Even aside from his work as half of the experimental label Hausu Mountain and as one of the three explorers in the cosmos-probing Chicago act Good Willsmith (who made one of the 25 Best Albums of 2015 So Far), Maxwell Allison still has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Over the last few years, he's also been recording blistered, kaleidoscopic electronic compositions as Mukqs, probing similarly surreal realms to his other projects while keeping his sounds clear, his eyes open.
Earlier this year he released a collaborative collagist tape with Constellation Botsu called Miracle Hentai, but he's already back with more material for the Danish label Phinery—this time in the form of a split with the absurdist Japanese producer DJWWWW. Allison told THUMP in an email that in the early stages of this tape, they established one guiding principle "no rules, be yourself."
Allison says that his side of the tape was made with a tape deck and loop pedals, and no overdubs—a performance format that underscores the openhearted playfulness at the heart of his Mukqs work. Whether juggling beautiful chiming bell sounds (on "「蕩れ」[Mirror]") or letting all the samples collapse in on themselves into waves of noise (pretty much every other track), you can sense the joy of their construction.
That carries over to DJWWWW's side too, which meshes together sounds in a buoyant, head-spinning collage of pinging beats, comic-book onomatopoetics and Mortal Kombat samples. He wrote in an email to THUMP that his Audacity-constructed compositions were meant to "destroy pop music," despite his affinity for it and all that push-and-pull is on display as it swerves wildly between samples and styles. Few love letters have ever felt so gleefully calamitous.
Take both sides of the tape in one go and you're in for a disorienting affair unlike much else you'll hear this year. Listen below—alongside the awesome art by Allison—in advance of its August 1 release on Phinery.