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Sky to Speak – Ruin

Published December, 2013
by Easterndaze

If you had an opportunity to watch the teaser video for the latest Sky to Speak release and you made it to the end, you could have noticed the Exitab label logo reworked by Matúš Hnát. This green retro version reminded me of the opening sequence of Blade Runner

Sky to Speak have been around for some time, their previous release is two years old, as one of the last flares of the now defunct Chernobyl Musick collective operating in Brno. But things are moving and so are the musicians, which was the case of Matěj Kotouček, who originally from Czech Republic, now lives in Bratislava, and has become affiliated with Exitab label, which is an umbrella for a group of producers and musicians whose work disposes of an alternative sound approach, but still is not as experimental as to make their music difficult for the average listener willing to try something different. The love and obsession for the eighties is obviously one of the main inspirational sources which emerges when listening to Ruin. The visual aesthetics of Tron, or the already mentioned Blade Runner can easily fit into the concept of this album. This theme was already present on Film, which implies that Sky to Speak don’t mind if their sound is labelled cinematic. It indeed is. But in comparison with Film, the sound here is more mature, the rhythms and the melodies are more complex and immersive. And all this is covered in a hazy, trippy veil of dub.

The sentimental mood and soothing melodies are driven by tribal, slightly reverbed drum beats which constitute an ever changing driving force, sometimes totally silenced to take a deep dive into the psychedelia of your childhood dreams. Technically, there is huge step forward and it definitely makes the entire matter deeper than ever before. The overall mood embraces this well known aspect of the hypnagogic sound, and maybe it also could be a projection of dreams of our parents about the future when dreaming about it in 1987. Imagine earlier Oneohtrix Point Never material, but due to the rhythms, this one is more down to earth. 

On the other hand, do not expect anything mind-boggling. It just flows, passes by and so do the remixes, which are a nice addition, but they don’t step out of the shadow of the original tracks, trying to adhere to the original concept. Tachycardia Theatre through Casi Cada Minuto bear the stamp of their original projects without stepping out of their respective comfort zones. 

Ruin | EXTB050 by SKY TO SPEAK

Ruin is a release that you can play to your mum and she will possibly love it like you do. Maybe it’s a bit of a shame that as much Ruin is a decent, pleasurable listen, it still only exists in its conventional way and sometimes hesitates to become more brave and take you further. To hear this in 2009, it would become an instant hit, but if you want to stand out of crowd in 2013, it needs something more. But the world of Sky to Speak has been built and I think that its purpose was not to be innovative, but to take you somewhere.

Ruin | EXTB050 by SKY TO SPEAK

by b.arctor