MSTRKRFT can be placed on the map as the missing link between French electronica star Alex Gopher and Canadian gender chameleon and electro wonderboy Tiga. This is true musical pastiche in 2006: Daft Punk fans becoming Daft Punk for a different continent. But as MSTRKRFT release their much anticipated debut album 'The Looks', their global masterplan has a fatal flaw: their shallow track concepts will kill any dancefloor.
Listening to the ‘The Looks’ reveals a sad truth: Fans are still, after all, fans. Fans can produce outstanding remixes (My personal favorite from MSTRKRFT is their rerub of Metric’s 'Monster Hospital'), but riding on the biggest wave of hype Canada has known for a while, beating out all contenders that cross the border, they still remain merely that: fans.
But it’s not like they are completely devoid of aesthetics. The single 'Easy Love' sports cowbells and happy keyboard punches below funky robotic vocals to great effect, while 'Paris' is another excellent arrangement (This one seems both a titular and musical tribute to their brothers in arms, Parisians Justice.) Elsewhere ‘Work On You’ is another likeable cut, ripping the same treats 'Easy Love' had with slightly different presentation. But the cut with enough of the right groove to carry a real dance track is 'The Looks': it's got a simple but addictive hook and a repetitive mantra-like chant that’ll probably guarantee it’s the only track here remembered in a few years.
On the other hand, in their own personal space, MSTRKRFT are having loads of fun. They're great DJs (DJs need enough technical knowledge to get by, but they greatly benefit from an honest passion for making people freak out), good remixers, and are well-respected both at home and abroad. But if you're looking for independently inspired creativeness, don't bother with MSTRKRFT. If you still insist, 'Community Revolution in Progress' on the b-side to 'Work On You' has a bag full of much more interesting ideas and tighter production values than anything on ‘The Looks’, which should lead us to this conclusion: don't completely dismiss MSTRKRFT just yet – keep one eye open for them.