“I think beat-making is really the study of every kind of music,” says Brian Lindgren, the artist known as Mux Mool, “Anyone who makes beats should be experimenting in other genres.” On Skulltaste, Lindgren’s full-length debut on Ghostly International, the producer was determined to explore every corner of his beat-steeped psyche, and the resulting document is a masterpiece of eclectic cohesion: chunky instrumental hip-hop sits next to new-wave anthems and dubby dancefloor bangers, which abut skittery slices of D’nB and made-up video-game soundtracks. Skulltaste may cover a lot of ground, but Mux Mool pulls it off. He even makes it look easy.
Skulltaste is an old-fashioned epic, and its diversity—both track-to-track and within the songs themselves—is hard to measure. Lindgren’s taste roams all over the map, but it’s this attention-deficient approach that makes Skulltaste such a smorgasbord of an album, tempting the listener with one tidbit after another. Opener “The Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom” hits a quintessential balance between giddily spiraling samples cooled by monstrous slabs of ice-water synth; later, “Get Better John” has a teary-eyed uplift, conjuring a mood somewhere between ‘90s R&B and the Chrono Trigger soundtrack; and the entertainingly titled “SFW Porn” pairs a boom-clap beat to clear-blue keys and a lazily scribbled guitar line. On Skulltaste, Mux Mool tirelessly doles out 20 tracks in 80 minutes, with not a moment of filler.
Lindgren’s stylistic blast zone is so wide, that one might think he was pandering, trying to be all things to all people. One close listen, though, and it becomes clear that the world of Mux Mool is just that expansive, a reflection of Lindgren’s many-splendored passions—the fact that Skulltaste genuinely has something for everyone is just a happy coincidence.
“I know it’s electronic music,” Brian Lindgren says, “but sometimes I feel like an old-timey traveling musician with an M-Audio Trigger Finger instead of a guitar.” A...check out Mux Mool's page and other releases