Artist: Mux Mool
Album: Planet High School
Label: Ghostly International
Release Date: 07/02/2012
At what point did the hip-hop and club worlds collide? Anyone looking for the answer will surely jump to names like Tricky?, DJ Shadow and, to a lesser extent, J Dilla for possible moments of impact (albeit not catalysts). But, in reality, the two spectrums have never been as far removed from one another as genre shelves would have us believe.
Both were born from underground cultures, predominantly in the US, and both can be considered musical forms of protest, stylistically concerned with objection to what was previously the norm. As such it makes sense that, with the commercialisation of each canon, the two sounds have merged to such a degree that former gangsters end up sounding like pop-dance acts.
Thankfully though there have been some incredible artists to emerge from this urban meeting of slow and fast too. And the list is far from exhausted by the three names referenced in the opening paragraph here. Indeed it’s safe to say some of the most revered talent working today, such as Flying Lotus and Gonjasufi, belong in this hinterland. In contrast Mux Mool may not be anywhere near as well known, but his arrangements are nevertheless similarly eccentrically enjoyable.
Released via the ever innovative Ghostly International imprint (Matthew Dear, Gold Panda) the album, Planet High School, and producer certainly have a suitable home for themselves. Musically this collection is as far reaching as anything else released on the label, comprising leftfield hip hop (Palace Chalice, Raw Gore), experimental instrumental indie a la Architecture In Helsinki sans vocals (The Butterfly Technique), and warm, building ethereal house music that could make Four Tet stand up and take note (Baba, once it gets going).
And this is naming just three, immediately identifiable stylistic traits inherent throughout this impressive package. Get Yer Alphabets (Guns) straddles big beat, old school electro breaks and IDM, resulting in a staccato, hi-hat led cut and paste piece of shape-shifting music that’s as relevant now as it would have been 20 years back. No mean feat to say the least. Similarly, Ruin Everything’s stepping drums and slow burning, distorted hook, melded with looped vocal stabs nods to the best of electronica, and contemporary garage, whilst packaging itself as something closer to traditional downbeat. In short, Mool’s work is unique, and universally accomplished- we shouldn’t need to go on.