I swear the wait was forever between SKULLS 07 and 08, those being the Villalobos ‘Blood on My Hands’ mix and the Appleblim & Peverelist single. And before I know it, the next one is out, this time the latest in an apparently constant flow of quality from one Sam Shackleton. Visually this stands out from what went before, the dense, intricate inking snaking over the whole cover.
Speaking of dense ink, the sonics share that same attribute. This is very much the next step in a very steady process of evolution for the label, a chemical marriage of the dank air of releases past and the more recent flair for the Middle Eastern that worked so well on the crisp ‘Hamas Rule’. Shackleton has harnessed the power of sluggish smudge-core for the forces of good, which sits surprisingly well with the clever percussion in the mix.
The beat itself is very interesting: numerous strands and strains forming like Voltron – or are they all just being sucked into the singularity, fragmenting away from the whole before the structure’s atoms are rent into a million pieces? Arguably more entertaining is the remix on the flip, which peaks when the bass-line falls away and you’re left with the sound of decaying ambience: it’s like the air is being sucked out of everyone in the room. Inevitably it returns, but the effect is fantastically simple.
T++ injects energy to the slightly lethargic original; now the Soundboy seems to have finally been disposed of, the denizens of the Skull Disco have dropped the skunk joints for a minute to shake a leg. And it’s actually not that anachronistic, possibly due to Villalobos schooling the slow-step massive for eighteen blood-soaked minutes last year. Whatever the motivation, this is another fine slab of tuneage from Skull Disco: their ever-expanding troupe of sonic adventurers consistently bring the slightly deranged goods.