Review: The third Skudge album is here. Dedication to details, attention to structure and a tireless pursuit of that specific and circular sound. The contextual element of 'Time Tracks' seem to be placed in-between the most cordial music that Skudge has presented up until now, as well as bridging the singularity and adrenaline from the previous albums and EP's.
Review: For the faithful Skudge follower, number 13 brings back memories from when Skudge combined and reduced both Techno and House in a flawless way. Something that they have been able to do since the beginning. They also manage to utilize samples, that inanother context would have felt misplaced, in a very classy manner.
Review: Quasi reminds us of the mid-90's US styled Techno from the likes of Synewave and even some Robert Hood tracks from that era, but optimized for the floors of today. On the B-side, Parallel goes into familiar Skudge territory, with a brooding and haunting atmosphere - twisted up with some of that well-known funk that Skudge has been pushing for a decade now.
Review: More raw and purist techno strains from the Skudge camp, following up 2017's powerful Circles/Tundra EP. This latest effort sees Elias Landberg show more restraint than heard on previous releases - turns out that he dug through archived material from his formative years - specifically 2009 and 2010. From the deep A side track "Static" which powers away with its driving bass, hypnotic loops and rusty/delay saturated rhythms. On the flip is the dubby "Memories" which calls to mind the work of legendary UK producer Gez Varley on this steely and stripped back DJ tool, relying mainly on its sublime and tunnelling chords. While working hard to pursue a specific set of labels, sound and aesthetic - their eleventh release presents a retrospective of a unique sound.
Review: When Mysterious Swedish duo Skudge arrived on the scene around six years ago they were usparther of a new breed of techno producers who respectfully borrowed from the past, yet skillfully innovated in the present day. Classics such as "Overture" and "Convolution" as well as their impressive debut LP Phantoms showed a dedication to their craft; employing all analogue studio techniques recorded to tape for true sound authenticity. With the departure of Gustaf Wallnerstrom, the project is now the solo effort of Elias Landberg where on the new Balancing Point LP he proves that he has no problem holding the fort with this collection of purist, surefire techno executions. We particularly enjoyed the emotive stomp of "Air Walk" with its eerie chord progressions, the hypnotic reductionism of "Anode" being a perfect DJ tool to set cruise control, the deep and dubby drifter "Vertigo" being great for the warm up and the funky cyclicality of "Thesis".
Review: Following strong 4/4 outings from Endian and Basic Soul Unit already on Nonplus this year, Boddika's imprint looks to Sweden for its next release, with one of Skudge's rare appearances outside of their own imprint. Lead track "Fingers" is as simple as techno gets, as peak time chords filter through a strong 909 kick in a fashion reminiscent of Shed's most effective Equalized moments. "Vessel" meanwhile is a more slow burning affair, building up its mechanistic arpeggio over swelling analogue pads and stray claps, combining classic Detroit sci-fi moods with a Berghain scale.
Review: Inaugurated back in 2010, the Skudge Remixes series has been a real pleasure to witness unfolding as a stellar cast of the Swedish duo's contemporaries have reworked the Skudge back catalogue with sublime results - the Aardvarck take on "Convolution" remains a particular highlight for this reviewer. Number seven in the series has been subject to all manner of delays, but it's finally here featuring remixes from the mystery - and formerly assumed missing in action - production unit Seldom Felt! Back in 2007, a short lived series of hand stamped techno white labels bearing the seldom felt name and (now inactive) web address emerged and their impact can still be felt today. How Skudge managed to coax Seldom Felt out of hibernation is a thought for another day; of more importance is their resultant remixes here. The treatment of "Phantom" is subtle, retaining the original's sleek chords but treating them to some woozy delay whilst also softening some of the rhythmic sharpness. It's well matched by the more manic rendition of "Shivers" that features on the flip.
