Published Mar 09, 2012Filling the stylistic gap between Ghostly International label-mate Gold Panda and Machinedrum, Mux Mool (aka Brian Lindgren) brings us Planet High School, his second full-length of beat-driven electronica. In the two years since his debut album, the Minnesota-born, Brooklyn-based Lindgren has matured in style while becoming fascinated with the state of delayed adulthood that his generation appears to be exhibiting signs of.
"I thought that it was something specific to Minnesota but as I go around the country I realise that in a lot of how people interact and pursue their social lives, people don't develop much past high school," muses Lindgren. "We have a very extended adolescence that goes well beyond what it used to and I feel like there are no adults around me ever, including my parents." Lindgren's armchair analysis is that we've seen our parents post-boom dreams fail to hold promise, losing their relevance in an economy ill suited for the typical adult responsibilities of a stable job and home ownership. "In America there's almost no reason to grow up any more. There aren't really a lot of jobs or careers to be had. It doesn't make sense to buy a house and be responsible at all." Couple this with an abundance of available leisure time and you get a planet of people reluctant to, or unable to, grow up. Hence the title Planet High School.
"I know smart people with masters degrees, some ten years older than me, that are working as pizza delivery drivers and baristas but they are happy doing what they're doing," Lindgren says, not criticizing or berating the situation, merely commenting on the phenomenon. "I don't pass judgement on anybody but I thought it was interesting." He admits that he himself is also a part of this trend and concedes that his lifestyle of playing laptop shows to rooms full of partying youth probably puts him into contact with a higher proportion of that demographic. "Yeah, there aren't many doctors and lawyers coming to out to shows." he says.
Originally inspired to make music by acts like the Prodigy and Daft Punk, Lindgren's passion for John Carpenter movies and videogame soundtracks can be heard in his music loud and clear. "I think I've listened to more videogame music than anything. I've been exposed to that more than anything else just through a ridiculous amount of gaming." These low-brow cultural references provide a lot of the personality of Mux Mool's work, "The Butterfly Technique" even uses a drum sample from a CD that came with an old copy of PC World magazine. "For me, making music is less like building a house and more like carving a statue out of stone. I have all these samples and I just whittle it away until it becomes what I want it to be."
Whereas some song titles such as "Cash For Gold" reference his concern over America's economic woes, and "Raw Gore" references Lindgren's addiction to video games, "Live At 7-11" speaks to his unhealthy obsession with junk food. "I don't drink alcohol and I don't smoke weed so when I want to have fun it's usually really greasy or bad," he admits. "I grew up in between two households where gas station food was pretty common so that's my strong suit. I know snacks!"