By Amye Koziel
UK artist Skope joins the Slug Wife family with the fourteenth release from the momentous collective, the Beneath EP. Featuring five songs spanning in tempo from 87 to 150BPM, Beneath builds on Slug Wife’s forward thinking, genre bending reputation to showcase Skope’s precision and imagination as an experimental bass music producer.
Beneath opens with “No0ne” - a tender yet tenacious track paced at 140BPM. The tune’s crunchy, stuttering low end beat hits hard enough to satisfy the headbangers among us, yet “No0ne” is deceptively minimal. Skope’s sophisticated use of pause and space elevates the tune, as do the melodic ambient tones that gently backdrop the contagious beat. The result is a thoroughly sexy song that begs to be let loose on the dance floor.
Skope’s signature halftime style is showcased in the drippy, meandering title track “Beneath” and the following cinematic moment, “Regretz.” Skope isn’t simply a producer, but a musical composer; both tunes spotlight his elegant touch for writing complete songs rather than single drops. Still, the tracks drop hard. Skope flexes his sound design skills in the detailed second drop of “Beneath” especially, where the pervasive middle eastern melody is briefly disintegrated by an intense breakdown of mechanical flicks and whirls. And “Regretz” constitutes the EP’s grittiest, funkiest moment, with a sound evocative of the artist’s work on the notable UK label Inspected.
Beneath climaxes with its fourth track, “Hollow.” Truly uncategorizable as far as genre is concerned, the tune meshes the heavy neuro aesthetic typical of halftime with the rolling percussive anxiety of full-speed drum and bass, to create a track that feels much faster than 150BPM. The orchestral introduction and recurring accents give “Hollow” a sheen of epicness, as if the soundtrack to the chase scene in an action movie.
The gem of the EP is its final track, “Divided.” Winding down noticeably from the release’s abrasive energy, the 132BPM glitch-garage track concludes Beneath with a sense of closure. Mellow and sentimental, “Divided” weaves silken layers of immersive pastel tones into a pensive denouement reminiscent of KOAN Sound.
Skope’s Beneath EP is available on June 4th from Slug Wife. Preview/purchase the relase on Bandcamp: https://music.slugwife.com/album/beneath
Follow Skope on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skopeuk/
Follow Slug Wife on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLUGWIFE/