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Mash Up Soundsystem – A great escape from lunacy

Mash Up Soundsystem - A great escape from lunacy

CD, Hive Records, 2006

The opening sample on this album asks “what’s there to smile about?” Well, if you apply that question to this album then the answer would be “plenty”…
M.U.S.S (for abbreviations sake) are a collective of artists out of L.A who dabble in a variety of electronic styles and as a result are impossible to pigeonhole. Yet I think it can definitely be agreed that this collection of both old and new tracks is most definitely “drinking music”.
“A great escape from lunacy” spans twenty three tracks; this may sound excessive but considering most of the tracks barely exceed the two minute barrier it’s far from overkill and give M.U.S.S plenty of space in which to experiment with styles from from hip-hop to rhythmic noise, gabba to ragga and industrial soundscapes to breakcore. In fact there is nary a subgenre that remains impervious to the M.U.S.S treatment. The album tracks run into each other seamlessly and their short length means that (in this age of short attention spans) the listener does not have a chance to get bored at all.
Particular tracks of note are the MC led “Everybody Dance” (previewed on Hive Records’ “FUCK” compilation), “Fast Lane” and ode to the party drug, “Cocaine”. Power Noise luminaries are given a run for their money with Domestic Violence and M.U.S.S prove they are at the best when doing something a little different from the norm with the wacky “Mete Bronca No Couro Do Cabrito” and “TMNT Vs The Sunset Riders”.
My only real criticisms of this album is that it is sometimes lacking in direction, which was always going to be a slight problem given the variation on display and that the stand out tracks by far are the ones that incorporate MCing into the mix. Given that there are only three tracks like this I think it could be something for M.U.S.S to exploit more next time around.


— Michael Hinchliffe

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