Boomkat Product Review:
Following up 2016's ace 'Ragga Preservation Society', murky British Columbia collective SKRS revisit the project, liquefying Canadian-Jamaican jungle dubs and soundclash samples into mazy hi-velocity 'ardkore drips. One fer fans of Lee Gamble, Mark Leckey, Duppy Gun and Rhythm & Sound - featuring Second Woman, Roger Robinson, wzrdyAV and DJ Wundrkut.
With every dancefloor producer and their weed carrier attempting to shoehorn amen breaks and hoover bass into their tracks, it's refreshing to hear a crew doing it from the heart. Seekersinternational have been turning heads for years, and their latest full-length is a reminder of their attention to detail and commitment to excavating the rich seam between jungle and dub. Like its predecessor, the album looks to the past to chart a course into the future, re-aligning samples from the crew's collection of radio rips, Canadian-Jamaican ragga-jungle tape boxes and soundclash recordings, reshaping their source material into bonafide club electricity.
The album opens with an orchestra of samples that welds Basic Channel's looping dubwise textures to hoover blasts, atonal stabs and deejay shoutouts as if it's a proof of concept. 'Worldwide' subsequently mutates thru soundsystem forms with the plastique efficiency of Arca or the post-cynical surrealism of Dean Blunt. Beatless but not lacking rhythm, it introduces the album's palette without spoiling the rush of the first drop, a ratcheted break-led downtempo boom over a minute into Roger Robinson vehicle 'Kill-A-Milli'. It's at this point that you're made acutely aware of SKRS experience as selectors - there's no rush to reach for a track that'll show its cards immediately 'cuz they're building a narrative.
The album rarely stays in a single place for too long; as the ragga jungle blur of 'Kill-A-Milli' evaporates into sirens, eerie chimes introduce 'RingRingRiddim' with a digidub bassline and a looping vocal. 'SoundboyThunderbolt' glues both sounds together, lurching from loose ragga into tightly edited jungle and squelchy dancefloor rave saccharine. Second Woman, the collaborative moniker of Belong's Turk Dietrich and Telefon Tel Aviv's Joshua Eustis, pop up with an assist on 'TrussUBad', augmenting SKRS' hi-contrast collage with fluttering electronics and airlock-ready algorithmic dub robotix.
SKRS save their most intense moments for the album's second half: 'JamFlexEdit, Pt. 1 & 2' is one of their most upfront hard-hitters yet, a rush of chattered rave samples, organ stabs and choppy breaks that spins full-circle into dada sound collage in the minutes before it fades into silence. Closing track 'SoundTekOva' is just as intense, alternating breaks in and out of focus as if you're dipping yer head in and out of water.
A dense, swaggering set, it plops us down in a front row seat for a firework display that demonstrates the permeating influence of Jamaican soundsystem culture on dance and experimental music.