Mukqs is the solo moniker of Chicago-based producer Maxwell Allison, co-founder of experimental label Hausu Mountain and member of noise improv trio Good Willsmith. Mem Aleph, his first album on Jacktone Records, finds him shelving the more noise- and sound collage-focused branches of his practice to hone directly in on a strain of electronic dance music more in step with his previous beat-based releases on labels like Midwich and Doom Trip Records. Harnessing tropes culled from the traditions of Drexciyan electro, spastic IDM composition, and vocal edit house music in the vein of Moodymann, Mukqs's strictly hardware-based improvised live sessions morph their way through a linear trajectory of burgeoning drum patterns and dense layers of interlaced synth harmonies. The session that forms the A-side of Mem Aleph stacks moody electronic melodies over steady networks of beats as it shifts from a slow churning intro through bursts of all consuming organ pads and out into a hypnotic, minimalism-influenced finale weighted thick with orchestral MIDI tones and zig-zagging arpeggios. The B-side shifts the spotlight onto Allison's scrolling cassette deck bank of samples that encompass everything from spoken word interludes from movies and anime series, snippets of video game music, and acapella vocal melodies sourced from YouTube. Far from the realms of chaotic sample collage, Mukqs threads each of these elements into his bedrock of drum and synth programming, resulting in an evolving mosaic of consonant cyborg production that never repeats the same moment twice.
Noisey/Vice: "He's able to swim through aqueous electro, dizzy ambient passages, and more thunderous techno tropes with ease—splatter painting sequenced synths across it in a way that feels indebted to brainy 90s Warp releases" - Noisey/Vice interview, May 31, 2019
"Think Dosh, The Books and arcade game soundtracks meets DJ Koze, Drexciya, Autechre and Gold Panda. The melodies on display here are playful and emotive, while steady rhythms keep things driven and active."
-DJ Mag track premiere
Fact Mag: www.factmag.com/2019/05/14/hausu-mountains-mukqs-debuts-on-jacktone-with-mem-aleph/