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First Listen : All The People - Operator

First Listen is the part of Musos' Guide where we tempt you in with lesser played tracks from the recent past or this very minute. Enjoy.




  • Published in Albums

Honestly, I had never listened to MSTRKRFT before asking to do this record review, but I have a friend who is majorly into anything Jesse F. Keeler puts out, so I figured, why not give it a shot? After a swift education in the Canadian duo's back catalogue thanks to Spotify, I was suitably prepared to tackle OPERATOR. It's also worth noting that experiences with electronic music are pretty minimal as well, and generally amount to playing 'To The Colours' by Portasound (check it out) on repeat. But that we have that *disclaimer* out of the way...

General overall impression: This is pretty fun! As someone who does know something about post-rock, I can't help but feel like this music is essentially just a twisted sibling of all those pretentious loud-soft dynamics. As looped melodies loop and percussive sounds intensify, MSTRKRFT are at the far end of the line you could hypothetically draw between Explosions In The Sky and Three Trapped Tigers, and if the former is the "elegant" end of the spectrum then OPERATOR falls at the "filthy" end, and it's wonderful.

Proceeding begin with the relatively subdued 'Wrong Glass Sir', before the melodic 'Runaway' throws your dancing shoes at you, and then the menacing 'Red Little Hen' makes them burn. 'Priceless' is sensual in a terrifying way, and 'Playing With Itself' sounds like a Battles' horror movie soundtrack. 'Party Line' is wonderfully angular, whilst 'Death In The Gulf Stream' is scarily angular as it twists and shrieks. 'World Peace' isn't as peaceful and beautiful as you would hope, translates from dread to euphoria in the most beautiful way, and closer 'Go On Without Me' signals the record's end with a violent drone.

OPERATOR is a powerful piece of work, and a captivating and intense listen, especially for a newbie such as myself (though probably not for someone who's actually into that kind of thing). This ten track whirlwind is certainly enjoyable, though perhaps considerably moreso in a dark room packed with sweaty bodies than alone on a Sunday afternoon - but hey, it has inspired me to delve deeper into the labrinyth of EDM, so I guess that's a compliment.

OPERATOR is available from iTunes and Amazon.

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