In 2004, prior to the founding of the label Skull Disco, Ian Hicks of Mordant Music liked and released an early Shackleton track entitled Stalker. The track later appeared on Rough Trade’s ‘Best of 2004’ compilation. Around this time Shackleton started thinking about forming a label to release “interesting bass music” and “interesting percussive stuff”.
Around the same time, Laurie ‘Appleblim’ Osborne was making similar bass heavy music with abstract beats. 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.
Shortly after, Shackleton began the (now defunct) Skull Disco nights in London. Attendees at the first Skull Disco night included Loefah and Mala.
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 and Hotflush 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 and sometimes elements of four to the floor, Basic Channel-esque drum patterns.
Typical artwork on releases (by Zeke Clough) is also of an idiosyncratic nature, the penand-ink covers referencing egyptological symbols as well as displaying a decidedly metal influence.