Lean techno, built for DJs.
Skudge - Clear / Wasp
Trends come and go, but some tracks are timeless. That's certainly true of "Clear," the A-side from Skudge's new EP. A swinging dub techno loop in the style that's been around since Basic Channel, it's the kind of track that will appeal to DJs for as long as we have dance music. Lean and focussed, there are just a few elements—bassline, percussion, flecks of melody—at work, but each is engineered to perfection. Just don't expect "Clear" to be a hit. The vocal, a robotic voice repeating the title, is the track's main hook, and it's not a big one. Rather than being catchy, this tune is all about its groove, a propulsive stomp powered by its perfect bassline and claps. At only five minutes, it could have been twice as along.
This sound will be familiar to fans of labels like Maurizio, Svek and Sushitech, much-loved outlets that prioritise reduction above all else. "Clear"'s vocal might bring to mind "Kaos," a 1997 Svek classic by Stephan-G & The Persuader. Skudge, once a duo but now the solo project of Elias Landberg, is a faithful student of such sounds, which comes through in his artful approach to loops. "Wasp," the other track, is less versatile and more chaotic, thanks to a strange synth that darts around the midrange. This record is all about the A-side, a tune that's best summed up in three simple words: perfect DJ tool.