub electronica and mixes the ingredients to great results. The track ‘Stomp’ is sparkling with layered fade-outs that echo around a vibrant beat that’s nothing short of hypnotic. The song is rich with textures that feel like you’re soaring through thick clouds dimly lit by the far off cyberpunk-like city below, teeming and bustling with outgoers on a Saturday night. Speaking of bumping and bopping Saturday night’s— with the song ‘Dachtekker’, I get a seemingly random but appropriate mental image of the PowerPuff Girls’ depiction of the ‘Boogie’ Man slithering down a runway entrance of a nightclub with his platform shoes, being cool as fuck. As it turns out— to absolutely nobody's surprise, ISS010 is another fine collection of infectious dance songs that effortlessly brandishes Skee Mask’s further refined flavor of ambient/techno/breakbeat/idm etc. The top-of-the-line production and creative consistency is nothing to scoff at, and Skee Mask continues to captivate by doing a lot with a little like it’s no big deal. The hazy atmosphere is compelling enough to warrant many late nights with headphones getting stuck to different grooves, laying bare unnoticed intricacies, and focusing on new aspects of the sound design that make consecutive dives back in rewarding. I’m no expert, but it really seems like Skee Mask knows a thing or two about a thing or two.



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user ratings (25)
3.7
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


8318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

4.1/5

I wanted to make my first contrib review on the shorter side, especially after my previous write up lol

Said ‘Boogie’ Man referenced: https://images.app.goo.gl/wenx9Wfjft7LkDEx5

Listen here: https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/iss010-iss010

Ryus
March 29th 2024


36545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shit rules

Rawmeeth38
March 29th 2024


2671 Comments


Excited to hear this.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2024


60206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this got un-delayed? lfg, buying now

Ryus
March 29th 2024


36545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

his best since the last one

Ryus
March 29th 2024


36545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

powerful move just putting dub schneider on the a side. amazing tune

Havey
March 29th 2024


12062 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

finally a good release from skee mid

WRYN
March 29th 2024


250 Comments


Easily my favourite release so far, something about the mixdown really has improved over the last LP imo. Sort of what I would imagine Derrick May doing had he continued beyond the 1990s.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
March 29th 2024


25717 Comments


stoked to jam this

brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


8318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yep Dub schneider is such a chill way to start this

recency bias aside, this is prob my favorite EP of his

dedex
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2024


12774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9 | Sound Off

aye great rev bmelt, bouncy rhythms, aquatic atmospheres and charcuterie boards are my lifestyle

jrlikestodance
March 29th 2024


288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I am with you Brainmelter, might be my fav EP from him thus far

cylinder
March 29th 2024


2324 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck, can this dude take a break so i can catch up? i still need to hear those A, B, and C comps!

Prancer
March 29th 2024


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how has it already been 3 years since pool

brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


8318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I blame COVID

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2024


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dude is so consistently good nice one bmelt

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2024


60206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review - agreed that this feels like a very smooth continuation of what ISS009 had going on, though I think I prefer the bookends of that to anything here (will definitely be giving it more time though)

WRYN
April 1st 2024


250 Comments


It's a good change from the preceding not-quite-breaks-nor-techno IDM formula.

brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2024


8318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ty guys (: and ayyy best new music

cylinder
April 2nd 2024


2324 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, this rules. unreal how consistent this dude is



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