RUOK?, the follow-up full-length recording by Jack Dangers, the man with the master-plan has just been released on Lakeshore Records' electronic sub-label, :/Run Recordings (Skor Records --domestic vinyl release & Quatermass --Europe). After having already released 6 albums beginning with 1989's seminal Storm the Studio thru to 1998's Actual Sounds + Voices , RUOK? is the highly anticipated album that spans the creative electronic frequency spectrum quite well. Precisely maneuvering obscure samples through loops of analog tweaks & magnetic rhythms tied to the signature basslines, MBM has always been a collaborative effort and cultivated by main-man Jack Dangers.
Recycling sound is one of MBM's strong points, and with tracks like "What Does it All Mean", you definitely get a good feel of the recycling effects that Jack Dangers manages to subtly tie into every release. "Set Me Free", "Give Your Body It's Freedom", "Society is a drag.." and a few other samples are run through a vocoder and spread-out throughout this funky track, a collaborative piece with scratching brought to you by San Francisco's Z-Trip. "Horn Of Jerico" offers up some interesting beat-driven atmospherics with Alex Patterson of The Orb. Its attractive bassline is signature to MBM s past but significantly a part of MBM s future. With invisible scratching and wandering melodies, "Horn Of Jerico" will fast become a track gaining significant rotation. Another highlight on RUOK? includes the highly percussive "Hankerchief Head" with incredible scratches, ultra-wide basslines and the rather interesting linguistics discussion intro.
RUOK? also maneuvers its way into experimentally focused tracks such as the "Yuri" introduction tune --flexing a crisp bassline and syncopated beat throughout this futuristic electro-acoustic experimentation. Similarly, "No Echo In Space" (which could be considered as a remix of "Echo In Space" featured on the recently released mini-LP Variaciones Espectrales on Instinct Records). On "No Echo in Space", a punchy bass-beat is dropped at sub-sonic levels and a cacophony of beats interact and collide into each other producing a totally experimentally driven side of Jack Dangers musical genius. "Retrograde" maintains an infinite amount of atmospheric/drifting sonic-tweaks that could have been generated on MBM's 650lb monster synth, the "Synthi EMS 100".
While each MBM release always highlights peculiar/obscure samples, RUOK? contains a couple tracks that are based on this formula but doesn't devote a full albums worth to this process. "Intermission" contains what could possibly be an early 70 s/80 s Radio-DJ host discussing his pending program and "..news of import broadcast throughout the night.." including other vocal-oddities while an organ chimes its way thru. On a similar path, "Happiness Supreme" focuses on a conversation between a dysfunctional couple cussing at each other throughout this 2-minute excursion closing off with the vocoded "RUOK?" lyric and reggae influenced samples statically crossed in and out of this tune chiming the lyrics "Happiness Supreme". "Supersoul" includes drenching basslines a heavy drumming wrapped around the "Supersoul" vocal-sample that flows into a head-bobbing/funky piece of musical ingenuity. With every MBM album, a standout track makes its way subliminally and/or consequently into the subconscious and "Dynamite Fresh" is one such track. With its fast(er) paced drumming and high-energy bass, the lovely tweaks and casually massaged flute plays a significant role in making RUOK? a success. "Spinning Round" follows a similar approach with its slowed down and broken beats and "Into the darkness" sample/loop. The 3-track bonus CD that accompanies RUOK? comes wrapped up in a cute little package bearing the title Free Piece Suite . Fromage , Untitled #2 and Radio Atlantis are prime examples of three classic musical styles that MBM have nurtured over the years Experimental electronic, sharpened hip-hop grooves and signature MBM basslines can easily describe this 3 including a video for Tape Music directed by H-Gun/DHS wizard Ben Stokes.
RUOK? manages to extract MBM s darker more experimentally driven landscapes while cultivating futuristic musical creations. With credits to The Orb and Z-Trip, RUOK? brings enlightening musical patterns of experimental scratching, breaks, broken-beats and a (more) minimal approach (for MBM standards) creating a field of electro-organic sounds. Set your receivers, and be refreshed!