Skudge drop an immaculate studio mix of their 'Phantom' long player for CD format. This result is a dramatic listening experience, demonstrating why their music has been so popular with all kinds of deep-minded deejays the world over...the mix includes the unreleased track, Breaking Strain. TIP!Although the duo was only formed in summer 2009, they have already moved out of near anonymity to become precious favourites of deep, warehouse-styled house and techno fans. Their output to date has moulded together classic ideas and modern aesthetics with a keen sense of minimalism: their looped soundscapes are often bare, but never lacking, and the intersection between house and techno seems to be the point at which the duo most often find themselves. As a result, that’s the area most explored on their debut album, Phantom, which conjures up exactly the sort of adjectives you should imagine given its title.
It kicks off with eerie chambers of grainy sound, synth melancholy and frosty mists that hang in a beatless air for just over three minutes. From there the thumping beats swing until the end of the album – sometimes accompanied by a little trippy sonic colour, sometimes devoid of anything but filters, echo and decay, and sometimes paired with cavernous claps, but always with a solid, ground shaking resonance and, more importantly, a noticeable analogue vitality.
Although the bold forms Skudge produce are optimised for maximum dancefloor impact, there’s also a deftness to their designs: sounds and vocal snippets are subtly, selectively employed to imbue each loop with an extra infectious sense of swing; or to underline a groove or accentuate an emotion. Once you enter into Phantom, then, you’ll be in no hurry to get out the other side.