It’s not often that an artist who started out in dubstep/riddim in the US will do even better when they transition to drum & bass, but Skellytn proves the exception to this and many other bass music rules. Since her first release, “Blood,” in February 2021 on 40oz Cult, the LA-based genre-hopping glitch fanatic has been honing her craft with single releases on Reid Speed’s Play Me and Play Me Too imprints as well as on Space Yacht and an EP called Cybernetic Ritual on Drama Club Recordings. Now less than a year after the initial and already quite high-quality style tests, Skellytn’s got her craft honed, her sound tight and an epic album to show for it.
Neurocomputer is due out on Play Me this Friday, February 11 and, true to its name, this LP has some of the most blistering neurofunk to come from the states, possibly ever. But it’s not just neuro; Skellytn has a knack for blending sublime melodies with heavy, glitchy mid lines and brain-scrambling syncopation. In fact, the first two teaser singles released thus far, “Dystopia” and “Voodoo,” could both easily be called “Brain Scramble” part I and II. So much glitch, so much syncopation, so little time.
With a composition style that borders on classical and theatrical as evidenced by tracks like the ameny yet heavily sound-designed “Oracle Protocol” or the ready-for-Neosignal “Enigma,” digging deeper into Neurocomputer sees Skellytn still presenting a love for lots of styles. Heavy on the interstitial snares and phrase cut-throughs, the album still has some more minimal melodic tunes like “Separate Ways” and album closer “Singularity” that hearken back to her collab with Kayten on their “Fall” single last year. She’s also given a cheeky nod to her dubstep roots with the halftime “Disassociate.” It seems with all these styles that Neurocomputer is not only a cheeky futuristic-themed bass music romp, but a love letter from Skellytn to all the forms of bass music she’s loved and still loves.
The track that balances and summarizes all the elements in Neurocomputer while still lighting up the dancefloor no end is “Neural Network.” It also happens to be our YEDM premiere today. The track starts out with a melodic sound design desert of an intro which lulls the listener into a false sense of peace before some of the fastest and most technical drum breakdowns D&B has ever seen drop into a grimy mid synth and increasingly syncopated and glitched out drum line which, rather than driving the track, sits on the mid line and, what else, serves to scramble the listener’s brain. It’s the best of Euro-quality neuro and big, stateside fuck off party vibes jammed into one track. “Neural Network” demonstrates just what Skellytn is capable of and warns that we haven’t seen anything yet.
If any album has the ability to really connect to the UK and EU D&B sensibilities, it’s got to be Neurocomputer. If Skellytn keeps up this pace and quality, it’s only a matter of time before the Eatbrains and Blackouts of the world come calling. In the meantime, fans should get ready to hear this album and its lush, diverse tracks played on rigs across the rave landscape.
Neurocomputer drops this Friday, February 11 on Play Me. Click here to pre-order or pre-save.