Review: 2013 has found 'the elusive unit' Skudge concentrating more on their role as label curators, with original material taking the back seat as they focussed on killing the dancefloors with their no-prisoners-taken live shows. It seems quite right however for Skudge to slip a little bit of 12" magic out before the year ends and thankfully features "Irie," the Swedish pair's contribution to the Think & Change comp from the Non Plus camp. Originally issued as part of the CD edition of Think & Change only, it's great to see this slab of Skudge deepness pressed up on wax. On the flip is "Faux" which will please fans of Skudge's more abstracted side.
Review: Swedish duo Skudge bend to popular demand and repress their highly sought after first three releases in a limited edition box set which makes for the perfect last minute Christmas present for those concrete heavy techno enthusiasts in your life. Looking back on these six tracks, it's a mark of Skudge's quality that the likes of "Convolution" and "Overture" still sound gut punchingly good some two years on, and it's also a chance to marvel how far Skudge have come. They emerged with a ready made sound that immediately impressed and swiftly went on to establish a platform for their music on their own terms as well as introducing a curatorial label in Skudge Presents that has given the likes of MRSK, October, Aardvarck and Rivet the chance to shine.
Review: Although they recently dropped a brilliant single for Nonplus, this is Skudge's first release for their own imprint in well over a year - something that should have fans of the Swedish duo particularly excited. The tracks are more than worth the wait; "Haste" pairs tough 909 kicks with a rippling backbone of freshly filtered chords, but "Wonder Stories" is the real killer, a sparse rhythm track with abstract acid squeaks, distant echo-laden percussion and thick dub chords which deliver one of the duo's most steely tracks to date. Once again the masters of deep analogue techno effortlessly show the rest how it's done.
Man On Wire (Marcel Dettman Low Key version - mix 1)
Wonder Stories (Answer Code Request remix)
Review: The boys over at Skudge Records present the sixth instalment of their luxurious line of remix EPs. This time it's techno king Marcel Dettmann who reshapes "Man On Wire" with two suave remixes of the original, followed by another reinterpretation from German mystery man, Answer Code Request. Both of the Dettmann retakes share an interesting subtlety which exposes yet more skills by the Berghain resident, with the first being a dub-filtered techno excursion complete with soothing pads and a grainy, progressive layout of snares and hi-hats. For his second piece, Marcel injects a heftier bassline which squelches and mutates its way through a skippy percussion with almost sub aquatic effect. We have a completely different vibe on the B side, as Answer Code Request creates an irresistibly catchy breakbeat, which transports a myriad of menacing sub bass infusions, sharp percussions and raved-out synths, making his voice the louder of the two for this release.
Review: Boddika and Cosmin TRG join the ranks of Appleblim & October, Aardvarck, Fengler, Rolando and 2562 in reworking the wall shuddering sounds of Skudge on the fifth - and perhaps most incendiary to date - Skudge Remixes 12". Al Boddika Bleeky is at the top of his game right now, thanks in no small part to a cluster of Joy O collaborations and his A Side revision of "Below" continues the producer's lineage of deadly acid re-rubs, twisting the diva vocal led original down an altogether darker path. Cosmin TRG is nominally charged with a harder task in reworking "Ursa Major" the beatless opening excursion from Skudge's debut LP Phantom, but does an equally accomplished job in stamping his own sonic agenda on proceedings, firming up the track with some granular handclaps and white-hot chords. What's Swedish for 'must have'?
Review: Skudge return with the latest installment of their remix series, in which Berlin's Substance (aka Peter Kuschnereit) is paired up with Bristol's finest, Appleblim & October. Substance's remix of "Overture" takes the hypnotic quality of the endlessly looping original and runs with it, adding some high frequency stabs that cut through the mix. On the flipside October & Appleblim bring some Bristol influence to Skudge's much straighter approach. Isolating the ghostly 808 cowbell of the original and adding some welcome percussive swagger, it nevertheless maintains the straight groove of their recent collaboration on Schmorgasbord, complete with liquid synths which create an interesting contrast to Skudge's warehouse sound.
