Mssingno first made waves in the realm of underground dance music three years ago with his first single, “Brandy Flip,” which was quickly followed up by his excellent debut, self-titled EP for Goon Club Allstars, released on vinyl on November 18, 2013. His signature sound employs an emotive grime soundscape that usually revolves around a tear-jerking, pitch-shifted R&B vocal sample. This is exemplified perfectly on “XE2,” the lead single from the aforementioned debut. He is not the first to come out with productions in this manner, and certainly will not be the last, but his deft touch and uncompromising work ethic put him leagues ahead of his imitators. If you like crying while dancing in the club, look no further.
The London-based producer and DJ had been relatively quiet in the couple of years following the release of the Mssingno EP, but the last 12 months have been his most prolific since 2013. In addition to producing for pop/R&B singers Katy B and Tala, he released the Fones EP on XL Recordings on February 6th. This was his first for the storied label, another 4-tracker that expanded upon his signature style, incorporating completely unique textures, crisp drums, and his trademark impassioned vocal flips. Fones was met with widespread acclaim from numerous publications and is something I still play regularly today.
This brings us to late November, 2016 and the release of the first official Mssingno DJ mix. M1 Personal Trainer dropped last week out of the blue on SoundCloud and is also freely available for download on mediafire. The mix clocks in at just under 24 minutes, and in keeping with tradition, there are a number of notable vocal samples that are tweaked, warped, and shifted to great effect. I heard Daft Punk, Justin Bieber, Years and Years, Ariana Grande, and Imogen Heap to name a few. There is no track list accompanying the release, but the mix appears to be strictly Mssingno originals like “Shosho” and “Muki Rain,” as well as edits and remixes done by the man himself. M1 is an exercise in Grime that aches and swells with each passing minute. It has an organic progression to it, starting off delicately and slowly building until the end where it approaches post-apocalyptic trap perfection. This release feels right at home in headphones or pulsing through the speakers of clubs around the globe. Don’t sleep on this one!