Mungolian Jet Set returned to the pattern of their first full release with Mungodelics, collecting a new set of originals, remixes, and collaborations in the spirit of the similar efforts that helped the duo make its initial name. The change from the giddy self-contained silliness of Schlungs to a slightly more focused but no less entrancing maximal sonic blend results in another splendid effort, eight songs' worth of the expansive, sparkling, and warm techno gone art disco that the duo has made its stock in trade. From the bells providing a lead melody on "Tocatta," an effort done with the help of Jaga Jazzist, things are never simply straightforward floor-fillers, even while retaining a core danceability.
On last year's official debut album, Schlungs, Norwegian disconauts Mungolian Jet Set sought to frame their debauched, corpulent psychedelia within snappy, jaunty songs, with mixed results. The problem was partly the sheer number of wacky curveballs, but more crucially, the collective's self-expansive sonic approach was too frequently reined in to allow the indifferent songs to speak, when any listener could have told the group that they were arrangers first and songwriters second. Arriving less than a year later, this follow-up assemblage of new tracks, collaborations, and remixes for other artists can't help seeming corrective, though when what requires correcting is so obvious that just seems like pragmatic good sense.
An electronica duo at heart, Norway’s Mungolian Jetset is certainly an interesting band in ambition, mythology, and execution. Prolific and experimental, their releases are often a hodgepodge of remixes, originals, and other assorted treatments that run the gamut stylistically from “house and disco inspired cheekiness via shameless dabblings with soft rock/westcoast, Balearic, dub and ambient, [and] psychedelia and techno”. If “Imagination is pretty much the key to Mungolian Jetset’s aural ingredients,” then their newest output, Mungodelics, defines them well.
In less than a decade, Mungolian Jetset have positioned themselves as post-modern jazzists (2006's Beauty Came to Us in Stone), club-friendly remixers (2009's We Gave it All Away… Now We Are Taking it Back) and progressive electronicists (2011's Schlungs). Therefore, it's a bit disheartening to see the Norwegian duo repeating themselves on Mungodelics. Giving the remix-meets-originals-meets-remixed-originals treatment to eight more tracks, Mungodelics works as an hour-long journey through deep-sea beats and psychedelic chasms.