Review: At this point it seems that nothing will stop the Skudge juggernaut, as they drop the first release on their own imprint a mere six months after their album, Phantom. This 12" doesn't throw any huge curveballs, but these tracks display a lightness and simplicity that has been largely unseen in their previously weightier productions. Of course their sense of rhythm is still as on point as ever; "June" is characterised by its beefy toms which drive the track forwards, but most surprising it the simple chord sequence which ebbs and flows throughout, allowing only a simple whistle as its only excess. "Man On Wire" is built around a simple bassline and slowly intensifying synth stab, but again, with a gravity defying breeziness that feels ever so subtly different from their previous productions. The 12" concludes on this note, with a short, bright, arpeggio tool that is an interesting diversion from their usual warehouse sound, and intriguing look at possible things to come.
Review: Round three of Skudge remixes and it's the most impressive line-up to date with Underground Resistance don Rolando and Dutchman 2562 sharing space. Rolando steps up first, going deep into the core of "Ontic", adding his own 'not everyone understands' vocal refrain which twists brilliantly around the slightly more urgent throb that grows into a thrilling rattle as the track progresses. Flipping the sonic script 2562 moulds "Convolution" aka THE THEME FROM SKUDGE into his own distinct template, retaining the fractured diva utterings but carving out a jagged metallic rhythm that's driven by shards of evil bass insurgency. This third volume of Skudge remixes is essentially a dual exercise in the art of the perfect remix; retaining what makes the original so special but stamping your own sonic identity to deliver something new!
Review: Ah Skudge, there's something so satisfying with the name Skudge, it's a word you can shout with the same glee attached to techno or beer. Equally satisfying is the music Skudge have been treating us to in their short and mysterious career. This brand new twelve inch is no different and provides an auspicious insight into what the Swedish duo's forthcoming album might sound like. Filled to the brim with wall rattling machine funk most likely! "Below" sees Skudge in hypnotic form twisting an indecipherable and haunting vocal through around and between a bass heavy throb of droney synths and snapping metallic percussion. Rhythmically subtle in the way it undulates, this is Skudge showing a new side and most impressive it is. Complementing this is the dark and long rubbery, hypnotic menace of "Phantom" which seems designed with the sole purpose of destroying your motor functions. Skudge!
Review: Everyone's favourite enclave of mystery Swedish techno mind melters unveil the second chapter of remixes with a suitably classy line up across both sides of this 12 inch. The inaugural Skudge remix 12" housed one of our favourite reworks of 2010 in Aardvarck's relentless regroove of "Convolution" and the same track is reworked here. Marcel Fengler, no stranger to creating a wall of reverberating sound as resident at Berghain, delivers a remix propelled along by a heavy throbbing bass line. Around this, he crafts abrasive tones, piercing kicks and heavily compressed vocal edits that have a distinctly 2-step vibe. Expect a messy dancefloor at the midpoint descent into the bass line throb. Veteran techno don Aubrey tackles "Melodrama" on the flip, reimagining the track as a bustling Basic Channel hypno groove replete with busy percussion, industrial tones, heavily phased vocal snippets and generally harsh bass scratches.
Review: The ever mysterious Skudge come through with the third release on their self titled imprint and prove there's still plenty of scope for moulding raw back to basics machine funk. "Overture" proves to be one of Skudge's most hypnotic efforts to date, from the simple beginnings of a two note melody and shuffling kicks, the track locks into a raw captivating dubby groove. "Overture" really hits its stride when piercing 808s and weird vocal screeches are introduced in the final third. On the flip "Mirage" is equally mind bending, relying on thumping kick drums that will shake the foundations on a good soundsystem. Out of this an ever mutating rhythmic core crafted from overdubbed vocals emerges to duke it out with metallic synth stabs and an army of cascading hi-hats. In other words, exactly the sort of track that will destroy dancefloors if introduced at the right late night moment.
