EP, Sistinas, 2007
For those who know of acts like Combichrist, Suicide Commando and such, you’re in familiar territory with Modulate’s “Skullfuck”, the debut of Manchester-based DJ Echo (a.k.a. Geoff Lee). This can pretty much define what your reaction to this EP will be. For those not familiar with the above mentioned acts, it depends on your liking for high-voltage dance-floor club hits; if you’re looking for something with a bit of depth and meaning, “Skullfuck” is not the place to look for.
Modulate’s music is anything but subtle: a pounding 4/4 rhythm to galvanize the body and the essential melodic and sampling touches here and there to provide elements to make the music recognizable and give it something of an epic feeling. Simple yet highly efficient (and with crisp production), these are all the elements needed for the universal floor-filler club-hit recipe. Even if this release doesn’t bring anything new, Geoff Lee clearly learned the lessons from his experience as a DJ and effectively applied them to creating his own music: “Skullfuck” and accompanying tracks have all that is needed to become club hits in the near future. In addition to Modulate’s skill at producing club hits, two things work in favour of this release. One is, like with any ‘singles’ release, its duration – at four tracks length there isn’t much to evaluate beyond Modulate’s skill to produce tracks with club-hit potential. The other is the absence of lyrics which, in this genre, tend to be risible at best.
As far as track highlights go “Electronic Battle Weapon” is where Geoff seems to cut loose experimenting a bit beyond the ‘tested and true’ straightforward club-hit formula and which made me curious about his future output. The remixes essentially serve to accentuate the “geared for the dancefloor” mentality of the original track providing with a few variations and additions to the original theme though ESA’s mix stands out as the most original by departing from the title track and completely reworking it into a fresh one with markedly different structure and intensity.
If you’re into this kind of music, and you like having club-hits as listening material (though even club-hits can get stale thanks to overplaying), “Skullfuck EP” is something to check out. In any case, this release and the title track are sure to make some waves in the near future.
— Miguel de Sousa