The two unnamed tracks here roughly mirror those on their earlier "Snake Charmer" release for Wagon Repair: the A's an uptempo tribal partier, the B a deeper, atmospheric space-out. Both are strong indications that Sebastian Mullaert and Marcus Henriksson's production muscles remain in top shape: their dense, burbly organic compositions are as consuming as they are seemingly effortless. The tunes seem less like they're supposed to represent the pink elephant on the sleeve and more like they're intended as living landscapes where he dwells.
Like "Snake Charmer" the A has a broadly ethno-tribal coloring that's in play from the spirited handclaps at the opening and that gets expanded on by the funky drum break that sneaks in from behind. Given the tune's nimble, serpentine undulation, it's a bit surprising to see a heavy-foot pachyderm gracing the cover—you'd think a cobra or fleet-footed gazelle more indicative. The vibe is brisk and groovy—Babar on his afternoon tour. As the track's infectious pulse grows Minilogue wind in and out of all sorts of travel-tinged atmospherics, including snippets of chanting, shrill wood instruments and hand percussion, as if they've decided to catalog their last holiday in sound form rather than using flickr. Plenty of clever unexpected rhythmic shifts and light accents here insure that even at 11+ minutes the track never loses steam or slows its roll.
The B, however, nearly steals the show: Mustafa roves through the midnight jungle, enveloped in a swelling soundcloud. Stripped of almost all harmonic or melodic elements, and underpinned by a lone kick drum, the tune is propelled solely by a swirling tidal flux of hanging bells and filtered matter. Minilogue are masters at bare-bones textural dynamism: here they use processed ambience to push through darkly clustered thickets towards clearings touched by distant birdsong. The tune has great stealth effect: you'd be forgiven for passing it by on first listen, only to realize later that a state of deep repeat best yields the tune's microcosmic pleasures.
Along with the rest of Minilogue's output this year, "Mr. Mustafa" makes the case that "trance," the subgenre that the duo has largely steered away from, is really an unfortunate misnomer: because in the end, isn't most electronic music about trance-like states, in some way or another? It's certainly in effect here, the A-side being well-suited for a whirling dervish party, the B for a blissful bedtime story.