Having teased listeners with a trickle of singles and EP’s dating back to 2006’s Lost and Found, producer Brian Lindgren aka Mux Mool finally drops his first full-length album Skulltaste, and we’re pleased to say it’s well worth the wait.
With an array of different sounds and styles at his command, Mux Mool creates a deliciously psychedelic roller-coaster ride of an album, with opener The Balled of Gloria Featherbottom setting the tone perfectly via a rush of galloping arpeggios and dirty breaks. While it’s hard to spot influences in such a mercurial and maverick talent (anything goes, from Four Tet to the Cocteau Twins) there’s certainly an appreciation of J Dilla at work in songs like Hog Knuckles, which like much of the album sounds like kaleidoscopic instrumental hip-hop.
Skulltaste’s title track is a weird and wheezing hip-hop shuffle, and Breakfast Enthusiast keeps the trippy mid tempo vibe going, adding lashings of heavy bass into the mix. Enceladus however is pure dancefloor genius though, upping the tempo into the 120bpm’s and sounding similar to German producer Siriusmo’s sideways approach to electro. The dynamic arrangements are what make Mux Mool so special. “Dandelion” starts off thread bare, but then builds to a thrilling mix of strings and chiming keys. “Wax Rose Saturday” switches up styles mid-song, while 1st and 4th progresses from a simple bass and drum groove into an epic and effortless drumroll that will leave your jaw gaping wide open.
On a more glitchy, slo-mo tip “Death 9000” uses big swathes of ambient vinyl crackle and hiss to create a grainy soundscape which is embellished with retro synths and vicious vocoders. “Get Better John” though is brighter and more uptempo, with 90s style hip-hop drums anchoring buzzing synths that seem to be trying to escape into the stratosphere. Fans of Hudson Mohawke, Flying Lotus and Debruit will definitely dig where Mux Mool is coming from, but there’s really so much great stuff here it demands to be heard by all.
Review: Oliver Keens