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8/11/2003

There’s something not quite right with Mu's Afro Ginger and Gel, beginning with the lyrics, which slide sideways across a filing cabinet brimming with jealousy, sex, drugs, sex, parties, love, and sex – rendered in Mustumi Kanamori’s hybrid English/Japanese. Small surprise, then, that Mu’s other half is one Maurice Fulton, who across an array of projects has put a singularly twisted spin on Techno-House (as Stress), deep downtempo (Ladyvipb), and House (Syclops). Afro Ginger and Gel is Fulton’s contribution to the increasingly top-heavy electro-punk stack, a pile he pretty much knocks to pieces. “Let’s Get Sick,” heavy with machine-gunning electro-toms, congas and cowbells, makes for faithful funk-punk fare, with an angry jab like !!!’s “Me and Guiliani.” But consider “My Name Is Tommy” which opens with CabVolt-meets-Oval droning but quickly dissolves into 808-intensive breakcore, as Kanamori squeals, coos, and reads personals ads over the top. Nightmarish arrangements are perfectly reflected in the otherworldly vocal treatments. “Hello Bored Biz Man,” featuring a vocal style only Nena Hagen’s mother could love, eats through salsa with high-test acid, and “Chair Girl” pairs drum-heavy splatterfunk with the rantings of an evil, robotic schoolmarm. “I Hate You,” like a hyper-filtered cross between Merzbow and EC8OR, distinguishes itself as possibly the world’s most effective floor-killer.

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