Mahjongg The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger

Masters of something they've dubbed "Chicagotronics," Jeff Carrillo and Hunter Husar follow up their 2008 K Records debut, Kontpab, with a sleek, new, upbeat missive. The lo-fi Afrobeat leanings of their previous album are still present, but sublimated by what sounds like new gear investments. The keyboards and vocoder flatten the manic rhythms with shot after shot of Moroder-ian syrup. The songs sound like slightly tweaked versions of the pre-programmed tracks that come built into a new synthesizer. The empty electro gesture has lately reared its head in a few unexpected venues (Thrill Jockey's Lazer Crystal or Vitaminsforyou's He Closed His Eyes So He Could Dance With You come to mind). As a club experience, the tracks likely come across winningly, but they are really only a few steps ahead of this week's forgettable top 40 dance tracks. (K)