Cliff Lothar pushes through a second release following last year's 'White Savage', this time popping up on Skudge White. This offshoot of the Stockholm-based label has thus far, in its limited two year history, appeared intent on presenting mutated, contorted house and techno from a variety of mysterious production aliases.
Up to now, content on Skudge White has been a mixed bag. Generally operating at the lower end of comfortable in terms of BPM, the label's focus on weirdness does at times feel a tad overpowering. Though in this latest release from Lothar, they've struck all the right notes. Admittedly, this newest offering is far from traditional techno fare, but there's enough of a conventional beat contained within the four tracks to make the overall effect very powerful.
First is 'Murked Out', where dingy synths poke around a gloomy drum track. Cavernous, nocturnal and raw, the feeling is generally rather bleak. Despite that, there's a definite direction and purpose that would render it useful on the dancefloor - something that can't always be said for Skudge White twelves.
Next, 'Tangaxuan II' drops the tempo slightly and ventures further into the darkness. This one's funky enough, with sparse bleeps and bells peppered here and there, twinkling away in the shadows. 'Audiomess' carries this theme onwards (or possibly even downwards) before the final track, 'Darkhole Gloryroom', raises the tempo again; shuffling percussion looks to drive you through a tunnel and into the metaphorical light - except that somebody's forgotten the torch. It's confusing, schizophrenic and stifling, and it's the pick of the bunch. Both Lothar and Skudge White have hit the spot with this one - it's a sufficiently weird and dark journey that manages to straddle the line of 'dancefloor-friendly' perfectly.
Murked Out EP - Cliff Lothar [Skudge White]
Go cop it now at Juno.