Chrissy Murderbot’s first album for Planet Mu is a collection of tracks that should come with the warning “be prepared to sweat”.
The last few years have seen Chrissy working hard on the optimum formula for getting down and having non-stop fun. ‘Women’s Studies’ is an album of party starting, populist mutations with vocal contributions from the Dancehall mcees MC ZULU, Rubi Dan and Warrior Queen, plus rappers Popeye, Coool Dundee and Johnny Moog. It’s made with a brazen and unashamed love for dance music, mixing energetic tropes into a sticky tropical punch.
The influence of Ghetto House and Juke from his chosen home of Chicago hangs over the album. From the off, things get fleet-footed on ‘Break You Off’ with it’s night-time atmosphere built from Rhodes chord progressions and sexy vocals over tight, subtle rolling footwork drums and bass; it’s like a 160bpm musical massage. Later on ‘Bussin Down’ continues the footwork influence with a sped-up grooving funk sample, over which DJ Spinn gives the orders. Elsewhere ‘Heavy Butt’s’ seesawing bassline and 8-bit melody gets the message across loud and clear, while the impressionist footwork of ‘Jiggle’ is probably the most jiggling piece of music ever recorded.
Other tracks such as ‘New Juke Swing’ mix crunchy drums of the kind you might find on a Teddy Riley production with a bassline of an early grime record while Rubi Dan acts as master of ceremonies… ‘The Vibe Is So Right’, featuring MC ZULU, pits chopped breakbeats against big basslines at funky house speed, which quickly intensify into sharp junglist patterns. On ‘Bump Uglies’ Chrissy mixes cute girl vocals chopped up over a flat dancehall beat while MC Popeye rides the rhythm making his intentions clear, while the album’s poppiest moment ‘Sweet Thang’ features Coool Dundee and Johnny Moog in an inspired high speed mix of jungle and electro with soul vocals and mcing.
Things get decidedly early 90’s with Warrior Queen on ‘Under Dress’ a strange amalgam of acid and (more) New Jack Swing, with Warrior Queen dropping some filthy lyrics. The 90’s revival continues with the ‘U Got Me Burnin Up (Club Cirque)’ which mixes high speed ravey piano and diva samples with crackin 160bpm juke and hip house vocals from Coool Dundee.
On ‘Women’s Studies’ Murderbot manages to twist underground music forms into a new kind of high quality pop music that’s a joy to listen to. - Planet Mu