Denver-based electronic producer Brian Lindgren’s preceding two albums under his Mux Mool alias on Ghostly International, 2010’s ‘Skulltaste’ and its 2012 follow-up ‘Planet High School’ saw him crafting a groove-infused hybrid of hiphop beats, warm analogue synths and brittle gamecore electronics. Five years on, this third album ‘Implied Lines’, originally self-released by Lindgren on Bandcamp late last year, and now seeing a ‘deluxe’ physical reissue with overhauled production and additional tracks, sees that continuing, although it’s a slightly more downbeat listen compared to its predecessor.
Opening track ‘Sympathy’ calls to mind associations with Com Truise’s similarly nostalgic retro-synth aesthetic as rippling Tangerine Dream-esque slowly roll out over dry-sounding snare snaps and muted kicks while brooding bass pads bleed into the foreground against woozy pitch wavers. By comparison, ‘Monday’ sees things getting darker as eerie Middle Eastern instrumentation gives way to vast lurching hiphop beats and drum breaks, the wonky rhythms taking on a drunken feel as growling bass stabs and what almost sound like synthetically treated flute tones wander through the mix, adding a melancholic undertone to the muscular grooves.
Elsewhere, ‘Six AM’ slowly emerges from glittering ambient electronics as shuffling hi-hats and kicks rise into focus, a burbling bass sequence anchoring the gossamer textures, before things suddenly accelerate forward into punching tech-house rhythms, gnarled synth buzzes locking in alongside acid-esque filtering, the 4/4 beats suddenly falling away at the end as layers of reversed guitar tones and stuttering synth-vox tones take over. ‘The IRS’ meanwhile evokes comparisons with DJ Shadow’s more recent analogue-synth based explorations as blocky 8-bit synth arpeggios wind their way over bone-dry boom-bap rhythms, the brittle coldness of the electronics counter-balanced by the warm analogue tones as a G-funk synth solo worms its way in right at the very end. Clocking in at just a shade under 39 minutes makes ‘Implied Lines’ feel kind of short and sweet, but Mux Mool fans shouldn’t be disappointed.