Skudge delivers old school techno with a new fresh underground edge. Winners of the P3 Gold (an annual award given to some of the most prominent new musicians/producers in Sweden) for best dance act of 2011, these guys know how to get people’s feet moving. Skudge is part of a growing movement of talented Swedish dance music producers whose unwillingness to compromise, love for classic techno and aspiring creativity presents an alternative to much of the shitty house music (read: Swedish House Maffia etc) that a lot of the clubs in Stockholm tend to play.
‘Phantom’ is a dark and elaborate album full of quite suggestive beats. Skudge writes on their blog that the album was made without a specific plan and therefore it turned out to be a mixture of different types of songs. This fact is not obvious for the outside listener but sure, there is little difference between some of the more dance floor friendly songs, like title track Phantom, and some more low key electronica-inspired songs, like Blackout.
The tracks, which are at minimum 5 minutes long, seemingly have a life of their own. Though it’s somewhat wrong to think of ‘Phantom’ as an album of several songs when in reality it’s more like one fluid soundscape. It is minimalistic and dramatic at the same time. The addition of an instrument and the drop of a beat are nice little treats for the attentive ear. Listening to Phantom is a hypnotic experience. It drags you in to this dark universe of twisted sounds which will work its way into to very core of your head, forcing your brain cells to get the rest of your body moving.
With this said, Phantom is not an album for those whose gag reflex automatically goes wild at the sound of a 4/4 base drum beat. You have to somewhat be in to techno, or at least some type of dance music to dig this stuff. However, listening to the album on your stereo at home is not ultimate. Phantom is to a large extent made for the trashy underground clubs where time stands still and the crowd dance until they drop or the sun comes up.
By Henrik NygrenSkudge ‘Phantom’ (Skudge) by punchdrunkmusicdotcom