Casual observers may not know the Fear Ratio but they are a collaboration between James Ruskin & Mark Broom both known for solo works and in collaboration with others. Together they make a sound which combines electronica, ambient and experimental works. Here on their third album they delve into broody dub landscapes and late night electronics as well as nod toward hip-hop and techno. Gonna be good we reckon.   

Limited CD £10.49 SKALD036

CD on Skam. Edition of 500 copies.

  • Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
  • Limited edition
Pre-order. Due in on 24th April 2020 but delays are possible.

Limited Vinyl Double LP £24.49 SKALP036

180g vinyl 2LP on Skam. Edition of 500 copies.

  • Limited edition
Sold out.

Limited Tape £8.49 SKASSETTE007

Tape on Skam.

  • Limited edition
Sold out.


They Can't Be Saved by The Fear Ratio
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Ant 26 March 2020

UK techno stalwarts James Ruskin and Mark Broom make a most welcome return to Skam with their third full length as The Fear Ratio. I’ve been relentlessly piping this into my scone for the past few weeks and it reveals something new upon each spin. In Skam, they’ve found the perfect home for their sound. 'They Can't Be Saved' sounds almost like it could have been custom-built for the label, baring tropes you might consider to be some of the hallmarks of the imprint i.e a B-boy meets head melting armchair techno aesthetic at its core.

Ruskin & Broom’s production is absolutely immaculate from the opening moments of ‘Sender’ with its soul-stirring synth and heavyweight knotted beat. From here the darker ‘Exile’ feels like wandering through ice caverns on some lost abandoned planet and the intricate, serpentine groove of ‘Grey Code’ seems like it’s speaking a complex machine language from a distant future. ‘Small World’ is a fractured hip hop mutant that only ever temporarily locks into something tangible before swerving and slipping away. Meanwhile, futuristic neck snapper ‘The Invisible Girl’ bubbles and sputters caustic, acidic synth and sparse melancholy keys evoking a lane night drive into unknown terrain. ‘The Curse’ has some Autechre circa ‘Chiastic Slide’ flavoured sound design and an ultra-stoned slo-mo hednod beat reminiscent of Scorn in bleakest hip hop mode.

‘LM3’ sounds kinda like Model 500 and Drexciya being chewed up by Gescom. ‘Captive’ brings the dread, with its rattling mongrel trap rhythm and bone-chilling blue atmosphere that’s something like being lost in a whiteout with the worst ever case of zoot induced paranoia. The tangled flex of ‘Game Plan’ will throw your equilibrium right off, before brain soother ‘The Final Vision’ repairs the damage with its scrunched up granular sounds and cascading melody that deeply penetrates the brain receptors. But don’t get too comfortable because the claustrophobic ‘BY3’ will spin you out - feels like I’ve just been the test subject for some alien species deploying lots of tiny machines inside my body, collecting samples to take back to their realm. The credits roll as the gorgeous, cinematic ‘A406’ closes the album making me wonder WTF just happened to me. High-grade zoners.



What the artist or label has to say for themselves. Read more.


Your email address will not be abused or shared.