It seems 2018 is the year of shocking semi-revelations from label heads, as both Kasra and his Shogun/Elevate counterpart Friction have decided to dive deeper into production and release multi-track solo works. The fact that Ski Mask is Kasra’s first solo EP may be even more of a shock, however, due to his obvious talent for A&R, his tons of shows and festivals and, most importantly, the fact that he has many EPs out on Critical under his name. They just all happen to be collabs.
It’s not to say that Kasra doesn’t know his way around putting together an EP for himself or even creating tracks on his own. It seems, however, the step of creating, producing and putting together Ski Mask stem to stern was likely a big one for the D&B icon. Bass-wise, it certainly sounds big. It’s also sure to become an instant classic.
If there’s one person in D&B in 2018 who can gather elements from the past 20-odd years of neurofunk, techstep and darkstep history and package them with twisted, modern sound design, it’s Kasra. That’s exactly what he’s done with Ski Mask. From the heavy rolling title track to the straight up minimal darkstep of “Miso” to the melodic, ambient tones of “Alburz” and “From the Outside In”, the EP is surprising, fun and danceable yet deep, dark and emotive. It’s clear with Ski Mask that Kasra’s put some of his favorite tones and beats from his long and storied career in D&B together in a way that really only he can.
One could wish that Kasra had made the Ski Mask EP sooner, but listening to this release it actually seems like the perfect time. As drum & bass seems to be going either neurofunk, liquid or jump up this year, Ski Mask reminds the scene that there is much more to our beloved 174 BPM and Kasra does it in his own soulful, Critical way.
Ski Mask is out now on Critical. Click here to stream or purchase on multiple platforms.