Ok, so we all know that the arrival of the 21st century brought about the death of the underground rave scene. But thanks to the release of !!!’s Louden Up Now last year, we all had that voice in our head that was screaming “dance motherfucker, dance!!!” Mahi Mahi is here on their second effort (Re) Move Your Body to let us know that the torch has been passed on to them for the time being. This Providence, RI duo consists of Sir VZO who plays both real and electronic drums and the ever-so-busy V. Von Ricci, who handles keyboard duties and even operates the lights at live shows all while vocally imitating a robot gone haywire. Blending in the perplexing Krautrock vibe of Neu! as well as the rudimentary spunkiness of Devo, (Re) Move Your Body puts forth the solid dance beats and dark artiness for 2005 which is a good thing, seeing to it that Fischerspooner’s Odyssey was disappointing at best. And you thought electroclash would last. Ha!
Anybody who knows every single sound on Kraftwerk’s Man-Machine will definitely appreciate the sci-fi electro emanation on some of the albums standout tracks. “Stand Up and Walk” carries the beat of the urban New Jack Swing movement from way back when, as the dripping synth squelches will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Some thick ’80s electro tinges cut from the cloth of The Art of Noise throbs to the darkly funkified pulse of “I Can’t Hear You.” A truly pimpin’ groove to bob your head along to as the last minute fades into a drum n’ bass beat.
“Daughter of Sam” has a start/stop beat that intermixes well with the glitchy experimental flourshings of Aphex Twin and Autechre. Sir VZO goes on a drum beat freakout midway through that, blended with the keyboard noise, sounds like a running vacuum cleaner with a set of car keys jammed into it. The semi-rockin robo-stomp of “Forever Endeavor” is a fine tune to get busy with on the dance floor if you can do liquid motions really well.
Amazingly enough (Re) Move Your Body can take you into the sounds of the dance music movements that originated from specific American cities’ scenes. The glory days from the mechanistic sound of the Detroit techno boom is alive and well on the title track as Ricci solicits for a “loser-sized portion of danger” to prevent his teeth from rotting out. We are then taken into a world of hard palpitations from the heavy beats of some funky Chicago tech-house that resembles Bad Boy Bill (back when he was good) on “Right Now.” The flow of the Ricci’s twisted lyrics are like that of a B-list celebrity working as an infomercial speaker who is trying to sell you motivational tapes at 3AM as you are all alone and in a K hole. Remember the days when DJ Larry Levan was mixing the platters that matter at the legendary club Paradise Garage in the mid to late ’80 s? Me neither, I was like six years old when that all went on. But if you are worth your weight in old-school house music mixtapes, then you will no doubt love “Let Him Go.”
All the deejays out there will want to find a copy of (Re) Move Your Body on vinyl. Why? Because you should play it at the same time as Killer Mike’s “Akshon(Yeah!)” if you can properly beat match and fade out Mike’s lyrics. It is a sweet sound! Boo-yaa, Danger Mouse!!
Mahi Mahi have released an album as colorful as the tropical fish from which they take their name. The lyrics are marginally grim, provoking the listener to think about life and death. I’ll bet that these guys are an amazing live band, whose shows make their local fans say in their New England accent, ” I suaw Mah-he Mah-he last noight and it was fehckin wicked awesome!”
Cybotron – Clear
Mount Simms – Ultra Sex
DJ Icey – Generate