Mungolian Jetset — producers Pål Nyhus (also known as DJ Strangefruit) and Knut Sævik — have always had, for better or worse, a reputation as the jokers of the small but talent-dense Norwegian house community — the weirdest, shaggiest members of a weird, shaggy scene. It's not an undeserved reputation. Their tracks are credited elaborately (to, for example, "Mungolian Jet Set's 16th Rebels Of Mung"), titles beset with parentheses ("Milano Model (A Thrilling Mungophony In Two Parts)"); their production is deep and maximalist and completely unafraid of goofing off. "Our sound is rooted in club culture," Nyhus says. "But more influences are being put into it. A dinosaur version of club culture. Like, real dinosaurs."
So it's a bit weird to turn on Mungodelics, the pair's wonderful new album, and hear the opening track, "Toccata," a Steve Reich-tinged masterpiece of rhythms and patterns, gently falling in and out of synch. "The last one [2011's Schlungs] was maybe a bit — people have called it silly, and I guess they might be right," says Nyhus. Mungodelics manages to rein in the most distracting elements of goofiness without losing the expansiveness, or the fun, that makes their music so rewarding. It's one of the best albums I've heard all year, a dark, muggy exploration of sound and structure. "I think the album right now might be the most complete album in a way," says Sævik. "There are musical patterns. If you listen to the first and last track — maybe I shouldn't say this, but if you put the album on repeat it'll make sense in a musical way."
This is not, necessarily, an intentional career move. In fact, much of the music on Mungodelics had been finished by 2009. "For our part," Nyhus says, "we're trying to make music in a kind of intuitive way. I can kind of relate it to a certain flavor — the last album was was little yellow, this album is a bit more brown. It's got a deeper chocolate to it. It's more mature. We try to be minimalist..." Sævik continues: "We aren't really minimalist. We can't find our way to being minimal." "We want to make pop music," Nyhus says, but we've failed. And we'll keep failing."
You can stream all of Mungodelics here. Below, an exclusive mix for Gawker readers from Mungolian Jetset.
Sharon Bailey : Cosmic Dust - TT's Slight Edit ( Salsoul )
The Doors : Ghost Song - TT's Slight Edit ( Elektra )
Tim Green: Cherry ( Rebellion Records )
Luv Jam : Nesta ( Throne Of Blood )
Ada : Happy Birthday ( Pampa )
Tricky : Time To Dance - Maya Jane Coles Remix ( Domino )
Cockney Lama : Losing Like A Man - Stimming Remix ( Monique Musique )
Marcin Czubala : Loose That Man ( Mobilee )
Kasper Bjorke with Jacob Bellens : Lose Yourself To Jenny - Axel Boman Dub ( Hfn Music )
Stimming : Silversurger -Casio Kids Remix ( Diynamic )
Martin Roth : Beautiful Life ( Anjunadeep )
Rufus Wainwright : Tiergarten - Supermayer Lost In Tiergarten Mix ( Polydor )
Ajello : Over The Sky - Reverso 68 Remix ( Deep Freeze )
Eddy Grant : Nobody's Got Time - Misiu Edit ( Cd-R )
Dj-Mix by Strangefruit
Additional Overdubs, Keyboards n Minglings by Knut Saevik