12": Mash Up Soundsystem MASHUP#3 [2004]

Matt Green: Drum In Denial
Concrete Cookie And The Dog: Plastic Bag
Duran Duran Duran: Hannibal Selector
Halloway: Soundproof Cell
AA Kurtz: That's The Way I Look At It
Doormouse: Marriott Mashoop

I got this EP at the same time as Mash Up Soundsystem's similar-looking sampler Black Noise Generator, and while that spans a pretty wide range of eclectic post-industrial insanity and inanity, this six-tracker is slightly more consistent and club-oriented. However, in a move that's guaranteed to annoy DJs anywhere, it's not at all obvious from the layout of the tracklist what order the tunes are in; I had to work it out by matching samples to track names. By going for longer, more serious tracks rather than short bursts of unpredictable weirdness, they've lost some of the originality that made its sister release so charming, although perhaps time is more likely to demonstrate that this one has more depth.

The opening tracks, by breakcore celeb Matt Green and anonymous representatives of the Soundsystem, respectively, don't bode too well; both are hard as nails, admittedly, but neither are particularly memorable. Good DJ fodder for between the crowd-pleasers maybe. Duranduranduran's catchy 'Hannibal Selector' is probably my top tip for dancefloor action, if you'll permit me such a tacky cliche - if there is such a genre as psy-jungle, then this is surely a defining moment in it. Although Halloway gives it a damn good run for its money with 'Soundproof Cell', a thunderous breakcore assault that recalls Somatic Responses at their
most danceable.

As far as home listening goes, AA Kurtz and Doormouse give us two opposing takes on the same genre that really illustrate how different in tone these things can be. The former's track weaves a well-spoken and reflective monologue about the attractions of drugs, rape and murder - taken perhaps from a black-and-white era Hollywood thriller - around a crawling, menacing groove in a similar sort of vein to Hecate or Scrap.edx. The latter on the other hand has more in common philosophically (if not sonically) with Mouse On Mars, having an upbeat, cartoonesque jollity about it despite its hard-edged rhythms and savage instrumentation. Darkness and light in a nutshell.

There's a good balance here between upbeat club numbers and post-club ill-out material. It's bigger and cleverer than it's companion release, but not as much fun; but then fun might not be what you're after.


[Mash Up Soundsystem]

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Other Reviews

Mash Up Soundsystem [A Great Escape From Lunacy]
Mash Up Soundsystem [Black Noise Generator]