Kassem Mosse/Mix Mup – KM MM review

Announced to the world via the cultural barometer that is the Hessle Audio Rinse show overseen by Ben UFO at the end of January, this release from Kassem Mosse and Mix Mup has been searing a hole in people’s expectations ever since. Mosse is no stranger to Will Bankhead’s label The Trilogy Tapes, having produced a highly prized cassette tape mix a while back, and it’s indicative of the widespread revere for the producer from Leipzig that Thomson’s semi cryptic announcement on Twitter prior to broadcast that “KM has done a TTT” had the persons who are into cool music very excited.

The most telling clue of the growing studio relationship between Mosse and his close friend Mix Mup is that KM MM is a heavily experimental and quite unique set that offers singular moments but also works on a collective basis. So far, their work together has only really been demonstrated on remixes for the likes of John Beltram, Paul Woolford’s Special Request project and the mysterious Hivern Discs artist Mistakes Are Ok. Further intrigue is provided by the fact Mosse has never explored his musical ideas further than the confines of a four track release, and there’s a sense that the two revel at the prospect of indulging themselves across the expanses of what is ostensibly an album – remember Ital’s debut had two tracks less!

“Bust A Move” ranks as one of the more bombastic openers in recent times, commencing with a fiercely worded vocal throwing down the gauntlet, a challenge greedily accepted by rugged, lo fi jack hammer drums and thick swathes of analogue dirge that come across like Maurice Fulton on one of his angrier days in the studio. There’s an ease with which the duo weave from this menacing opener onto the far gentler “Unterwegs Mit Cash Von St. Vinzenz” that impresses, making you feel K M and M M have put as much thought into the programming of the tracks as the production of them. At little over two minutes, “Unterwegs…” is an intermissionary bridge yet offers a welcome moment of respite via gently swaying Caribbean melodics and clatterbox drum sounds before the blissful exuberance of “Birds Flying In The Sun Like U Know How”. Distinctly different to what has come before and what follows on the record’s flip, this final A Side track has the quirkiness and recognisable sample to catch ears beyond the realm of the feverish limited record buying few. The vocal sample that inspires the track’s title could sound tired in many hands, but the introduction deep into the mechanics of a track that’s already infected your affections via the discordant drum rattles and singular note plucks proves wondrous.

The three tracks – four if you count a bizarre untitled 20 second interlude – that form the B Side has Mosse and Mix Mup constantly reinventing themselves over an array of tempos and rhythms, sometimes within the course of a single track such as “MMKM End To Funk”, which is dominated by the mind-bending syncopation of two differing drum patterns that rub up against each other but, crucially, still work. The stuttering, almost drunken rhythmic directions of “Lost in NPE2” make you think the two have pieced together fragments of a thousand archival breakbeat loops using all their MPC skills, with remnants of melody plunged deep beneath. Just as we are treated to a breathtaking opener, “Galagonmixdown” provides three and a bit moments of truly fucked up music to end on, unfurling into the sort of bizzaro house music that leaves those without any innate music making talent (such as this writer) wondering how it was done.

Tony Poland


Tracklisting:

Side 1
1. Bust A Move
2. Underwegs Mit Cash Von St Vinzenz
3. Birds Flying In The Sun Like U Know How

Side 2
1. MMKM End To Funk
2. Lost In NPE2
3. Galagonmixdown