Skull Disco

Skull Disco

infobox record label

founded = 2005
founder = Sam Shackleton
Laurie Osborne
country = UK
location = London
genre = Dubstep
url =

Skull Disco is an independent UK record label, based in London, and established in 2005 by Sam Shackleton and Laurie 'Appleblim' Osbornecite journal|url= |journal=The Wire |issue=281 |title=Rave from the grave: Skull Disco] . Skull Disco releases so far have been in the dubstep genre.


In 2004, prior to the founding of the label, Ian Hicks of Mordant Music liked and released an early Shackleton track entitled "Stalker". The track later appeared on Rough Trade Records 'Best of 2004' compilation. Around this time Shackleton was becoming more familiar with the dubstep sound, through regular visits to the "Forward>>" nights run by Ammunition Promotions. He especially identified with the sound later associated with the DMZ nightclub, citing Loefah's "Horror Show" and Digital Mystikz "Conference" as key early influences, and started thinking about forming a label to release similar "interesting bass music" and "interesting percussive stuff"cite web | first=Martin | last=Clark | coauthors= | title=Interview with Shackleton | date=2006-11-30 | publisher= | url = | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-07-04 | language = ] .

On a visit to a similarly-minded night in Bath, Shackleton encountered Laurie 'Appleblim' Osborne. Shackleton was impressed with a track, "Mystikal Warrior", and it hence appeared on the first Skull Disco release; a double A-side, with Shackleton's "I Am Animal" on the flipsidecite journal|url= |journal=The Wire |issue=279 |title=The Primer: Dubstep] . Shortly after, Shackleton began the (now defunct) Skull Disco nights in London. Attendees at the first Skull Disco night included Coki and Mala of Digital Mystikz.

In November 2007, Appleblim established a sublabel, Applepipscite web | first=Martin | last=Clark | coauthors= | title=The Month In: Grime/Dubstep| date=2007-11-07 | publisher= | url = | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-17 | language = ] .

In 2008, Appleblim was chosen to mix the sixth installment of the "Dubstep Allstars" series on Tempa, which was released on June 3rd, 2008.


Releases on the Skull Disco label are typically double A-sides, featuring a track apiece from Shackleton and Appleblim; however the most recent release is a 2CD compilation, "Soundboy Punishments", which includes all releases to date, as well as some early Mordant Music releases.

Skull Disco releases often tend to use unusual sounds, atypical of the dubstep genre; they often eschew the familiar drum tropes of dubstep for African percussion and samples of ethnic vocals, combined with massive, wobbling sub-bass [ Skull Disco Reviews | Skull Disco ] ] , and sometimes elements of four to the floor, Basic Channel-style dub techno. [ Album Reviews Intro Page: Fact Magazine ] ] [ Pitchfork Feature: The Month In: Grime / Dubstep ] ] [ RA: Shackleton & Appleblim - Soundboy Punishments. Music News ] ] Some tracks (particularly later Shackleton releases) carry a strong Muslimgauze influenceFact|date=October 2008. Minimal techno producer Ricardo Villalobos is a fan; he produced a nearly twenty-minute remix of Shackleton's "Blood on my Hands" after expressing an interest and being handed the core samples of the song at a DJ set Fact|date=June 2008. Shackleton has returned the favour by remixing "Minimoonstar" from Villalobos' "Vasco EP Part 1".


Typical artwork on releases (by Zeke Clough ) is also of an idiosyncratic nature, the pen-and-ink covers referencing egyptological symbols as well as displaying a decidedly metal influence.12": A. Shackleton - I Am Animal / AA. Appleblim - Mystikal Warrior (SKULL001)
*12": A. Shackleton - Majestic Visions AA. Appleblim - Cheat I AA2. Girder (SKULL002)
*EP: Soundboy's Bones Get Ground Up Proper A. Shackleton - Blood on my Hands B1. Shackleton - Naked B2. Shackleton - Hypno Angel (SKULL003)
*12": Soundboy's Bones Get Buried In The Dirt Vol 1 - A. Shackleton - Tin Foil Sky AA. Gatekeeper - Tomb (SKULL004)
*12": Soundboy's Bones Get Buried In The Dirt Vol 2 - A. Appleblim - Fear AA. Shackleton - Hamas Rule (SKULL005)
*12": Soundboy's Ashes Get Chopped Out And Snorted - A. Appleblim - Vasan AA.Shackleton - You Bring Me Down (SKULL006)
*12": Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Apocalypso Now Mix)(SKULL007)
*2CD: Skull Disco - Soundboy Punishments (compilation album) (SKULLCD001)
*EP: Appleblim And Peverelist - Soundboy's Ashes Get Hacked Up And Spat Out In Disgust (SKULL008)
*12" Shackleton feat Vengeance Tenford - Death Is Not Final / Death is Not Final (T++ remix) (SKULL009)
*12" Shackleton - Soundboy's Suicide Note (SKULL010)


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