Review: Belgian scene veteran Mugwump (real name Geoffroy Dewandeler) has been releasing music for decades, though it's only in the last few years that he's found a groove - think post-punk and synth-pop chuggers with a psychedelic twist - that he can call his own. Pneuma, his latest album, switches things up, adding weightier, more club-ready twists - a kind of return to his roots, if you will - to his now familiar trademark sound. For proof, check the moody, acid-flecked electro of 'A Priori', the frankly freaky (but also brilliant) post punk-goes-acid cover of Swing Out Sister's 'Breakout', the Tony Allen-does-Cabaret Voltaire weirdness of 'Cleverest' and the dubbed-out bleep techno-goes-jazz brilliance of 'I Don't Understand You'. An undeniably trippy triumph.
Review: It's some 11 years since Geoffroy Dewandler first donned the Mugwump alias, for a series of singles on Suicide Recordings. It's somewhat surprising, then, to find that Unspell is his first foray into the full-length arena. It's a typically expansive and imaginative set, with a solid support cast - most notably madcap Norwegians Mungolian Jet Set and Ost & Kjex - swinging by to enhance his heavily electronic blends of cosmic disco, synth-pop, new beat, new wave, acid and slo-mo techno. At its' best, Unspell really sparkles, with the low-slung analogue psychedelia of "Breakdown" and bubbling dreaminess of "Memento Lies" standing out.
Until You're Worth It (feat Mungolian Jetset/Ost/Kjex) - (5:25) 100 BPM
Breakdown (feat Sami Birnbach) - (3:12) 120 BPM
A Quarter Heart Left - (4:49) 111 BPM
School's Out (feat Von Spar) - (4:16) 88 BPM
Head-Master - (5:27) 122 BPM
Voetbalknieen - (5:51) 130 BPM
School's Out (feat Von Spar - live version) - (6:42) 88 BPM
After They Fall (feat Circlesquare - live version) - (5:33) 120 BPM
Review: Geoffroy "Mugwump" Dewandler's 2015 debut album, Unspell - released some eleven years after he first appeared on wax - was arguably a little overlooked. Because of that, Subfield has decided to put it out again, this time with a quartet of previously unheard cuts (two of which are superb live renditions of album tracks). These - particularly the throbbing, New Beat influenced hum of "Head-Master" - actually enhance the original album. That contains nods to many of his regular influences - new wave, synth-pop, Italo-dsco, acid house, Balearica etc - as well as the odd curveball (think lo-fi indie-rock with drum machines, and analogue psychedelia). There's a solid support cast of guests and collaborators, too, with madcap Norwegians Ost & Kjex and Mungolian Jet Set making the greatest impression.
Review: Luke Jenner collaboration "Halo" is the latest track from Mugwump's Unspell album, to be given the remix treatment. The original, not included here, was a moody synth-pop chugger, blessed with a distinctive, impassioned vocal from Jenner. Mugwump joins forces with regular collaborator DC Salas to deliver vocal and dub interpretations, delivering even moodier, arpeggio-heavy grooves, Mascara-clad synthesizers and the kind of bottom-end chug that should appeal to fans of Weatherall and Johnston's A Love From Outer Space parties. Friendly Fires man Jack Savidge provides the other rework, delving into his box of tracks and coming up with a snappy, floor-friendly version that joins the dots between vintage Chicago house and bubbly nu-disco.
Review: Eleven years on from his debut on Suicide Recordings, Geoffroy "Mugwump" Dewandler delivers his debut album, an expansive and imaginative set that touches on many of his regular influences. So, there are nods to new beat, new wave, synth-pop, Italo, acid house and Balearica, as well as the odd surprise (the lo-fi indie-rock with drum machines of "Doobie Shine Trouble", and analogue psychedelia of "Breakdown"). There's a solid support cast of vocalists and collaborators, too, most notably madcap Norwegians Ost & Kjex and Mungolian Jet Set (who combine to make quirky, stripped-back disco ham "Until You're Worth It" tha album's greatest single moment).
Review: Nu-disco fans now have an unexpected Christmas bonus in the form of this meeting of minds collaboration between Belgium's mighty Mugwump and Relish's DC Salas. As expected "Giallo" is a moody heavy breather that is clearly influenced by the legendary soundtracks of 1970s Italian giallo horror cinema. Soft Rocks step in to add some seriously amazing drama in their massive Flesh & Fantasy mix too. Lastly things on a stoner high end with killer Balearic chug-a-thon "Hinterland". Essential!