Posted on July 31st, 2014 (8:00 am) by Andy Belt

Ah, the '80s. The decade that brought us the ill-fated New Coke, leg warmers, and Ivan Drago is coming back in a big way—at least musically speaking. Within the past five years, along with the mainstream rise of EDM in America, there’s been an influx of producers that attempt to recapture the neon soundscapes of that era. Enter Swedish DJ Mitch Murder, known by day as Johan Bengtsson, who joins the ranks of these music makers like Miami Nights 1984 and Lazerhawk that bear a fond, unabashed nostalgia for this time gone by. In the case of Mitch Murder though, that’s unfortunately what his debut album, Interceptor feels like—nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. There’s a shortage of substance and tension here, spaying these dance tracks into glossy, hollow shells.

This recent resurgence of ‘80s influenced producers is fascinating. The majority of the current youthful demographic that listens to EDM (and moreover music from the Mad Decent label), weren’t even alive during the decade Mitch Murder is trying to emulate. That’s been a non-factor for Bengtsson and the other DJ’s who crank out throwback tunes by the boatload. On Interceptor, Bengtsson’s arsenal is overstocked with these type of tracks that almost all bear uniform resemblances to each other. Maybe it’s his style, but it’s near impossible to tell the songs apart, even after repeated listens.

Blame it on the fact that there are no guest vocalists, or any vocals for that matter, but that’s never stopped other producers from making entertaining albums sans singers or clear hooks. You could blame it on the fact that these songs are simply overlong. It’s not that Mitch Murder’s songs are “bad;" it’s just that for a DJ who’s so fixated on a decade filled with such vibrant sounds, Interceptor is painfully dull.

Bengtsson gives us glimpses into some of his potential, but these moments are ephemeral. Tracks like “Race Day” and “Snow Crash” cruise off to bouncy starts, but the same synth line is repeated ad nauseam for the next four minutes. If there’s one distinct break in the monotony, it arrives with the title track whose ominous, looming keyboards and bass make it the most interesting song on the album.

There’s only so much fun to be had before Mitch Murder’s one-note shtick runs its course. You can only handle so many boom-bap drum machines and twinkling synths before insanity sets in. These sugary songs would be more palatable if digested as singles or if they came on at a nightclub. Taking on Interceptor as a whole can be a daunting task with twelve tracks that run just short of an hour. With all of its repetition, this record screams background music and rarely commands attention. In fact, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to hear Mitch Murder’s tunes in an employee training video from the decade that he loves so much.

Track List:

  1. Saturdays
  2. High Performance
  3. The Touch
  4. Race Day
  5. Interceptor
  6. Snow Crash
  7. Breakazoid
  8. Thanks For Playing
  9. In The Fast Lane
  10. Stages
  11. Nocturne
  12. Traces To Nowhere
Mitch Murder: Interceptor
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

46 / 100
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