Published Jun 12, 2018Ann Arbor, MI's Tadd Mullinix is back with a new project and another new stage name. Variously known as hip-hop artist Dabrye, house/techno producer JTC and — back in the day — one half of Soundmurderer & SK-1, Mullinix has a headphone-shaking double LP for us under the name X-Altera.
Perhaps not surprising for someone with such a colourful past, these 11 new tracks embrace influences that have been part of Mullinix's career all along. There are nods here to techno, jungle, rave and soundsystem culture.
He's out to rekindle our collective love affair with these sounds from the past. As both matchmaker and beatmaker, Mullinix wants to recreate the excitement we've all felt about these styles at one point or another. Despite pulling together all the right elements, X-Altera fails to reach as high as it aims. The greatest risk with a project like this is that it comes off sounding dated. And it does. More than that though, the album lacks focus. It's the audio equivalent of a quilt poorly stitched.
Ghostly International is pushing "Check Out the Bass" as a single. Like the rest of the collection, it's a perfectly acceptable, competent production, but it lacks the spark Mullinix set out to produce. The synth lines blare, the vocalist wow-wows, the bass thunders and the MC dutifully commands that we, you know, check it out.
To be fair, Mullinix has produced a ton of impressive music over the years — credit where it's due. Give him props for drawing up such an interesting concept. It's not a complete misfire, just a bit underwhelming. (Ghostly International)