- It sounds like it didn't take Maceo Plex and Maars long to make Mutant 1, which I mean as a compliment. Where the album Solar, Eric Estornel's last full release as Maceo Plex, felt overthought and overcooked, Mutant 1, the first in a series of "techno mutations" that Estornel is releasing across various labels, is a fluid execution of a single good idea. Its three tracks present versions of a formula, where simple, tough grooves combine with a synth line and a recurring vocal refrain from Maars: "Find / Your soul / Don't lose / control."
A speech sample—"I can't believe you're not afraid"—from the 1980 Al Pacino film Cruising appears twice, capturing the unnerving mood the pair are going for. "Mutant Moog," the EP's best track, has shades of Mathew Jonson's "Marionette," its arpeggio soaring but emotionally ambiguous. A small detail shows the creative freedom Estornel seems to be enjoying here: the high frequencies of a breakbeat play quietly in the background, completely out of time with the rest of the track. "Mutant DX" is more ostentatious, its arpeggio weaving between drum rolls and gusts of white noise that just avoid tech house cliché. "Mutant Disco" puts more emphasis on the evil synth overtones used elsewhere on the EP, and affords the chubby bass-guitar groove more space in the mix. Some DJs might find the vocal elements of these tracks a bit much, but for others Mutant 1 offers three strong variations on a theme to draw from.
01. Mutant DX feat. Maars
02. Mutant Moog feat. Maars
03. Mutant Disco feat. Maars