Landing on #7 of Beatport’s chart of Top 100 Drum & Bass Tracks and released quite recently on October 12th, the latest contribution from the London D&B label Critical Music saw a fresh release from the founder himself, Kasra Mowlavi. The new single titled “Ski Mask” carries haunting sounds among a traditionally fresh muted breakdown with plenty of “jump scares.”
As if they knew the Americans would be having spooky Halloween on their mind (at least the cool ones), “Ski Mask” no-doubt climbed the charts with its bright-yet-foreboding sound. Kasra’s new single begins with an ethereal single chime-like note with slightly uncanny wall-knocks preceding the muted breakdown. As mentioned above, this new single carries many unexpected “jump scares” or surprise moments littered across the hefty 4:43 playtime on the original mix. Although not quite lounge-worthy, some moments later in the track makes the listener relax just enough until the familiar chime wakes you up, or one vocal sample hits your ear drums around the corner. While most singles usually follow the same theme in breakdown with the rest of the track, the vibe of “Ski Mask” has an sometimes-offbeat sense of primal fear mixed with the strange relaxing moments that always fit, but not quite. Perfection is overrated in the most basic sense, but the mismatched relationship of “Ski Mask” makes it all the more palpable; there’s some choices made where you don’t need to understand why, but are just happy they came together in this track.
“After 16 years of running the label, I thought it was time I released a body of work, of my own,” wrote Kasra, describing his new Ski Mask EP. “It’s quite daunting after all the incredible music the artists have given me to be doing this for the first time. I hope you enjoy it for what it is: raw, honest drum and bass.”
Kasra’s “Ski Mask” leads the charge into a musically diverse October with an EP that throws down the “uncanny valley” effect in music form.