Chuck Norris Uses MSTRKRFT Parts
To be brief, Jesse F. Keeler makes no fake music. He beats his equipment to death, commits the sound to tape whether listeners love it or hate it, and moves on down the line. Your author, dear readers, loves Keeler’s second consecutive ruthlessly effective effort: The Looks, the debut LP from his new duo MSTRKRFT.A discussion of what he and his colleague Al-P do cannot take place without acknowledging Keeler’s first appearance as a stone-cold killer of song. His last group, Death From Above 1979, led a short but widely acknowledged life; their only album, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, won and polarized listeners through aggressive production of reductivist instrumentation (mostly bass, drums, and voice) that almost made Wire and Shellac’s angular punk rump-shakin’.
The Looks likewise builds up very basic elements into imposing musical structures, but the environment here is no-nonsense club music. “Neon Nights” is wailing techno you wish Fatboy Slim would still make, while rock guitars and rap both get nods in the cool epic “Street Justice.” Naysayers might offer Daft Punk comparisons, but even the worst offenders (“Easy Love” and “Paris”) only make passing references and to the best of Daft Punk at that.
They may also point to a track like “She’s Good for Business” and wonder how to tolerate an entire collection of high-hatted, handclapped monotony. Fortunately for MSTRKRFT the album repeats history and, like You’re a Woman, actually wraps up before it really overstays its welcome. That way, even the vocodered declarations in “Work on You”â€šÃ„Ã®”I’m gonna make you mine / Under the disco light”â€šÃ„Ã®won’t stalk your senses, but will linger like curious love notes to beatmakers of the 1970s and 1980s.