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Mu - Out of Breach (Manchester's Revenge)

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Artist: Mu

Album: Out of Breach (Manchester's Revenge)

Label: Output

Review date: Mar. 1, 2005


Mutsumi's revenge more like it. From the opening licks to her final rant, Mutsumi Fulton (nee Kanamori) lashes out at a laundry list of upsetters on her second release. Maurice Fulton, who produces the music, follows her lead and arranges a jarring collection of beats and discord to maintain Mutsumi's rage. A pretty crazy record.

Mu is Mutsumi and her husband Maurice. In 2003, they combined to release Afro Finger and Gel, a shockingly funky and powerfully edgy record that was the kind of CD that won converts on first listen.

Out Of Breach (Manchester's Revenge) is a different animal altogether. The players are the same, but the noise is brought up, the funk brought down and its beat experimentation is clattery and abrasive. This isn't a surprise coming from Mr. Fulton, who has long folded deep, twisted vocals underneath this kind of plastic deep-house sound. Add Mutsumiís vocals and you have a nasty, dense and confrontational mess.

Nearly every song is a vitriolic attack against... some one. "Weak people" beware. Lines like "you little bitch you little fuck," "evil plot twat bastard," and "ugly lazy fuck loser" are directed toward the shiftless and the dishonorable. Like in the swinging cabaret song "So Weak People," when Kanamori threatens violence, even murder. "I'll kick hard in your face / Put handcuffs and hold your neck / Rock you up in a dark cold ditch." Clearly, she's fucking pissed off.

What's lost on many of these diatribes is the "you." Clearly, some are people who know they've offended Mutsumi. The guys at French label Tigersushi get handed a fist full of flavor in "Tigerbastard." "Haters" are full of "demon mind." In the intentionally unbalanced "Stop Bothering Michael Jackson," Mutsumi invites a woman interviewing Michael Jackson to "suck my dick." Even the staff at the money exchange booth in the airport is given the business ("Extreme").

But she's not handing it to everyone. "We Love Guys Named Luke" (the b-side of "Paris Hilton") gives props to Luke Cowdrey of Electric Chair and Luke Jenner of the Rapture. The former because he's "charming and drunk" and the other because his "mobile phone never stops ringing." On "Throwing Up," which kicks off with Mutsumi vomiting, she does call out her best friend: Toilet. And that's pretty much it for love on this record.

All other invectives are kept for anonymous. We're repeatedly given threatening messages for this person, and by the end of release, we're left wondering... it is us?

Mu's debut was about half as angry as Out of Breach and had much more in the way of a dance kick. Songs like "Tell You Something" and "Let's Get Sick" could go down as classics. It's hard to find tracks like that on the follow-up. "Paris Hilton," the best single here, could be one; itís gotten played quite a bit (with its cowbell break and clucking chicken sounds) and directs some flak at Ms. Hilton, who is ridiculed and mocked throughout.

All this lyrical analysis can be made because they are published with the CD insert, which is rare for a dance CD. Also in the booklet are six pictures of Mutsumi. In two of them, she is dressed as a witch and is aiming a baseball bat at your head. Sounds crazy, cuz it is.

The whole record is crazy. It's a series of tongue lashings against a world that has disrespected Mu, and it lets these folks know that no one can disrespect Mu and get away with it. The funk grooves are clattering and smacked-up Ė rarely are they let go to just grind away.

Live Mu really is totally excellent. Mutsumi directly engages the audience, and if you're not dancing, you're not paying attention. Itís safe to say dance music has never seen anything like Mu. But on record, their message is lost in a blur of contempt and malice.

By David Day

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