Mungolian Jet Set


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Mungolian Jet Set returned to the pattern of their first full release with Mungodelics, collecting a new set of originals, remixes, and collaborations in the spirit of the similar efforts that helped the duo make its initial name. The change from the giddy self-contained silliness of Schlungs to a slightly more focused but no less entrancing maximal sonic blend results in another splendid effort, eight songs' worth of the expansive, sparkling, and warm techno gone art disco that the duo has made its stock in trade. From the bells providing a lead melody on "Tocatta," an effort done with the help of Jaga Jazzist, things are never simply straightforward floor-fillers, even while retaining a core danceability. "Smells Like Gasoline," one of the stand-alone tracks on the collection, shows how readily the partnership thrives in its own universe, keyboard melodies steadily building up over a fast but never hyperfast polyrhythm, a reworking of classic disco symphonics into an even sleeker beast. "Ghost in the Machine" thrives similarly with video game noises, a rising and falling bassline, and cowbell to beat the band -- and that's just one small part of the whole. "Revolving Door"'s partnership of Unni Wilhelmsen's high, slightly treated vocals and the easily propulsive rhythm is another treasure, while "People on Strong Stuff" matches a full-bodied male vocal that seems repurposed from the Tony Christie school of thought with an arrangement shot through with satisfying sonic crunches as much as serene backgrounds -- not to mention a Star Wars lightsaber. Going the slower route with Athana on "Mung's Picazzo" doesn't lose the feeling of the album at all, featuring the liquid flow of everything from kalimba and the subtlest hint of a dubstep wobble to gentle saxophone and a guitar part leading into a brief break and switch to a just slightly more ominous enough rhythm (and an even moodier second guitar break). Above all, Mungodelics practically bubbles with undisguised joy in the moment, a pleasure in activity, and the possibilities they explore.

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