This is Skills' eighth release on Adam Beyer's label and it shows that the Dutch producer has developed a lot as a producer. Skills covers a lot of ground on this four-tracker, but the listener is never left with the sense that he has spread himself too thinly. The title track is a detuned, rolling affair, while "Fifth Gear" sees him adopt a straighter approach with its acid tones and tough, loopy rhythm. "Starfighter" takes its cues from the Sandwell school of techno and sees doubled up claps support subsonic bleeps. As a final salvo, there's "Rising Sun", where Skills draws on the legacy of Sterac for a deep but driving Detroit-style affair.
Chris Spero and Alex Jones really found their sound a few years ago when teaming up as Dense & Pika. Those first couple of releases on their eponymous imprint are the stuff of legend now, not to mention the ones that followed up on Scuba's esteemed Hotflush imprint. For the Calf EP, it's served up courtesy of Adam Beyer's Drumcode, a fitting home for their tough and functional techno tools. Wasting no time messing around with the peak time destroyer 'Edging Forward" which chugs through the audio spectrum like a steamtrain, there's more adrenalin to be found on the dusty and stripped industrialism of "Drag 'N Drop" which is reminiscent of the Klockworks or the Fachwerk sound. We also enjoyed the Chicago hard house sounding title track, which gives an obvious nod to Windy City legends like Relief Records or Kne' Deep.