Review: Here's us waxing lyrical about the third Interia sampler being the best of the lot, and then the fourth one lands on our laps and now we're all confused. Skudge, Conforce, Cosmin TRG and Sascha Rydell all contribute tracks here, with Swedish duo Skudge opening the A-Side with the sparse rattle of "Pollution", which is ably supported by the twitching minimalism of "When It Appeared" by Conforce. Up next, Cosmin TRG adds to his growing techno oeuvre with "Plaisir Interdit", which, much like his recent material on 50 Weapons, combines restless, swinging hats with bowel-shaking low frequencies. Finally, Sascha Rydell (the only artist on this 12" who hasn't released an album this year) drops "Rainy Days", and rather then being overawed by the esteemed company, he revels in it, turning in a majestic slice of atmospheric, contemplative techno.
Review: This highly limited 12" from Indigo Aera represents the first of a four-part series focusing on unreleased material from those close to the label, with the first 12? featuring tracks from Skudge and Different World. This first release features Swedish hardware heroes Skudge on the A-side with "Mobius", supposedly a special version of the intro the duo use in their analogue-heavy live setup. On the flip is "Think Twice", a track produced by Claude Young & Takasi Nakajima under their Different World alias, and which featured on Marcel Fengler's Berghain 05 mix CD from 2011. Limited to 377 copies for the world - don't sleep on this one!
Review: SKUM sees Swedish labels Skudge and Kontra Musik join forces for a series of collaborative releases featuring both their respective label rosters and it's quite a logical step. Whilst Kontra Musik is the more established of the two, both labels have followed a similar path, releasing music from hometown talent as well as artists further afield. The debut issue sees contributions from Skudge themselves along with MRSK, Frak and the ever reliable Andreas Tilliander in TM404 mode; proceedings are deftly split between Swedish techno at it's finest on the A Side courtesy of Skudge and MRSK whilst Frak and TM404 ensure the B Side is a more cerebral affair.
Review: Karat Records revisit last year's compilation borne out of the Katapult Festival held in Paris with three of the best tracks courtesy of Skudge, Portable and Phillipe Cam. Whilst it might seem odd to release a vinyl sampler nearly twelve months after the CD dropped, the chance to own Skudge's propulsive "Senocular" on vinyl makes this worthy of investigation alone. The track is vintage Skudge, finely crafted granite rhythms complemented by subtle percussive touches and a devious twisting acid lead. Karat regulars Portable and Phil Cam occupy the flip, with the former's "Need You" a dizzying melange of Rhodes, vocals and high altitude acid mechanics whilst the latter dabbles in twisted ambience.
Review: Dekmantel's 5th Anniversary Series has so far been as finely curated and presented as you'd expect from the Dutch label, and this penultimate entry is no different with Skudge and San Proper introducing some dark techno business to proceedings. Swedish duo Skudge are on fine form with "Silent Running" delivering one of their subtly melodic productions that revolves grainily around one repeated and tweaked refrain. Given San Proper's dedication to the label (he sports a Dekmantel tattoo after all) it's little surprise the hirsute Amsterdam icon was asked to contribute and "Rattle (Station 2 Station)" is one of the best tracks on the series so far. A grinding, industrial beat mixes with dense vocals, synths, speech samples and plenty more. The end result is a perfect example of the kind of steamy, sweaty haze of late night damage that Mr Proper has made his own.
Review: Three different takes from two different periods of time meet up in this acid focused 12". The record features two Skudge originals from 2009, optimized into today's standards. And also a classically trained Splice track, where a fierce drum patterngoes in parallel with the acidic bass line. A current take on a very classic machine.
Review: The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the four cuts showcased here made up the first 12" of Indigo Aera's recent Lost Archives Special box-set. Like most of the rest of that expansive package, these tracks are exclusive and previously unreleased. The quality threshold is undeniably high: check, for example, the glistening, beat-less ambient positivity of Yamaoka's "Dragon Robe", and the glacial melodiousness of Skudge's rolling techno shuffler, "November". Those looking for a darker, slightly more intense take on techno should head for Museum's throbbing "RA", while label co-founder Jasper Wolff's "Float" is a study in classic, dub-influenced techno hypnotism.