Africa Hitech is more than a name, it is an ideology – one that embodies its members’ passions for an eclectic diaspora of electronic styles, from dub and acid to UK garage, grime, techno, and Jamaican dancehall. Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek stand at the intersection of all these styles to fit their vision of post-apocalyptic riddims. Created at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2007, Mark Pritchard’s production genius benefits from the voice and aid of Steve Spacek, the smoothest rude boy you will ever meet. Working on more big things for Warp, the two expatriates graced RBMA’s Pop Up Studio at ADE 2010 with a visit. The sound of tomorrow being played today.
Sepalcure’s combination of love for bass and 90s house acapellas is the culmination of a cathartic two week collaboration between Machinedrum and Praveen. Their mix of tribal dub, house and two step beats works equally well for both late nights in the club and rainy, introspective nights at home. Detroit techno chords cut through wooden beats, neon synths and dubbed out atmospherics.
I know it’s electronic music,” Brian Lindgren says, “but sometimes I feel like an old-timey traveling musician with an M-Audio Trigger Finger instead of a guitar.” As Mux Mool, Lindgren has been criss-crossing the country by himself for years, collecting records, loops, and samples, and rocking parties in towns both large and boondock-small. Lindgren is a self-confessed nerd to the bone, an incurable doodler, a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan; he lives on energy drinks and barely sleeps, spending his days working on music and his nights absorbing Internet memes by the hard-drive load. Mux Mool’s homespun electro hip-hop is the product of an introverted mind, an extroverted imagination, and a bottomless cultural appetite.
Lindgren’s life in music began in Minnesota with a cheap toy sampling keyboard (“I remember being so fascinated by how much a sound changed when you dropped it down several octaves”). Flash forward a few years (and more than a few keyboards), and the teenage Lindgren began recreating his favorite sounds – Dilla’s stutter-step beats, classic video-game music, abstract electronic noise – using software and digital effects, glazing them with tape hiss and vinyl static.
An early Mux Mool track, the slinky strut of “Lost and Found,” was discovered by Moodgadget Records and released on their Rorschach Suite compilation, eventually finding its way onto iTunes’ Best of 2006 Electronic list. A string of EPs, tracks, and remixes followed, including the song-a-day project Drum EP, the grimy talkbox anthem “Night Court” on the Ghostly International/[Adult Swim] comp Ghostly Swim in 2007, and the Ritalin-fueled “Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom” on 2009’s Moodgadget-curated Nocturnal Suite on Ghostly. Mux Mool’s 2010 full-length debut, SKULLTASTE, is the culmination of years of toil and experimentation, gathering Lindgren’s myriad talents and obsessions into one gloriously sprawling document.
As for where he got that name, Lindgren offers up an oddly telling story: he was dubbed Mux Mool by a band he admired, after he posted a blog on MySpace soliciting fans to submit names for his project. “Mux is short for ‘multiplexing,’ which is the streaming of many types of information through one channel,” he explains, “and Chac-Mool is an ancient Meso-American statue of a reclining man.” A technologically complex breed of synthesis and a timeless piece of indigenous art. Sounds about right.