The release of this track as a single has been a long time coming. Skullfuck has now been slaying industrial club dancefloors for the best part of 18 months, and still shows no sign of stopping. So, I won’t say too much about it, as I’m sure you will have heard it. Suffice to say, hard beats, clever pacing – oh, and a cracking Full Metal Jacket sample make for one great song.
So what of the remixes, and the three additional tracks? Lets start with the new tracks. Kommune I is a slightly slower paced track, with a steady, metronomic beat, clever, piercing synth lines and samples of newscasters at protests. Digital Alchemy dispenses with vocal samples altogether, goes for something a little different, sounding almost like an old-school EBM track. Certainly the arrangement is sparse, the beat constant, and the synths and effects sound pleasingly retro. As a showcase of another direction, it is very good indeed.
Pick of the new tracks, though, is closer Electronic Battle Weapon. Another Modulate track aimed straight at the dancefloor, it is built around a thumping beat and some heavily distorted effects – in other words, it does exactly what it says on the tin!
So what of the remixes? The Neikka RPM remix softens the beats, and drenches the samples in reverb, but then alters the pacing by smoothing out the breakdowns – which kinda defeats the point of having such a dramatic “chorus”. The Phantom West remix avoids the same mistake but only messing with the beat itself in the main, which has been transformed into something of a more live-sounding effect, and works very well. The ESA remix pulls the fabric of the track apart at the seams, and then reassembles it into a totally different fashion – with some very clever phasing of it between the speakers. There is also more of the original remaining that appears at first listen, but intriguingly it dispenses with the signature (and titular) sample almost entirely.
The headline remix comes of course from Combichrist, and as is often the case with this artist’s remixes little is done other than modify it into the usual Combichrist style – which means beefed-up beats and additional effects. Alternatively, you could say that the view of “if it ain’t broke…” has been taken. And if so, you could see his point.
A pretty strong set for the debut EP, then. And with many positive noises from elsewhere about this, a good placing on the DAC in Germany (at the time of writing six weeks on there), and the full album to follow, the future sounds to be as bright and as good as this EP.