Published May 15, 2018Bryan Müller is one of an exciting new breed of producers that have gained prominence over the last few years. As Skee Mask, he's a purveyor of hyper-detailed breakbeat and techno epics, all released on Ilian Tape. Indeed, how many producers can boast of having their own sub-label on the Zenker Brothers-created outlet. With each release, Müller makes a conscious effort to improve on previous efforts, and after last year's excellent ISS002 on Ilian Skee Series, all eyes are on the Munich-based artist for his second album.
Compro represents a refinement of recent Skee Mask material. IDM proclivities and anthemic sub-bass permeate much of the album, where every moment of endearment is matched equally by percussive excellence and sonic intrepidity. Take "Cerroverb" as an example — the ambient excursion sets the initial tone perfectly, and would be equally at home on a label like Silent Season.
Of course, Müller's signature breakbeat-techno appears often. Compositions like "50 Euro to Break Boost" and "Flyby VFR" are classic Skee Mask, but carry deeper emotional sentiment than previous efforts. This is by design, as Müller told Matt Unicomb of Resident Advisor last year. Elsewhere, drum & bass-leaning rhythms appear on "Soundboy Ext." and the euphorically (and aptly) named "Kozmic Flush," with its celestial pad work and unrelenting grooves.
Given Müller's prowess as a sound designer, the rhythmic element of Skee Mask is surely a distinguishing factor. Owing to his history as a drummer, his percussion is always inventive, incredibly effective, and crisp-sounding. Album closer, "Calimance (Delay Mix)," is an affecting, dubbed-out rhythmic workout that slows the pace to allow things to breathe. It's music like this that highlights Müller's versatility, and cements him as a key player in the modern electronic soundscape. In all certainty, we can only be optimistic for Skee Mask's future. (Ilian Tape)