Album Review: Mux Mool – Planet High School

Underground electronica act Mux Mool released his second proper LP Planet High School today on Ghostly International. You may know him from his classic 2008 single “Death 9000″ or from his killer remix of “Windstorm” by label-mates School of Seven Bells. But for the last year and a half or so, Mux Mool has been doing what underground electronic artists do best: release a string of EPs and singles and keep honing your sound in to perfection.

Mux Mool is at a different place on Planet High School that he was on his last LP release Skulltaste. After all, Skulltaste was a hodgepodge of new material, old material, and singles that had been floating for some time. Mux Mool feels more focused on this record and doesn’t seem to be trying as hard to prove himself. The record doesn’t attack the same way Skulltaste did. It doesn’t try and drive its way to your heart so quickly. Rather, it will find you opening up to it quite nicely.

The album opens with the laid back, electronic jazz influenced “Brothers”. In the past, Mool has always had that an underlying current of electronic jazz, R&B, and even a bit of funk, but always mixed back behind dance layers of synth and drum. The same is not the case with Planet High School. The mellow takes precent, so that when the dance kicks in, it’s more effective. Halfway through “Live at 7-11″, the chilled out jam turns into a spastic drum’n’bass R&B combo that will surprise in the best possible way. Even a bit of dubstep influence pops up later on the album in “Get Yer Alphabets (Guns)”. The flow of Planet High School is in this vein – natural, yet surprising. Other notable tracks include “Palace Chalice”, “The Butterfly Technique”, and “Hand on the Scantron”.

Planet High School shows that Mux Mool is getting comfortable is his own sound. He will be playing a set at Chop Suey on February 11th. You can listen to Planet High School and purchase it at the Ghostly International website.

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