Skul(l)duggery, noun, (skəl-ˈdə-g(ə-)rē) (skull-dug-er-rrryyy). 
Meaning: making it happen by means fair or otherwise (usually otherwise).

For the better part of three years now Skullduggery’s been making moves within trance, but the (less than!) shadowy figure behind it has been force for many moons more. Looking to bring something new to genre’s fore, in 2015 he convened a group of talented studio souls to form its label core. Rising higher with every release, the collective waves made have been felt scene-wide ever since. 

Now, chief Skull Greg Downey has gotten together with Stoneface & Terminal – the label’s most illustrious signing – to portrait the imprint through the ‘The Art Of Skulduggery’. 

Out this March, Skullduggery’s music and inspirations, past, present and – most vividly – future are laid out across an irrepressibly fine deuce of mixcomp discs. Featuring music & remixes from a roll call of the gifted (by way of example: Paul van Dyk, Richard Durand, Lostly, Will Atkinson, Liam Wilson, Ferry Tayle, Activa, Project 8), it also includes much new matter from the label’s bedrock. None more so though than the main protagonists themselves, with Greg, Henry and Matthi drawing on a wealth of studio-fresh productions to outline Skulduggery’s Art in no uncertain terms.

Available from today (link), label kingpin Greg frontloads his mix with a mini-album’s worth from his own studio. Together, ‘The Tone’ and ‘Loco’ pitch the outer marker at ‘tech’, whilst Richard Durand’s remix of ‘These Hands I Hold’ and Downey/Alex Di Stefano collab ‘Among Us’ maintains the pressure. A few tracks down the line comes the Irishman’s team-up with the legendary Sunscreem, as he recasts the classic ‘Perfect Motion’ in a decidedly uplifting form. Hot on its heels you’ll find Sentinel 7’s redress of ‘Sense’, UCast’s acidic after-touch of ‘Razor’ and (in its killer HP Source form) ‘P45’. Strategically positioned between are PvD & Lostly’s stunning ‘Amanecer’, Project 8’s more-than-persuasive ‘I Believe’, Ferry Tayle’s impressive redraft of Basic Dawn’s ‘Pure Thrust’ and a whole lot more floor-firepower besides!

15 years in and they’re making the best music of their career” is how DJ Mag sees Stoneface & Terminal’s current state of play. That’s born out by ‘The Art Of Skulduggery’s every-bit-as-extraordinary second disc. ‘Thump’, ‘warp’ & ‘drive’ are your key takeaways from the German duo’s opening salvo. Their own ‘Titan’ lights the mix’s match, while ‘Bolide’ and ‘Patient XTC’ cheerfully pour on the petrol. The results, well every bit as combustible as you’d imagine. Further in Matthi and Henry’s redux of Will Atkinson’s ‘Dusk’ and their own ‘Mind Games’ keep those flames burning every brighter. Stephen Kirkwood’s ‘Rainbow Six’, ‘The Wretched’ from Nick Callaghan, Liam Wilson’s ‘Get On The Floor’ and a half dozen others sound out the rest of its floor-thundering 75 minutes.

Available to stream or buy from Friday 8th March, ‘The Art Of Skulduggery’ is available here

Mix 1 – Greg Downey

01. Vincextz – Clockwork 
02. Greg Downey – The Tone (Intro Mix) 
03. Greg Downey – Loco 
04. Greg Downey & Bo Bruce – These Hands I Hold (Richard Durand Remix)
05. Greg Downey & Alex Di Stefano – Among Us 
06. Activa – Defiance 
07. Greg Downey & Sunscreem – Perfect Motion 
08. Michael Kaelios – Beyond Life 
09. Greg Downey – Razor (UCast Remix) 
10. G8 – Boom and I Knock Them Out (Greg Downey Rework) 
11. Beatman & Ludmilla – Dune 
12. Cenk Basaran & KoRay – Instinct 
13. Vince Schuld – Disconnected (Cenk Basaran Remix – Greg Downey Rework) 
14. Greg Downey – P45 (HP Source Remix) 
15. Project 8 – I Believe 
16. Zach Zlov – Regicide 
17. Greg Downey – Sense (Sentinel 7 Remix) 
18. Basic Dawn – Pure Thrust (Ferry Tayle Remix) 
19. Paul van Dyk & Lostly – Amanecer 
20. Greg Downey – Vivid Intent (Chris Voro ReChill) 

Mix 2 – Stoneface & Terminal

01. Stoneface & Terminal – Titan 
02. Stephen Kirkwood – Rainbow Six 
03. Phil Sandy – Meotide 
04. Nick Callaghan – The Wretched 
05. Stoneface & Terminal – Bolide (Stoneface & Terminal pres. Gundamea Remix) 
06. Stoneface & Terminal – Patient XTC 
07. Liam Wilson – Get On The Floor 
08. Will Atkinson – Dusk (Stoneface & Terminal Remix) 
09. Adam Reece – The Recluse 
10. Stoneface & Terminal – Mind Games 
11. Project 8 & EverLight – Knife Fight 
12. Latex Zebra – Not Just A 303 
13. Renegade System – Impetus 
14. Kinetica – Temple Run

Erik Lake

All this machinery making modern music can still be open hearted.