The happy skull label is one that we’ve had our eyes on since it’s inception in 2013. Keeping a relatively low profile and following Sean & Dan Kelly’s passion for uncompromising machine music with soul and have treated us to a nothing but quality stream of underground music from the likes of Rhythmic Theory, Kowton and Marco Bernardi to name but a few.
It was their release from Creta Kano, however, that really grabbed our attention - ‘Skyway Motel’ is a masterclass in sun kissed electro, pushing rigid drum patterns to the front and lacing them with scan line synth lines - this was backed up with the Basic Channel indebted ‘False Water’ which was a firm favourite with us.
We were all ears when the next release on the Kelly Twins label arrived at the office - Looking to some of Bristol’s most vital new producers to interpret the original Creta Kano tracks in their unique styles.
It’s only fitting, then, that Lurka, who had been supporting ‘Skyway Motel’ from day one was asked to refix the title track - Reshaping the orginal wistful melody around burnished kick drums and brittle hats which steam through at a clip. Peppered with crafty edits and inimitable sound design, Lurka is on top form here, working his magic with the signature second drop madness which sees him deploy a hovercraft bass to ratchet up the gully levels an extra notch for packed dancehalls. This one has seen support from the likes of Pev and Ben UFO if you needed any further persuasion!
Bruce comes with his mix of ‘False Water’ for the first track on the B side. Working the original Basic Channel indebted original into new forms with his ‘Hi-Fi’ mix. Slowing the pace down and compressing a few choice elements into a sub-tropical space - thick with tape hiss and pierced by glassy reverb, a hyperreal take on the original and one that we keep revisiting.
The collaborative ‘Osamazm’ project of Sam Neek & Amos Childs are tasked with refixing the chopped and screwed ‘Skyway 81’ - an appropriate choice for the pair who have explored similar territory for Idle Hands and NoCorner. Resampling the original and slowing it a little further, creating a melancholic space that hints at euphoria - it’s magic.
You can hear the Osamasm remix in full below and see the warped VHS visuals crafted by Max Kelan Pearce below.
Artwork by Anina Yates
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