Purveyors of fine ‘clicks and cuts’-based breakbeats since a couple of years back, the most sleazily-named outfit in the world return to smack your glitch up with their first full-length LP. Life Conductor sees the sound of stutter funk maestros Kev Guy and Ben Carver come of age in a concise little package (the LP is only nine tracks and a little over half an hour long) that steps up, commands your attention and then disappears again before you’ve had a chance to take it all in.
For those who’ve been mulleted before, it’s pretty much business as usual though perhaps the brevity of some of the tracks (this has nearly twice the tracks of their debut LP but is only 5 minutes longer) lends it an edge of accessibility in a genre which often frequently demonstrates how the instrumental can overstay it’s welcome. Opener Alien Intel manages to come on a bit like the Knight Rider theme over a punishing pitch-bent bassline and epileptic machine-gunner percussion. In fact, the use of samples in this track is typical of an LP which is packed full of samples that remind you of something, or might actually be that thing and yet they’ve been messed with and cut up to the that you’re never quite sure about them. It’s a bit like when you think you recognise someone but aren’t sure if it’s Dave that you used to work with or just someone who looks like Dave – if indeed ‘Dave’ was his name. Knob To Eleven invites you to do just that by slowly building into a hypnotic pulsing, stop-starty beast and then there’s the digitally flatulent Radio Ransack which judiciously applies just the right snippets of an already cut up soul sample. The biggest props however have to be reserved for the glitch funk of the shortest track In The Mind however, which is catchier than a Velcro beard brush – were such a thing to exist. Time Ticks makes extensive use of a rapped loop and like many of the beats on this prompts the listener to consider why hip-hop producers don’t bother using drum patterns this interesting or to put it another way – whether the ‘Mullet have ever considered roping someone in for mic duties. Nice work. While you’re waiting for it check out the Sounds Of The System (track 5 on the LP) vid below links… (Out 14 June on Red Robot) Listen to Ghetto Mullet – Life Conductor Ghetto Mullet – Myspace
Unearthly Hours finds the band with one of the filthiest names in music end up where I suspect they might have been heading from the start. To put it another way – if last EP Sunday Morning Hangover saw instrumental hip-hop flirting with techno, this time around it gets its comeuppance with techno giving hip-hop rather more than a come-on. Where are we? That’s right – Warp Records territory. The beats might still be syncopated but they clank, buzz, and stutter like androids in a jacuzzi. As the title would suggest, Unearthly Hours is the sound of a party at five in the morning where the front room’s full of empty fast food cartons, a motionless haze of waist-level blue smoke and someone with dreadlocks has fallen asleep while trying to roll a spliff. It’s very accomplished, if that’s how your ears get off, and should probably be the soundtrack to some low budget US indie flick. Preferably one shot in grainy black and white about a paranoid Phd student who inadvertently discovers how to rig the US stock market via the internet but can’t cash-out because every time he thinks about turning on his computer he knows they’re watching him. Or something. Out now on Red Robot RecordsGhetto Mullet – Myspace
The fact that here is an electronica outfit with a comedy name who use breakbeats and hail from Thundersley, Essex might raise the spectre of that point in the mid-nineties when ‘trip-hop’ ditched the dope and loaded up on ‘E’s and speed to become ‘big beat’. Thankfully, Sunday Morning Hangover has more in common with RJD2 than polished turds like Bentley Rhythm Ace because the Mullet’s squelchy, bleeping breaks could just as easily have been produced in Vancouver, Sydney or Paris. Opener Rampant Thought manages to be both chilled and have buzzsaw percussion, Arriving In Obscurity features a crisp old school break, tight scratches and the sort of synth washes associated with French electronica while Nervious Acid delves into DJ Shadow-esque piano-led introspection. Eternal Hold’s gentle lo-fi piss-takery of helpline hell might actually make you less inclined to tear supercilious phone operators a new arsehole if it actually was ‘hold’ music but it’s the crashing reverbed percussion and chilled synth melodies of Feel It that stand out on this. Press release claims that Ghetto Mullet have developed “their own totally original sound”, are a bit of a porky, you have heard this sort of thing before but not always this competently and not in a while. They might be all ‘party’ at the back but on the strength of this it’s clear Ghetto Mullet are ‘business’ at the front too. Out now on Big Teeth Records