The spirit of ’88 lives strong, the clean, acid-dropped sound of original house is in season, and the heeding of promised lands and requests from baby to ride show where Murphy Jax’s head has been at for all these years.
As beats beam in a crux of keyboards, in no way should this be deemed cheesy, even when reaching further back to starship trooper disco on “Conrad’s Time Machine.” As the Berliner sells himself as a renaissance man for synth-strobe guidance and doughty drum machines giving the future a made-to-last guarantee, when “Empire Without End” and “We and The Machines” take on all decades, MJ becomes enduringly influential, twofold.
If have made your peace with the record being a spangled throwback, the startle of Euro techno steamroller “Dark the Dancer” will have you promoting the protagonist to all-rounder status, and acid toughening “Funksquelch” repositions you in an army-style crawl. Handclap jacks hit the gutter as the distinctive pump of the album’s glamour moves between pleasuredome (see the balladry of “Odyssey of Endless Hope”) and dingy bolthole. About the only thing missing is a lyrical accompaniment; there’s scarcely an unsubtle/subliminal drug promotion, suggestive breathing pattern, bid to free your mind or king’s speech on who’s house you should have jacked in to be found.
Zomby’s hardcore homage Where Were U in 92? becomes a comparison. Beyond epochal worship or knowing retro is always on-trend, it’s a new set of sounds superlatively re-piecing together all of yesterday’s parties.
File under: Mike Dunn, Legowelt, Terry Farley