Ever heard of Paul Hardcastle? David Frank? No? What about Vince Dicola or even Jan Hammer? Like the artist who has taken so much influence from these guys, I would be very disappointed if you hadn’t heard of at least one.
Now without getting too sentimental, I’d like to draw you to the fact that it is artists like this, that without their knowing, help shape and create future genius.
Mitch Murder has been steadily adding gravitas to his status by releasing time after time, faultless records. Even a ‘fake’ computer game soundtrack has been previously served up, with deserved praise.
So, have the chrome wheels come off? Has Mitch Murder peaked? The answer, quite simply, is no. This LP is really something. I mean its playful, intelligent, moody and everything else in-between. Here are twelve tracks that are all different and yet in keeping with what this artist produces each time: True class.
And what better place to start than ‘Saturdays’. From the moment the digital alarm sounds at the beginning of the track my smile widens with every second that passes. I like how ‘happy’ it is and how it encapsulates how a Saturday should sound and feel, with its energy and freshness.
‘High Performance’ has an 80’s-American-TV-drama vibe about it. You can almost picture the big hair, pastel shirts, tailored suits and cocktail dresses. The base guitar used here just rides through and has a synth that compliments it well. With a more serious side to it than the previous track you can tell you are not going to get bored with this album any time soon.
And the flexing of talent goes on. ‘The Touch’ is very sexy. I even suspect the featured electric guitar does everything in its power to make your clothes fall off of your body. A great piece of seduction that can be enjoyed anywhere, especially in a hot tub wearing nothing but leopard-print smalls.
Would this be a good time to calm down? No. ‘Race Day’ really keeps the foot on the gas with a non-stop approach. I hardly heard a moment without a beat, of which you would expect if you were in any type of race.
Here we are brought back to walking pace. ‘Interceptor’ is serious and edgy. If Michael Mann was to make another cop-type movie then this has to figure. In essence, this is the album’s blueprint. It sets the bar extremely high, not just for the other tracks but for Mitch Murder himself. So, could an OST be on the back of ‘Interceptor’ alone? It should be but only time will tell.
‘Snow Crash’ brings the electro vibe back. This time, however, it has a ‘miami in winter’ kind of twist. Can you still pull off tropical prints and linen trousers during that particular season? On listening I’d say you can.
Imagine watching break dancers or body poppers in a discoteque with strobe lights bouncing from wall to wall. Throw in random robot movements along the side of the dance-floor and cool kids jiving at the bar and you have yourself a pretty happening place. We’ve forgotten something though. The music. In the early 80’s you had the likes of ‘Funkadelic’ providing the ammunition. That’s cool, but now we need something new, fresh and funky. ‘Breakazoid’ more than provides the atmosphere. This should be in every b-boys tape deck, ready to slam.
‘Thanks For Playing’ gives a fun and triumphant feeling, just like when completing any 16-bit gem. It is that true to the sound that is always pleasing to hear, and of an era that will always be in our hearts.
The retro vibe rides along with ‘In The Fast Lane’. The synth creeps in on this smooth number. And am I the only person who can picture a Nascar type montage? Tire changes, fast cars, busy pit-lanes, crowds huddled drinking beer and dining on BBQ’d delights. All in an 80’s fashion. Definitely a groove.
‘Stages’ is a lively one and really picks up the pace. The synth intro reminds me of ‘The Way It Is’ by Bruce Hornsby & The Range, and the rest of the track flirts with this sound. I love the energy here. Mitch Murder must have been bouncing around the studio whilst listening back on its first play. The cut, pretty much midway, has a great console game type scenario. Answers on a post card as to what game it is from please. I can also hear great influence from Herbie Hancock here and I am sure, if he listened, he would have a smile from ear-to-ear.
‘Nocturne’ has a moody feel. Imagine walking at night through a barren city-scape. Distant sounds constantly keep you alert and the moon is as big and bright as you can remember. A song to be savoured in solitude, with only your thoughts to accompany you through the small hours.
And finally we have ‘Traces Of Nowhere’. This is no Hollywood ending to a five star album. Mitch Murder could have left us with something punchy or something laden with Street Fighter sound-bites. But no. We are left with something of real beauty. If I were to label this amazing feet of music, I would dub it Electronema, or electro-cinema, as it is in a field only occupied by records created by those who I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Music by real greats of world cinema and television. If you ever had chance to sit and watch the ocean then this track will give you exactly the same feeling. ‘Traces Of Nowhere’ will go down as a synth-classic, and will certainly stay with me for a very long time.
Come to think of it, this whole entire collection of sorts will do the same. Its diversity will keep listeners coming back time and time again. It’s a sonic-boom to the arm of the world of electronica.
The artist has put everything he has into creating a modern day masterpiece, and that should be celebrated. I for one will revel in its sheer genius.
‘Til all are one.