I’ve made no secret of my love for the amazing drummer and synth experimentalist Jakob Skott. As well as being the drummer of Causa Sui, co-owner of El Paraiso Records, and graphic design/album cover art guru for nearly all of El Paraiso’s album releases, Skott has been quietly releasing incredible synth/drum records under his own name since 2012. Starting with the hazy analog synth of Doppler, Skott has developed a sound his very own over the last 6 years and four solo records, combining space riff synth grooves and his “Tony Williams meets John Bonham meets Matt Cameron on the astral plane” drum strutting. The results are ethereal and visceral; the coming together of galactic synths and aggressive drum grooves has made for some of the most engaging and singular listening experiences I’ve had in the past few years.
On November 30th, Skott will be releasing his fifth solo record. It’s called Instrumentality and he’s just released the first single, the aggressive and riff-heavy “The Dura Plane”. It builds off the formula Jakob Skott has written over the last few years and adds a touch of menace and chaos. The results make for a darker and disorienting sound, which I think is what Skott was going for.
According to El Paraiso Records, “The album was recorded a few months after Jakob experienced a brief, yet painful spontaneous leak of brain fluid. Instrumentality draws on that corpal experience in it’s titles and artwork, as well as works it’s musical muse.” Listening to “The Dura Plane” you can almost imagine a blanket of confusion and discombobulation coming over someone, causing pain and dizziness. Like I said before, there’s a kind of chaos in this song that hasn’t been present in past Jakob Skott releases. But being that Skott has made it out the other side of this ailment, he can take that frightening experience and harness it into this track; controlling the outcome and turning it into a journey built both on anxiety and fear, but ultimately redemptive.
The song blows up into a cacophony of electronic screeches and bellows before settling into one of Skott’s heaviest synth/drum grooves yet. The riff almost has a Sabbath-ian doom metal quality to it, with extraneous synth sounds coming in and out of ear shot as the drums are pounded within an inch of their life. Jakob Skott has always meant business when making his records, but this time he sounds like he has real purpose behind the kit. I suppose only months ago thinking you may never get to do the thing you love again might just put purpose in your art. “The Dura Plane” is chaos, anger, and exploration with purpose.
Check out “The Dura Plane” below and preorder Instrumentality over at El Paraiso Records. The album hits your ears on November 30th.