• Grooves
    January 1, 2001
    Review: Winking Makes A Face
    by Rob Geary

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ghostly International label has a unique new talent on its hands in Tadd Mullinix. Mullinix is a young DJ/producer type who spins jungle and runs his own raqga/jump-up label, yet his full-length debut is a head-turning meld of modern programming and Baroque melody. Mullinix’s classical training (on the cello) is evident in the fully developed, complex melody lines heard everywhere, but especially on the rollicking, crisscrossing keyboards of “Twice Triumph.” He ties these lines to jumpy, crunchy rhythms a la Autechre or Funkstorung, yet adds enough changes and rearrangements in the beat department that they hold up well against the melodies, often matching them for structure: “Lulla” chugs along until it suddenly lurches and rearranges itself briefly before returning to the original loop. Mullinix has packed these songs with so many ideas that new textures and sounds jump out of obscure corners with every listen. After the austerity of so many recent releases, one almost wishes Mullinix would throw in a meandering ambient track just for good measure, but he’s too busy packing more sounds into tracks like “The Letter,” which layers digital squeaks and sputters over a commanding, churchly organ. A surprising debut from a young man who could become a major new voice.