Review: Barely six weeks after dropping her debut single on River Rapid, Henrietta Smith-Rolla pops up on Skam with a surprise debut album. As first full length excursions go, "Break Before Make" is undeniably impressive. Beginning with the spooky, minor key electronics and angular IDM rhythms of "Day Turner", the 14 track set sees Smith-Rolla successfully turn her hand to bittersweet synth-wave ("And!"), dystopian pitched-down electronica ("Guess What"), spacey electro ("Work It", "Wtfwtfwtf"), clandestine electronic soundscapes (the panicked shuffle of "Blanket Ban") and grandiose sci-fi soundtrack fare ("The Middle Middle"). Throughout, the Manchester-based producer consistently delivers otherworldly musical melancholia with a panache not associated with a producer of her relative inexperience.
Review: UK techno veterans Mark Broom and James Ruskin first joined forces under The Fear Ratio alias back in 2011, delivering the inventive - and hugely enjoyable - IDM-meets-techno full-length, Light Box. Here they join forces once more for a follow-up that gleefully explores similar sonic territory, whilst throwing a few more influences - most notably experimental hip-hop and vintage electro - into the pot for good measure. The result is a hugely entertaining album that naturally doffs a cap to Skam Records' dystopian roots, as well as the heavyweight soundsystem throb of dubstep, the hypnotism of dub techno, and the crackling electronic wizardry of Autechre.
Review: Mark Broom and James Ruskin re-ignite as The Fear Ratio, with their third appearance on British IDM imprint Skam. Under this alias, the pair of techno figureheads explore styles outside of their usual techno trajectory - pushing their sonic repertoire into the realms of extreme electronics and UK derived splintered beat explorations. Featuring exclusive versions of tracks taken from their last album Refuge of A Twisted Soul, and made in preparation for their live sets. The industrial strength breaks of "GBA" can match anything by fellow brethren British Murder Boys, "Onefiveoooh" is as much hyperware as it is completely contorted, while the deep and atmospheric slow burner "Era" allows you a moment to come up for air.