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MSTRKRFT

The Looks (Last Gang Records)

What the Chemical Brothers tried to do with stadium-beat overkill, MSTRKRFT (pronounced "Master Kraft") does by proving that anorexically constructed techno can rock out with its digi-funk cock out. Celebrated remixers Al-P and Jesse F. Keeler (Death From Above) create jagged, over-caffeinated hybrids of house, disco and funk in which even the synths sound like they're jittering with tightly knotted excess energy. Whereas acts such as Chromeo sought to give Klymaxx some unpaid critical dues, MSTRKRFT wants to turn the punchy scraps of disco house into a monument to dance music's loud, slutty, groping simplicity. Keeler does inject rock elements from his past, though: "Neon Nights," for example, contains a beat that hits like a cinder block and pounds out a rhythm on your body as much as "You Shook Me All Night Long" would from the sweaty front row. The Looks is hair-band techno, glamour and trash, cut into clean lines and best ingested at adrenaline-pumping volumes.

 
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