Being under the Ghostly International umbrella automatically means one thing: certified uniqueness. From artists providing ethereal, experimental and ear-soothing sounds, there’s always oddities more intriguing than the rest. So, while people might gloss over the work of Brian Lindgren, better known under the guise of Mux Mool, they tend to pass over a shining selection of brain-bending beats on Skulltaste. Truth be told, listeners are getting an in-depth sense of what goes on in Lindgren’s mind, and it’s all magically delicious.
The first half of the album is characterized by a surreal sense of synthesized tunnelvision, with the keystrokes and filtered vibes on the notes taking listeners to and fro the warped madness. Surrounding this is a strong use of hip-hop breaks, beats and jarbled vocal samples, almost in the sense of acid-lover Luke Vibert’s current work. It’s all done with a sense of preparation but the spontaneous vocal spikes never ceases to surprise whomever shall be listening. Crafting the picture perfect sounds of his twisted world, Lindgren engages the listener to find kinks in the armor of his shining beat-crazed knight. The second half of the album finds chord progressions and vibes stretched to dreamier (and wackier) lengths; for example, “SFW Porn,” which could be the best track of the album, creates soothing tones resembling some ’90s RnB tunes that go by the wayside. The tune following that, “Crackers,” is the “banger” of this collection, with it being simultaneously inventive and relentless.
Skulltaste is a fantastic full-length debut and it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone who’s a fan of the label’s catalogue or someone who has a passion for finding the soul in a beat. While it may be a bit heavy on the hip-hop aspect, it’s nothing short of a treat to gauge audibly.