Its 1:30am on Saturday night and whilst the rest of London are waiting on bills, sloppy kebabs and cab rides, there’s a gathering of in-the-know revellers at London’s favoured underground hideout Fabric to be fed their weekly dose of deep house and techno from Sweden’s newest export Skudge, aka the shadowy Elias & Gustaf!
Since emerging from literally nowhere with their debut release ‘Convolution’ (Skudge recordings) in 2009, they’ve been serving us up regular cuts of raw, stripped-down sound blatantly catering for the darker warehouse raves.
As Hotflush boss Paul Rose, playing a Scuba vs. SCB set, controls the crowd with a jumped-up, dubby mix of Steffi’s ‘Yours’, Skudge make final adjustments to their strictly analogue set up of synths, drum machines and FX units.
The first beats launch out on to the dance floor and the energy in Fabrics room two instantly picks up. From the word go it’s easy to see how the duo’s infectious sound has made its way from forest raves in Stockholm, over sea and onto the shelves of our record stores. As one feeds the desk with a wealth of raw 909 loops, ghostly rhythms, stabs and melodies, the other finally tunes them into a perfect blend of techno which keeps the crowd well and truly stomping in their spot for the next hour.
Like most purists of today’s electronic music scene, they opt to have control over every aspect of the productions process from the reel-to-reel pre-mastering to the vinyl artwork. Aesthetically pleasing, there is a pure and true theme running through the whole Skudge project. With a debut album ‘Phantom’ out on their own Skudge imprint and a string of live shows, including dates at Berlin’s famous Berghain/Panorama Bar, its certain that this Swedish techno duo are here for the long haul.
If you enjoy the likes of Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann and other of their ilk be sure to get fully amongst a Skudge live show.
Words: Alex Scott