If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably already noticed SkintDisco‘s gradual rise up the ranks over the last couple of years. The UK producer eventually put himself within the forefront of the genre in 2018 by landing on the prolific Encrypted Audio (ENC038) and until now, his most complete release to date. However this month SkintDisco unleashes ‘Uno Bish’ EP, what I believe to be his best collection of productions thus far. The extended EP features five vicious tracks on American label Silent Motion Records including three equally enormous remixes. Silent Motion themselves have enjoyed a run of solid releases over the last twelve months boasting releases from Ternion Sound and Busted Fingerz. However SMD033 really ups the anti.
The power of SkintDisco‘s sound is felt instantly upon the opening track ‘Uno Bish‘. It’s one that’s been begging for a release for some time now and has thankfully been put to use perfectly, making the initial impact on the record. The melodic clanging breaks out from the onset, set off by thudding kicks and an ingenious vocal sample that plays a massive part from start to finish. The track never lets you catch your breath with a heart stopping switch midway as the lead breaks down, opening up the space for the monstrous lows to breathe. I won’t even ask if you’ve heard the Glume & Phossa remix that appears later on, having rightly been rinsed just about everywhere. A tune that for me, just won’t get old. I can’t quite decide which I prefer, the clattering industrial sounds of the original or the neck swinging rhythm of Glume & Phossa‘s take. So to solve my dilemma, I’ve simply been alternating every time I head in to the mix. Sometimes I just say ‘fuck it’ and spin both!
From one absolute heater to another, a pattern that repeats throughout the release, ‘Debts‘ opens with dramatic strings and a foreshadowing melody that goes on to relentlessly ride the rhythmic wave of rolling drum patterns, including a snare so large and snappy, that it may occasionally make you flinch if you’re caught off guard. Further into the EP, ‘Debts‘ becomes the second tune that enjoys the remix treatment, this time from rapidly rising producer Cartridge. Similar to ‘Uno Bish‘, it’s tricky to put one ahead of the other; both as chest rattlingly powerful as the other. However in this case, if I must choose, I would stick my neck out and reach for Cartridge‘s twist more. The 105bpm tempo makes a refreshing change and the stripped back, minimal take is always a route that makes my ears prick up.
After more dramatic tension building strings, the following track ‘Stellar’ brings the heaviest drop on the EP. It quickly develops a similar clanging melody to ‘Uno Bish‘ but don’t worry about the effect wearing off on you, this one dives into the murkier realms of SkintDisco‘s arsenal. The muddy unforgiving bass line takes centre stage on this one, an intense roller with a thick foggy atmosphere.
‘Bris‘ switches it up entirely, a track that should come with some kind of health warning. And a defibrillator. The biggest sounding track on the EP throws you into another dimension with intense shiver inducing synths and a huge unrelenting low end that shake the foundations and every bone in your body. It’s a cliche, but it truly is a mind blowing tune if you find yourself in the right mood, close your eyes and let it take you into warp speed through time and space.
At this point on the release, particularly after ‘Bris’, a breather is necessary. A little something to bring you back to earth. So Slovenian mastermind FLO hops on to calm Joe down a little bit with this meditative roller ‘Radio Friendly Duploc Shifter‘. The pair utilise a variety of pads and samples, keeping the dynamics interesting as the looped throbbing low end takes precedence, with a few subtle ‘wubs’ infused for good measure. Think of the collaboration as a nice glass of whiskey, a wind down track after the madness previously experienced and a nice break before the chaotic remixes begin.
Following to the two aforementioned remixes by Glume & Phossa and Cartridge, Ceiva steps up to sign off the EP with his take on ‘Stellar‘. A remix that completely adjusts the original, almost becoming a new track within itself. The super creative American contorts almost every aspect of the original’s make-up. The drum patterns are complex and reconstructed, the subs twisted with added movement and the addition of various energy charged samples to the sound palette create the perfect track to lead the EP to it’s climax.
As mentioned previously, SkintDisco announced himself as one of the true heavyweights in contemporary UK dubstep with his EP on Encrypted Audio last year, demonstrating his rough industrial sounds on one of the UK’s most notorious labels. However SMD033 sees him one-upping himself, solidifying himself further as a force to be reckoned with. He seizes the opportunity of putting together a stacked record for a growing label based on the other side of the Atlantic, a growing trend and a great way to open yourself up to new audiences (B-Say‘s latest EP ‘HUSH!‘ on Californian label Badman Studios for example). Finally, looking at the release as a whole away from the high quality of SkintDisco‘s productions, having three remixes included on the EP is absolutely refreshing and definitely something I hope fellow labels will take note from in the future. The remixes make it feel more than ‘just’ an EP, but a complete project with a lot of thought and effort put in. If only it had the chance to be ingrained onto wax!
SMD033 is out now and available from the Silent Motion Bandcamp.