Brainchops :: Sk'p - Unmute Your Journey (2010) :: Review + Interview

Sk'p - Unmute Your Journey (2010) :: Review + Interview

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unmute Your Journey
[Planet Terror Records :: 2010]

Free Download + Interview

Sk'p is the new alias of Belgian electronic music artist Skip who is known for his hyper, playful, chiptune/drill'n'bass style and has performed along side braindance / IDM heroes such as Ceephax, Venetian Snares, and DMX Krew.  With his first release of this new project Sk'p departs from his colorful happy place into darker, more introspective territory, revealing a whole new side of him that we haven't yet heard.  Ten-track long player "Unmute Your Journey" leads us through a fascinating micro-world where we hear the sounds of amoebas and nano spores making an epic trek across vast microbial landscapes that, in retrospect, could fit on the tip of your finger.  He has a way of making small things sound big, turning tiny micro samples, synthesized pops, clicks, and droplets into intriguing complex beats and textures, and bubbling up through these expertly woven rhythms are beautiful, swelling melodies from light and pleasant to heavy and dramatic. It's an album of polaric contrast that stays true to its name and takes listeners on an up and down journey through sonic hills, valleys, deserts and forests.

skp-unmute2Experimenting with song deconstruction, Sk'p lets some tracks like "Mentoa Mass" and "Seyefer" sway between beat-driven moments and moments of chaotic noise with mindful timing that always keeps the listener interested and excited.  Other tracks like "Kraeactor" and "Unmute 2.2" really delve into sound appreciation and ambiance seemingly without a real structure, but it's there, stretched across the vastness he paints.  Sk'p also delivers classic golden-era style IDM in tracks like "Cotrol Clod" that are just short of danceable but get your head nodding the whole way through.  "Lost Land" really showcases the range in this album, opening with residual static and stuttering pips carried over from the previous track and evolving into a full-fledged song complete with a grooving beat, warm melody, and a climactic finale that harkens back to the speedy, chip'n'bass style of preceding Skip releases.

This album is mind blowing from start to finish, but my absolute favorite tracks are the "Soivelslevios" and "Vleckeffect" spread.  Gorgeous! Epic! Huge!  The melody of the former is so incredibly moving and between the emotional choir pads and upbeat chiptune interjections I don't know whether to cry or rejoice.  Perhaps both would be in order, but after every listen I can't help but literally shake my head in awe.  The latter of the two has these sharp, metallic harmonics, steamy crescendos and oil drum rhythms that together make a brooding film score-like track to rival the best.

"Unmute Your Journey" is a modern day "Lifeforms" that gives me what I wanted out of "Oversteps".  This is one free netlabel release you do not want to overlook.  Interview after the teasers and download link.


Download Sk'p - Unmute Your Journey :: MP3 (320kbps) .ZIP | Label Page

Connect with Sk'p/Skip :: MySpace | Facebook | SoundCloud

// Interview with Sk'p //

skp-photoBc: "Unmute Your Journey" has a darker, more serious sound that many of your previous releases. What inspired this new sound for you?

Sk'p: Its a collection of tracks where I wanted them to be part of a different but very specific "journey" outside my releases under "Skip". Each Sk'p track also started with a specific vibe in my mind before and while producing it. These tracks were much more pre-thought, which is why I believe they sound more serious and worked out. In comparison with Skip, Sk'p tries to be much more sharp, glitchy, crunchy, experimental, slower than Skip, still very melodic, atmospheric, melancholic but not too much, and more than ever inspired by the late 90's melodic ambient and IDM.

Bc: What was the most fun or interesting aspect of writing in this style vs. upbeat drill n bass and do you feel like you've grown as a musician in the process?

Sk'p: I have grown because I think I (again) have managed to produce music I wanted to hear but couldn't find and am very satisfied with it so far. Its all about musical self-fulfilling creationism.

skp-sketch03Bc: What albums or artists have you been listening to a lot of lately?

Sk'p: I usually keep a healthy variation along the day. But I'd have to say Edgar Froese, Nofx, Four Tet (latest stuff is beautiful), Philip Glass, unreleased Kettel-stuff, Thomas Newman, some italo disco and a wide variety of selected netlabel stuff such as Implex Grace (superb stuff, check his album "Through Luminescent Passages 2"). I also started to listen to audiobooks and radio interviews about unexplainable natural phenomena, it really feeds your fantasy.

Bc: Favorite snack or meal while writing/recording?

Sk'p: Something with tuna please.

Bc: I see that you are a sketch artist as well and have quite a lot of detailed pieces online.  Which Bic Art are you most proud of? How long did it take you?

Sk'p: Giant curved cylinders going into the white fog, or the one featuring different little organisms attached to each other, with a small black orb in the middle. I can not really say how long it took for one of those because I usually do them in many sessions. Sessions of 30 minutes to 2 or more hours. It has been over a year now since I actually did some ballpoint stuff. Partially because I'm working on a comic book concept at this time which is still in pre-phase (I only do sketching for now.)


Bc: What has been your favorite live gig to play so far?

Sk'p: I played at 2 festivals this summer, both were I believe my best and biggest gigs. Big up PeerPressure crew and Once Upon A Festival!

Bc: What is the most memorable / fun live performance you've attended so far?

Sk'p: I always very much enjoy Autechre, Bogdan Raczynski, Ceephax Acid Crew, Wisp...I couldn't choose.

skp-sketch02Bc: How do you feel your surroundings inspire your music?

Sk'p: Absorb everything with a selective mind.

Bc: Do you think you'll continue on this musical path for your next release or try something different?

Sk'p: At one hand I'll surely continue, but other paths might get along and they could eventually mix together, who knows. It's a living thing, you don't have to rush it.

Bc: Any gigs coming up?

Sk'p: Got a couple for these last 2 months; one in a few weeks, and on january first :D !


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