The latest album from experimental noise trio Skeletonized is a record intended for an old-school listen. It’s an experience that harkens to the days before the shuffle option on your iPod or even the “track skip” on a CD player. Skeletonized’s self-titled cassette lacks separated tracks or song names, and only about 16 minutes of the near-hour of sonic carnage is available digitally. Each side is a continuous voyage across a noisy, uneasy avant-garde landscape that twists, turns and lurches in unexpected ways.
Skeletonized uses synths, samples, a saxophone and live drums to create soundscapes that alternate between grim grooves and open, pulsating movements, all of which has a primal, raw feel. It has the appearance of improvisation but feels much more guided, like carefully organized chaos.
The A-side of the cassette has an ominous, apocalyptic feel to it, but don’t let that scare you. Its swampy energy is full of delightful synth work and catchy drum beats, even if the vibe is spooky.
After an intro rife with samples of chimes and water splashing, the B-side quickly shifts to a more uptempo feel. There’s a twisted sense of urgency on this side that’s evident in its frantic carnival tone toward the middle.
The record’s movement feels far more cosmic and open, with brighter synths arising from beneath the heavier drums during the arc toward the very end of the tape, before jutting into a fireworks-finale-esque explosion of fast drums and haywire synthesizer cacophony.
It ultimately winds back down to the same eerie, bass-heavy synths and open rhythms introduced at the beginning of the tape.