Mix n Blend put their genre-busting minds to work on their debut album ‘Look Mom No Hands‘, producing a sound that tap-dances through damaging dubstep, funk, swing, airy ambient electronica, drum&bass, hip-hop and breakbeat, combining with vicious, various vocal performances in this synthesized sound adventure from African Dope Records.
Electronic music has torn sheet music into grey shades of confetti. It’s turned setting an album genre into Russian Roulette and genre-innovation into brain surgery. Meet Patient X: ’Look Mom, No Hands’ by Mix n Blend. An album which is a masterfully molded combination of styles and individuals, strung together with a lingering flavour that never loses touch with itself, true to its distinctly South African multi-culturalism. These three dedicated sonic artisans are DJ/Producers based in Cape Town. Professionals to the dotted t and the crossed eye. Or something like that.
Mix n Blend put their genre-busting, electronically-wired musical minds to work on ‘Look Mom No Hands‘, producing a sound that tap-dances through damaging dubstep, funk, swing, airy ambient electronica, drum&bass, hip-hop and breakbeat, combining with vicious, various vocal performances in this synthesized sound adventure from African Dope Records. ‘Spring Step’ for when you’re finally leaving the office, ‘Shall we Swing’ for evening drinks, ‘Champion Sound’ for a rush of blood, ‘Tantrum’ for the height of the night and ‘Drug in a Mug’ for your Sunday hangover. Vocal and instrumental contributions from industry innovators like 340 ml’s Pedro, Godessa’s EJ Von Lyrik and Krushed & Sorted’s Fletcher among others put this album in the cockpit of Air Force Dopeness.
Mix n Blend is a flurry of arms and monkey tails. The flashing lights of live samplers illuminating the cloud of smoke that their heads poke out of while reveling ninnies ruin your favourite shoes. Jon is the tech-geek pushing them onward in live electro-innovation and sweat inducing tempo; Ross is the minister of deeply thuggish basslines and trademark artistic untimeliness; while Kevin has the ear for melody and the knack for mixing and mingling that glues them all together.
These three sonic artisans are the wind rushing past your bopping head and the rattling of your brain in its boney cave. They bust genres like dam walls and direct the flow at the touch of a button and a turn of a knob. Live or in studio, looking at these guys is looking into the crystal ball of electronic music. ‘Look Mom, No Hands’ is like a feeding frenzy of musical influences chasing a bait ball of subwoofers. This feast of beats is made possible, live on stage, by what is possibly the most techno-savvy live act in the land, and here is (a simple version of) what is meant by LIVE:
Two Macs running Ableton, midi clocked to each other via midi over lan. The Ableton setup allowing extreme mashing of the audio without getting hopelessly lost, enabling them to instantly drop a dubstep version of a dub track and jump straight back to the original dub at any point. The ‘midi over lan’ story means they can synchronize and effect (fade, sweep, reverb, loop, etc.) visuals in the same way they can effect songs. Midi-clocked Kaoss pads add the ability to mash up incoming sounds at will, all of this is running through a vestax pmc-06 battle mixer, allowing them to blend elements of different parts of tracks together. And THAT is what is meant by LIVE electronic music.
- Bass Nitties: A teasing synth lead intro with glitched out drums that drags you in by the nostrils.
- Spring Step: Bouncy, sliding glitch-hop track with rap that tip-toes between the tweaked drums. It’ll get your granny doing the robot.
- Shall We Swing: The swing is king, and the synth is mixed in along with delectable jazz vocals in this irresistable dance number. Dig the drums, daddyo.
- Morphed Code: A tutorial song for any aspiring glitch-hop maniac, there’s a synth tweaked at every turn, a drum cut up at every corner.
- Lazy Friday Sounds: Friday evening, driving home from work, making a fool out yourself as you wiggle, sing and rap along to the strutting guitar and the nodding synths.
- Out Of Line: Real, live, quailty brass. Real deal quality vocals. Real ill drums and synth, just real music, it’s a groove thing.
- Sunday Afternoon Dub: 340ml’s Pedro lends his hypnotism to the smokey live brass sounds, the reggae drums and bassline with a guitar solo to gently electrify you. Saucy stuff.
- Sik Wid It: Glitch-hop to drive you crazy, a head-nod track that will make you throw your back out, drums that keep you rolling and synth that’ll suck on your eyeballs.
- First Light: Let it all fall away when you listen to the haunting violin solo that is the spine of this gentle, soul-searching synthetic sound spectacular.
- Drug In A Mug: Floating, funky track with lyrics that fold over you like honey, a warm blues bass and the pitter patter of drums.
- Outta Town: The sound of dub leads you gently into this syth mash-up, breakbeat dancefloor destroyer guided by gifted vocals.
- Tantrum: Get angry. This dubstep Tantrum gets brains shaking in their craniums on the dancefloor, like a hip-hop song on an epileptic fit.
- Champion Sound: Wicked and wild, a half stepping breakbeat track with tearing rap, explosive vocals and a synth line that will have your pursing your lips and squinting your eyes.
- Full Ahead: Hands in the air, head back, mouth open, take a deep breath and listen to the brassy drum&bass extravaganza that you’ll never want to end.