- Techno, ambient and dubstep, Skee Mask style.
- Bryan Müller, AKA Skee Mask, calls himself a "half-nerd," someone completely obsessed with music and production but uninterested in getting too familiar with his hardware, lest it dampen his "natural enthusiasm for experimenting." This experimental streak is part of what makes him such a vital artist, maybe the most striking in techno today. His rhythms splutter and shapeshift. New sounds flit in and out of earshot. Nothing feels predictable, everything throbs with life.
Four of the five tracks on ISS04, Müller's fantastic new EP for Ilian Tape, sound like nothing he's ever made before. In the case of "Juug" and "Play Ha," two twisted techno bangers full of left turns, this freshness comes from the harsh sounds and confrontational moods, a far cry from the euphoria of bombs like "800AB." "RZZ," his first go at straight-up dubstep, is the kind of dreamy cut that would've slotted nicely into a Martyn set around 2009. "Sphere In Total" is ambient, a genre Müller has toyed with before, though never with sounds so queasy and orchestral. Its originality is remarkable.
The only typically Skee Mask moment is "Slow Music," one for the fans who would happily have him churn out nothing but killer broken techno with intricate drums and brain-burying synth lines. Thankfully, as ISS04 shows, Müller is brimming with other ideas. I can't wait to see where he goes next.
A2 Slow Music
B2 Play Ha
B3 Sphere In Total