For the longest time, Mux Mool’s remix of Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better with You” was my most-played song in iTunes, this weirdly processed, stuttering thing bridging turn-of-the-century French house and instrumental hip hop. The new album from Mux Mool, born Brian Lindgren, preserves the hip hop, namely via his machine shop-style drum programming, and replaces the Stardust house with nostalgic synths textures similar to those of his Ghostly label-mate Com Truise. Planet High School employs heavy repetition, chopping all song elements into sixteenth notes before they’re interrupted with a cymbal crash or belch of computer garble. Standout “Butterfly Technique” makes great use of distant soul vocals, like lost transmissions peeking out from under decades of techno-junk. Some tracks can blend together, but right as that repetition and belching reaches a point of saturation, the last song, “Baba,” hits, lifting the lid and releasing steam with far and away the album’s prettiest, most optimistic song. Lindgren says the title Planet High School refers to a re-imagining of adulthood in a world of secret controls and stagnating economies; “Baba,” at the last moment, shows there’s still hope. Ghostly is releasing the album digitally on February 7th and physically on March 6th.
Stream: Mux Mool’s Planet High School