Skugge & Stavöstrand: Pink Phantom

Swedish minimal techno artisans Johan Skugge and Mikael Stavöstrand work their collaborative gear into a feverish lather on a new trio of high-octane cuts for Persistencebit. Immaculately constructed and executed with precision, the duo's material isn't as skeletal as one might expect—ample noise and commotion appear alongside the tunes' grooves—and, in its acidy moments, Pink Phantom sometimes sounds like Audion, albeit in a slightly less raucous frame of mind. Working a lithe and rubbery techno march on the A-side's charging title cut, Skugge and Stavöstrand deepen the cut's hypnotic impact with the incessant hoot of a cuckoo motif while keeping the groove stoked with roiling bass lines and percussion-enhanced beats. Augmented by an announcer's looped “test” utterance, “Gotcha” jacks with an irrepressible and seductively infectious tech-house swing that will pull even the most resistant clubber onto the dance floor, while “Mantradisk” closes the flip with jittery techno swing. No one should be too surprised by the material's polished veneer, given the wealth of experience the Mitek and Force Inc. vets bring to the project.

June 2008