FIRST LISTEN: Muta – Runner [King Deluxe]
Posted by Oli Marlow on November 22, 2011

Despite it being a little weird when someone you yourself have watched come up and blossom becomes a point of reference/inspiration for other, even younger producers that process of influence is a perfectly natural occurrence. And whilst the Colorado based Muta might share certain aspects of the work of a young Ninja Tune signed beatsmith, his debut mini-album, Runner for the Canadian outfit King Deluxe, manages to drawl and bump in all the right places. Loosely based on the 70s film Logan’s Run, Runner takes those experimental sci fi like crunches and underpins them with a healthy injection of white noise and the acidic bleeps – with that approaching working best over the two part ‘All Impulse’.

Compared to Lazer Sword by XLR8R, Muta resides in the same temporal sphere but his work here feels more like a direct descendent of library sound work and experimental layering than any kind of energetic hyphy hybrid of US rap. He also makes some of the wonkiest (let’s knowingly re-embrace the term here) beats like ‘Elixir’ and ‘Misfit Toys’ where the rhythm isn’t the most constant thing. Like recent turns from people like Slamagotchi on the recent Beatitude compilation, the beat is lurched at and the snares/clicks/claps are snatched at before the whole thing falls out of time.

Muta – Elixir [King Deluxe]

Honestly, ‘Runner’ feels like a debut that’s pretty conscious of its surroundings. There’s a similar bombast in beats like ‘Elixir’ that you’ll find in the work of people like Nosaj Thing and Hudson Mohawke but there are some tested ‘beat’ clichés evident in the drum work plus early on there’s a couple of total non-linear beats that feel like they’re a little impotent (if you don’t fully welcome the ADHD quantity of switch ups and beat repeats); but the slow flump of ‘Elixir’, the proto thump of ‘Lock Jaw’ and the playground swirl of ‘Carousel’ and ‘Misfit Toys’ all display a very clear and present talent; and a uniqueness.

Muta’s Runner is out now on King Deluxe.