Review: Murphy Jax – Acid Rapper EP

Over the past two years Murphy Jax has put out releases on labels such as Turbo and Clone Jack For Daze Series, each one deeply indebted in Chicago house grooves.  For his first release on Hypercolour Jax combines two of our favorite types of music, house and hip hop. How could this not be a winner?  This 4-track single (2 originals & 2 remixes) brings the hip house sound of the late 80s and 90s to the present with its smooth pads, 707 kicks, and of course the squelching acid lines.  In the same vein as his “It’s The Music” track with Mike Dunn, “Acid Rapper” uses an anonymous vocal somewhere in between rap and spoken word to, as the track says, “make you lose your mind and go outta control”.  It works well, the energy level is high, the bassline is deep and it definitely gets your hips moving.  Most importantly, the rapping portions of the track don’t fall into the cheesy pitfalls of most new hip house. Our only gripe with this one is that the MC wasn’t credited.  “Acid Housekeeper” follows the same blueprint as “Acid Rapper” – acid bleeps, classic hats, and a 4-note bassline with the MC occasionaly chiming in.  Even with the small amount of elements the track creates a hypnotic effect common among many early Chicago tracks.

Both remixes on the record are of “Acid Housekeeper”, the first one an alternative Deep Detroit mix from Jax, which is more serious then the original.  The vocal becomes chant-like while reverb lets the track expand making it perfect for eyes down, mid night filler.  Pair that with the eerie synth lines and dark low-end rumble and Jax has a track that not only lives up to the name Deep Detroit mix but exhibits a bit of the Berlin – Detroit connection that has existed since the nineties.  The last mix from DSB is all about the layers.  He takes the core elements of the original and builds on top, adding loads of vocal snippets, distorted horns, and a few reversed basslines.  The final result is solid and will certainly gain favor with those who enjoyed Jax’s original instrumental, but could do without the MC.  This is another solid release from Murphy Jax, which acts as a time capsule to 1989 when the 303 reigned.

Jonathon Alcindor

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