MSTRKRFT joins mau5trap family with new techno unit, ‘Let Me See You Move’
MSTRKRFT’s debut album, The Looks, defined the Canadian duo as a funk-infused electro outfit with just a smattering of pop-dust, but one that allowed the former DFA 1979 members to gracefully shimmy their way into the 2006 indie-electronic scene. While their sound overlapped to a degree with other dance/rock acts of the era, like LCD Soundsystem, MSTRKRFT’s early preference towards the housier side of things, such as prominently featured drum sequencers and a honed ability to build a memorable track around stems or samples gave Jesse Keeler and Al-P a unique spot in the indie landscape. Further, tracks like “Easy Love” and the album’s title song, “The Looks” showed the promise of a group that could work a dance floor, but their semi-muted electro sounds limited MSTRKFT’s early work to a 10 p.m. sound, rather than something that would pump all night.
But with their roots dug in following the success of The Looks, MSTRKRFT’s sound showed instant growth towards a more peak-hour feel. In particular, the now legendary remix of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.,” as well as a surprisingly ripping take on Kylie Minogue‘s “Wow” showed the group leaning in an aggressive, electro-heavy direction that wasn’t afraid of a little bit of abrasion. In 2009, MSTRKRFT took that very idea and just cranked it with the release of their second album Fist of God. Some found the release to be littered with unnecessary vocal tracks, but look past those to instrumentals like “1000 Cigarettes” or “Vuvuvu” and it’s easy to see a shift towards dominating club-ready productions.
Now, 10 years and a self-described album of “difficult listening” later, MSTRKRFT is fully submerged in the sub-centric pulsating sounds of 3 a.m. technofare. Their newest release, a single on mau5trap, represents members Keeler and Al-P feeling their oats in the latest chapter of their artistic journey. Gone are the spectrum filling, massive inspired synths of yesteryear, as they’ve been traded for a thicker kick and a whirring lead that, while gripping, represents a vast departure from the sound-palate that MSTRKRFT was once founded on. That’s not to say that “Let Me See You Move” isn’t clearly a MSTRKRFT beat, though, as the standout drum sequencing and sampling that’s been honed for the dance floor for years embed the track with the always evolving duo’s signature sonic stamp.