Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fist of God: MSTRKRFT Brings the Fiery Hail

I'm sure that most reader's and electronic aficionados alike are familiar with the work of Al-P (Alex Puodziukas) and JFK (Jesse F. Keeler) as MSTRKRFT. The two are a Toronto electro-house outfit born from previous musical relationships. Keeler is a former member of Death from Above 1979 and Al-P a producer and programmer who was involved with the band's production needs. When DFA 1979 was dispanded, the pair began their work as MSTRKRFT (pronounced "Master Craft") in 2005 and released their first full length record "The Looks" a year later. Besides the often-times pretentious bullshit Pitchfork displays in record reviews, the album was well received. With new recognition and growing popularity, the pair have been commissioned to do remixes for artists like Justice, Kylie Minogue, Bloc Party and more.

In 2008, MSTRKRFT did a live set at Windsor's "only world class nightclub" (the club's words, not mine), The Boom Boom Room. Al and Jesse were preceded by a few other acts but lit the building up with electricity and sweat. The pair noted during their BBC Essential Mix that they "don't really record live mixes very often 'cause [they're] usually really drunk and [they're] afraid of what they might sound like afterwards," (Keeler 2008).

March 17, 2009 marks the release of their long awaited return with a second full length album (which garnered a huge amount of hype) entitled Fist of God. Two singles were released almost a year in advance on the Bounce/Vuvuvu EP, so the wait for the final product has been tedious, yet the rewards are substantial. Fist of God combines the usual MSTRKRFT sound with more speed. The tempo of the tracks as a whole has increased dramatically, focussing more on the effect of them actually being used in a club-type environment. Because it is a gapless album (each track blends into the next), it seems as if it was meant to be, if desired, played straight through on the dance floor, which is unheard of for a single album to be fully sampled. However this is entirely possible due to the variation of each song's content. Tracks like "1000 Cigarettes" and "Click Click (ft. E-40)" are literally lightning in audio form. Take my word for it, if you haven't gotten into this band, do it, and if you have, buy this album when it comes out, I promise it will be one of the best releases of 2009.

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