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Mukqs
1,666,666,666,666,666,666

Maxwell Allison records improvised loop-based electronic music under the name Mukqs. 11,666,666,666,666,666,666, his first LP with Chicago imprint Midwich Productions, documents a session of intertwined synth melodies and technoid beat arrangements recorded live and presented without overdubs. Previous tape releases compiling live takes of textured noise and deranged sample manipulation using cassette tapes as sound sources appeared on labels like Phinery, Apothecary Compositions, and Hausu Mountain (co-run by Allison himself and Doug Kaplan). Allison and Kaplan perform with Natalie Chami in Chicago free music trio Good Willsmith, whose abstracted electronic rock jams and space drone ritual performances aim for a state of overloaded chaos. On 11,666,666,666,666,666, Allison sheds the randomized and abrasive aspects of past free-for-all jams and latches into an elastic pulse of syncopated basslines and complex percussion patterns pumped from a minimal hardware rig of drum machine and sampler. The LP evokes the subaquatic atmospheres and evolving analog arrangements of Drexciya, the recursive melodic ecstasy of Terry Riley, and the cyborg tonal juxtapositions of Oneohtrix Point Never. Mukqs's arrangements pit the insistence of a rigid grid against a system of arrhythmic synth samples that intersect with a loose logic all their own. Brittle vocal and flute preset tones clash with chordal clouds of sustain and swelling drones, as a network of hi-hat and snare patterns click a path through the center of the mix. Allison's thick bass bursts dominate the stereo spread, animating grooves and harmonizing in distortion with a web of crisp triangle wave arpeggios. His session stretches from the loping electro thump and siren synth walls of "The Tulpoid Serpent" into the zen bongos and syrupy pads of "Neo-Venezia." "Frog Work" hits a stride of major-key bliss when xylophone cascades blend with sitar tones over a 4/4 stomp, as if soundtracking a Studio Ghibli-core movie of Allison's own invention. "Hashimoto-Appelbaum Syndrome" closes the LP with a palette of juxtaposed textures painted in kinetic rhythms: compounded organ lines mingle with vocaloid chirps and a lattice of pitch-shifted cymbals, as a chopped and screwed flute melody holds down the low end with faux-upright bass. If Mukqs's strict adherence to a live take / no overdubs recording regimen betrays a mentality closer to the noise underground, 11,666,666,666,666,666,666 elevates his stubborn practice to new heights of analog synth arrangement and cosmic density.

MW-010LP
MIDWICHAvailable
Samples