“For me this project is defiance, and there is nothing more defiant than being a hot queer slut in an increasingly violent, bigoted, and puritanical country. This is for the freaks in the dark room. Enjoy!” – a.k.a. skips
SF-bred/LA-based underground rave producer a.k.a. skips wants to send a message.
Throughout much of the 2010s, the creative polymath built an impressive resume under his hyper-electronic alias Ducky, having surged through the electronic music world due to his heavy-hitting collaborations and touring slots with artists such as Jauz, MUST DIE!, Anna Lunoe, Mija, Kayzo, and NGHTMRE; performances at festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, EDC Las Vegas, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza; and releases on vaunted labels such as Deadbeats, Astralwerks, Dim Mak, Activia Benz, Spinnin, NEST (OWSLA sister label), and more.
Now, after retiring the Ducky project in 2021 and taking a two-year hiatus to privately transition, the producer/painter/photographer/tattooer has reemerged this year with a renewed political and artistic spirit. Under his a.k.a. skips moniker, the artist has embraced his queerness and sexuality through loud, bold, and unabashed aesthetic choices, cultivating a new project whose mere existence is a defiant artistic statement.
This creative ethos was first established with two throwback warehouse bangers released in May: “F.T.N.U.” and “My Only Mistake,” incendiary, queer-oriented electronic cuts that transported listeners to the euphoric subcultural bliss of 90s rave culture. The artist then continued to expand his artistic purview and reach with the release of his deeply personal, debut photo book, i want to rest and be held by someone who loves me (press release), and his inclusion in renowned Los Angeles art gallery La Luz De Jesus for their annual group exhibition Everything But The Kitchen Sink, where he displayed his original painting Mouse Trap!.
a.k.a. skips is now revving up towards Jawfiller – his debut EP under the new alias. Having already established a vintage, brooding rave sound, Jawfiller promises to showcase a diverse collection of tracks that push a.k.a. skips into new sonic directions while retaining his core mission: to push the boundaries of dance music through an unapologetically queer lens.
Listeners got their first taste of Jawfiller with the EP’s lead single, “I.T.C.T.M.,” – a playful club banger that is as infectious as it is subversive. Next was “If The DJ Let Me,” a gritty, propulsive house track that’s filled to the brim with dusty breakbeats, ethereal synth pads, and nostalgic chord progressions
Today, a.k.a. skips releases “F.M.T.D.,” the track that first pointed the artist towards his new sonic direction. With a provocative title that sands for “fuck me to death,” the song is a raucous techno banger that bursts with unhindered sexuality and confident energy – a combination that reflects an artist fully out of their shell and breaking free of dominant norms.
“F.M.T.D.” kicks off with rolling techno kick drums and slowly brings in industrial SFX, claps, a dub-infused bassline, and sizzling hi-hats. The track then builds with these elements before cutting away to focus on the track’s eponymous central vocal refrain, a lurid sample that echoes into the abyss as the song drops into its bass-fueled techno beat.
From there, the track takes unpredictable turns, imbuing its creative structure with consistent building of tension and release. As the track progresses, there’s a section dedicated almost entirely to a foot stomping, four-on-the-floor kick drum before building into a head-spinning cacophony of electro-style synth chords and risers. Then, after it drops the title refrain once again, the listener relaxes as the vocal peters out and the track concludes its vibrant, moody dancefloor experience.