Skee Mask – Compro

A crystalline collection of ambient beats and shimmering to stuttering soundscapes from German producer Bryan Müller under his Skee Mask moniker with new album Compro. 

Sarah Lay reviews. 

Label: Ilian Tape
Released: 15 May 2018

The snow-hazed blue emptiness through which a purposeful lone figure cuts on the cover of Skee Mask‘s Compro is sound and vision coming together perfectly. A cool vast space punctuated by an intriguing but simple detail: we could be describing cover art or album theme.

Producer Bryan Müller’s second full length for Ilian Tape under the moniker Skee Mask is an album building on the breakbeats for which he’s known but playing to the lush atmospherics of ’90s techno while dabbling in ambience and keeping it all moving toward future sound rather than rehashed genres. This is the sound of machines beautifully coming to life, glowing and pulsating organically even as a digital clip and bounce trips to the fore (‘Soundboy Ext.’), as layered Jungle beats ricochet (‘Kozmic Flush’), and buzz and blitz sonics shoot and saw (‘Dial 247’).

Subtle but compelling melodies build from the beats, softened here and there by synths. They glitch and bloop but rarely in a way that startles or jars, this is all very organic and the beats – using his standard drums and pads mix – are polite even when they are an under-the-skin itch you can’t reach, a jolt to the system (‘Flyby VFR’, ‘Cerroverb’).

A classic in the making as sparse beats speak of the machine-made moment and to the vast emptiness of our inner worlds. As shimmering as it is stuttering, intricate detail even in the minimalist approach. A record to seek out and spend late nights and hazy mornings curled around and a clear evolution of the artist’s craft.

Find Skee Mask on Bandcamp and Spotify.

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica. A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist. Follow her @sarahlay

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