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Mura Masa - Demon Time (Album Review)

Monday, 26 September 2022 Written by Jacob Brookman

‘Demon Time’ is the third album from the UK producer and songwriter born Alex Crossan, and sees the Guernseyman call on a starmix of hot talent to deliver a sugar rush of fizzy pop tracks.

It moves away from his introspective guitar-led 2020 record ‘R.Y.C.’ towards a sort of messy, retro digital noize one occasionally overhears on the bus, emanating from a teenager’s phone.

It basically succeeds on the above terms. Bbycakes, which features the vocal talents of Lil Uzi Vert, PinkPantheress and Shygirl, is a synthetic pop song with a slow trap beat via UK garage sounds. 

The central lyrical refrain is the sort of autotuned vocal that can be heard all over modern pop music, but here it is layered with lots of other crackles, bleeps and ticks. It’s a bit of a mess compositionally, but just about holds it together.

Blessing Me, this time featuring Pa Salieu and Skillbeing, is another memorable cut. This toe-tapper uses a lot of the same drum patches, but is more spacey and the rapping is better. It also provides a really good lay up to the following track, Tonto.

Sung by Honduras-born singer Isabella Lovestory, this pared-back reggaeton track sounds like it might have been released by Spanish superstar Rosalía, but only if you weren’t really paying attention.And that's probably the central flaw with 'Demon Time'. The record survives by quickly moving on as soon as (or possibly before) tracks can develop a kind of critical depth. 

The most interesting thing about it is its updating of a highly specific UK garage sound, think Shanks & Bigfoot or Artful Dodger, and dropping it into an attention-grabbing, immediate homemade video. Basically, it's music for TikTok, and while that doesn't have to be bad, this rather is.

Mura Masa Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon September 26 2022 - LONDON Village Underground

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