Review: Silkie (ft. Joss Ryan) – Don’t Play Games EP [ASR001]

After an amazing LP on Distal’s Anarchostar, Silkie reboots the Anti-Social Entertainment label once again for three video game influenced dubstep tracks that manage to merge Silkie’s melodic style with his nostalgic love for late ’80s and early ’90s video games like Final Fantasy and Super Mario. Now the use of video games samples isn’t anything new, from Gameboy’s 8-bit symphonies, grime’s history of lifting Golden Eye soundbites to Jahtari’s digi dub, but its Silkie’s deft melodic hand that elevates the tracks beyond a skeletal riddim with a few Metal Gear Solid gun reloading clicks.

Leading us off (and my personal favorite track off the release) is Silkie and Joss Ryan’s reimagining of a song off the Super Mario World soundtrack. Here its entitled “Sub Castle (Bowser Riddim)”, but both producers elevate the track to a system killer with purple synth smears that morph to mid range growls; the perfect combination of feminine and masculine sub pressure. Mario’s “Hear we go”, coin collecting sounds, and conga flecks are liberally littered while what sounds like a theremin warbles a homesick melody. Brilliant stuff.

“FF7” deftly slices the ever classic Final Fantasy 7 battle music underneath booming sub detonations that’s equal parts retro throwback and trap influenced grime aesthetic data. It has the right amount of starkness perfect for the MC’s and enough musical energy for an instrumental cut that makes “FF7” equally deadly as a DJ tool or a beat to throw an acapella over. DJ’s its your choice. Lastly, “Sonic Boom” facelift’s Guile’s Theme from Street Fighter 2. Guile’s 8-bit voice interjects the freewheeling, yet oddly melancholic melodies that Silkie spins out from his keyboard as a spritely riddim keeps things moving.

ASR001 will be released February 5th and is now available to pre-order from Unearthed Sounds, Redeye and White Peach Records.

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