Once in a blue moon comes a team that seriously pushes the boundaries. They generally come out of nowhere, without any warning. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few examples such as Just A Gent or Twine. I’d like to introduce you now to Monsters With Tiny Mustaches, a team effort from MHKAZ and DJ Swoon.
Aside from having quite an absurd name (think Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) and a couple mascots that resemble Feed Me’s sidekicks, their production is on a whole other level. It’s not quite that these are unheard of sounds or arrangements, but the work as a whole demonstrates expert production and sound design. I can’t testify to the actual skill of MWTM, but as a listener it sounds really, really good.
The album sports six unique tracks, featuring collaborations with vocalist Ashley Apollodor and producer Killabyte. The album isn’t strictly dubstep either — some parts of it stray into glitch hop, drumstep, or even classical. Take the track ‘Freedom’ for instance, with vocals that resemble the kid singing the national anthem in that one scene in The Dark Knight Rises… you know the one. The use of string instruments to build suspense has always been a favorite technique of mine, but then it just drops like a piano in a Looney Toons episode, utterly crushing it and hammering that bass down low. Then you have a track like ‘Days’ whose vocals and driving piano chords in the intro and bridge make it feel like a legitimate song, right up until the bouncy glitch drop.
The sound design is probably most evident in tracks like ‘Enter Eva’ and ‘If I Could Freeze Time’ which meld soft and uplifting rises into absolutely tear-out productions of drumstep and dubstep. The surprise factor in a lot of the tracks is substantial which adds to the overall effect each track has, maximizing enjoyment and most importantly, the replay factor.
Following the six tracks on the album are three remixes from EH!DE, Different Heaven, and Dope Arcade. Dope Arcade is the odd man out, electing to make his remix into an almost pseud-liquid DnB style. I can’t say that I enjoyed it too much, but at the very least it provided a different perspective on the original track. EH!DE of course threw down and produced some truly energizing dubstep, but the winner of the three is undoubtedly Different Heaven, who remixed ‘Freedom.’ From the intro, you would swear that the track was bound for progressive house… you’d be dead wrong. All I can say is turn your speakers up, and just sit back and relax.
Overall, the whole release was a breath of fresh air from beginning to end. This was one of those random submissions that I get from time to time, and I am always, always happiest when they turn out to be some of the best production I’ve heard. MWTM released this without any support from a label, and while the road has been an uphill fight, the music will speak for itself in the end. To that end, please support the artist, and all indie artist, by purchasing their releases. It really does make a difference.
In addition to the album, Monsters With Tiny Mustaches have also planned out a small flash game and at least one music video for the future. You can check out the promo video for ‘Enter Eva’ below.