Mux Mool - Planet High School (LP)
Despite being accused as anti-human, repetitive, soulless, whatever, electronic music attracts the more devoted of idealists—the vinyl purist, the underground hero, the anonymous producer, etc. For Mux Mool, known to the government as Brian Lindgren, all his music connects to a certain outlook on life—basically, that the pre-established trajectory for adult life is being completely reimagined. He explains the concept behind his new album, Planet High School, this way: "Today, young Americans have very little to look forward to except endless war, endless debt, no Social Security, and [the fact that] none of us can live without the constant fear of poverty. We don't need to have big houses and cars and a nest egg to get along. There's nothing that says you can't rent an apartment your whole life and not be happy."
So, how does this economic ambivalence translate to an album of what is best (if not entirely) described as fluid, subsuming instrumental hip-hop? Hard to say. Planet High School certainly sounds different than Skulltaste, Mux Mool's Ghostly debut from 2010. It's funkier, more confident, and more comfortable. It sounds less like someone trying to prove a point by arguing and more like someone trying to prove a point by just being who they are. It's leading by example, sonically speaking. Songs like the delirious jazz rumble of "The Butterfly Technique" and "Live At 7-11"—which, by the way, resembles golden-era G-funk as filtered through an abused video game console and old breakbeat records—see Mux Mool enjoying the perch from which he sits. He knows what he's good at, and the confidence shows. And there's still some of that familiar, manic, video game-esque stutter in the album's second half, specifically on synapse-tingling beat binges like "Cash For Gold" and "Get Yer Alphabets (Guns)." Mux Mool's new view on life might be one of unassuming simplicity, but he still appreciates messing with your brain.