Greg Downey + Stoneface & Terminal: The Art Of Skullduggery
For the better part of three years now Skullduggery’s been making moves within trance, but the (less than!) shadowy figure behind it has been force for many moons more. Looking to bring something new to genre’s fore, in 2015 he convened a group of talented studio souls to form its label core. Rising higher with every release, the collective waves made have been felt scene-wide ever since. Now, chief Skull Greg Downey has gotten together with Stoneface & Terminal – the label’s most illustrious signing – to portrait the imprint through the ‘The Art Of Skulduggery’.
Skul(l)duggery, noun, (skəl-ˈdə-g(ə-)rē) (skull-dug-er-rrryyy). Meaning: making it happen by means fair or otherwise (usually otherwise).
Out this March, Skullduggery’s music and inspirations, past, present and – most vividly – future are laid out across an irrepressibly fine deuce of mixcomp discs. Featuring music & remixes from a roll call of the gifted (by way of example: Paul van Dyk, Richard Durand, Lostly, Will Atkinson, Liam Wilson, Ferry Tayle, Activa, Project 8), it also includes much new matter from the label’s bedrock. None more so though than the main protagonists themselves, with Greg, Henry and Matthi drawing on a wealth of studio-fresh productions to outline Skulduggery’s Art in no uncertain terms.
Available from today (link), label kingpin Greg frontloads his mix with a mini-album’s worth from his own studio. Together, ‘The Tone’ and ‘Loco’ pitch the outer marker at ‘tech’, whilst Richard Durand’s remix of ‘These Hands I Hold’ and Downey/Alex Di Stefano collab ‘Among Us’ maintains the pressure. A few tracks down the line comes the Irishman’s team-up with the legendary Sunscreem, as he recasts the classic ‘Perfect Motion’ in a decidedly uplifting form. Hot on its heels you’ll find Sentinel 7’s redress of ‘Sense’, UCast’s acidic after-touch of ‘Razor’ and (in its killer HP Source form) ‘P45’. Strategically positioned between are PvD & Lostly’s stunning ‘Amanecer’, Project 8’s more-than-persuasive ‘I Believe’, Ferry Tayle’s impressive redraft of Basic Dawn’s ‘Pure Thrust’ and a whole lot more floor-firepower besides!
“15 years in and they’re making the best music of their career” is how DJ Mag sees Stoneface & Terminal’s current state of play. That’s born out by ‘The Art Of Skulduggery’s every-bit-as-extraordinary second disc. ‘Thump’, ‘warp’ & ‘drive’ are your key takeaways from the German duo’s opening salvo. Their own ‘Titan’ lights the mix’s match, while ‘Bolide’ and ‘Patient XTC’ cheerfully pour on the petrol. The results, well every bit as combustible as you’d imagine. Further in Matthi and Henry’s redux of Will Atkinson’s ‘Dusk’ and their own ‘Mind Games’ keep those flames burning every brighter. Stephen Kirkwood’s ‘Rainbow Six’, ‘The Wretched’ from Nick Callaghan, Liam Wilson’s ‘Get On The Floor’ and a half dozen others sound out the rest of its floor-thundering 75 minutes.