- Religious references appear regularly in dance music, and on 2 The Sky, DJ Metatron isn't coy about indulging them. The record's sleeve shows two floating crosses, and the tracks ("2 The Sky," "The Journey," a brief loop that calls for "healing and unity") point to community and ritual, cornerstones that club culture and religion share. Where the music is concerned, Metatron (AKA Traumprinz) makes this point as plainly as possible. 2 The Sky's songs are simple, using euphoric melodies and genres, like trance and hardcore, that speed dial into dance music's rave-era idealism. If U'll Be The King Of The Stars felt like a broad tribute to that time, then this captures something even more universal.
It's hard to exactly pinpoint the EP's focus, but it's certainly a feeling. Glinting pianos fall unevenly from "2 The Sky," as everything else heads in the opposite direction. A gospel singer's uplifting, G-major plea wobbles over synth notes, almost falling out of key. It's the EP's most optimistic and, strangely enough, most vulnerable track. This ambiguity also emerges from 2 The Sky's use of space, which feels especially vast on "As I Get Insane." Its discrete synth swells evoke a technique used by Joy Division producer Martin Hannett, who often recorded each individual drum separately.
2 The Sky has a trace of Hannett's approach to haunted atmospheres, but it's nowhere near as clinical. The open-hearted vocal of "2 Bad," for instance, is a consoling counterpoint to "2 The Sky"'s cautious encouragement. First surfacing on DJ Metatron's This Is Not (#1 in RA's 2015 poll of online mixes), "2 Bad" teams clacking percussion with sweeping horns and a string of finger-jabbed bleeps. Beyond the fact that it sounds great, the music's sincerity is never in doubt.
Plenty of 2 The Sky—its tonal contrasts, the emotions it evokes—is open to interpretation, and that uncertainty gives it an authenticity, which Jake Gyllenhaal's monologue touches on in "The Journey (Skid)." Grasping for the words to describe Donnie Darko, the cult film he starred in 15 years ago, he says: "It forces you, if it does force you at all, to come to your own conclusion about what it's about. It's an individual experience for everyone." That last line is key—as much as 2 The Sky courts faith, it doesn't impose it on you. It doesn't need to.
A1 As I Get Insane
A2 Traumprinz - 2 The Sky (Metatron's What If There's No End And No Beginning Mix)
B1 The Journey (Skid)
B2 Traumprinz - 2 Bad (Metatron's What If Madness Is Our Only Relief Mix)