- Featuring remixes by Pole and Peverelist, this preview for Shackleton's upcoming Skull Disco album pretty much flips the script found on the third volume of Pole's Steingarten Remixes 12-inch series. If there's any kind of compact forming between dubstep and minimal techno (or post-glitch electronica), it's being facilitated by a mere fraction of these respective genre's key figures. Add Villalobos, T++ and 2562 to the Pole/Peverelist/Shackleton triad and you've got both the roll-call for the crossover, and a neat shortlist of self-consciously 'artisan' producers working simultaneously within and outside genre.
Stefan Betke's relationship with dubstep has proved mutually beneficial—for dubstep, he reinforces the importance of bass pressure, while dubstep's rhythmatrix has shocked him out of the doldrums that set in circa his self-titled fourth album. This explains why his remix of "Shortwave" feels like the most vital thing he's done in a long time. Betke's never quite left behind the power of the glitch—"Shortwave"'s landscape is pockmarked with shards of noise. These lend more drama to the mix's undertow, where everything's suggestive—bass drops act as notional hinges as baleful, emptied drones trawl the undergrowth. "Shortwave" is tensile, such that both the brief pause near the start of the mix, and the break around the five minute mark, where everything wilts away from those unrelenting hi-hats, is pregnant with dread—the space in the mix is paradoxically oppressive.
With "Don't Bring Me Down," Peverelist bumps up the tempo, but like Pole, he's interested in suggestion—the best parts of the mix come when eerie whispers and shape-shifting reels of ambience whistle underneath palsied rhythms. If dubstep and minimal share common ground, it's their mutual understanding of the affective properties of seemingly blank or indistinct noise. As with the productions of Basic Channel, Peverelist's remix is appealingly hollow, and its notional hooks—those whispers, and a short phrase for vaguely Oriental wind instrumentation—are deployed effectively and sparingly.
A Shackleton - Shortwave (Pole Remix)
B Shackleton - Don't Bring Me Down (Peverelist Remix)