- Skee Mask's music has always had an element of retro, but never more so than on the first release in the new Ilian Skee Series. 2012, despite its title, basks in the glow of early techno and '90s IDM. It homes in on the atmospheric passages of Skee Mask's stellar debut album, Shred. Putting on "Kordman Return (Swing Mix)" is like slipping into a velvet bathrobe, but the shuddering delay effects and exquisitely swung drums keep it from getting too soft at the edges. The broken beats are as impeccable as ever.
Most of the EP has an improvised feel. "Palo Alto" is pacy techno with a heavy kick drum, but the sudden pattern shifts keep it from bludgeoning you. (The soft pads don't hurt, either.) Things get weirder on the B-side. There's the dizzy tribalism of "Fjorward Flex Dub," which sounds like Peverelist sent back in a time machine to the '90s, and the gorgeous ambient of "Glass Museum," where pitter-patter drums move like ripples in water. All of 2012's tracks burst with Skee Mask's colour, skill and sense of space. Those qualities help make him one of techno's most exciting producers, even when he's looking back.
A1 Kordman Return (Swing Mix)
A2 Palo Alto
B1 Fjorward Flex Dub
B2 Glass Museum