It’s about time they put up a monument to Oscar Mulero in his native Madrid. Few Spanish DJs and producers have managed to combine longevity and quality as constantly as this industrious electronic labourer. He was there at the dawn of Spanish techno, ruling over the second half of the 90s with an iron hand; he has DJed at the world’s best clubs and festivals, and is one of the most international Spanish artists—I would say that at times he is even respected more abroad than he is in his own country, but that is another story. Whatever the case, barely a year after the sensational “Grey Fade To Green”, the Spanish producer’s industrial machinery is once again spraying nitrogen into our faces mercilessly, freezing each and every one of our facial muscles that are still working.
The Mulero of “Black Propaganda” has reappeared with blood on his teeth and dark circles under his eyes, having dusted off the gloomy spirit of yesteryear and injected it into a repetitive, frosty, machine-like, and very, very basic format. Those who are expecting a baroque symphony of hard techno at top speed don’t know who they’re dealing with. The days of early hard techno have gone, and the Madrid musician’s current adventures, although full of the same ill will, exude an amazing mastery of the creation of atmospheres and the bare-handed eradication of melodies.
Much barer than his previous LP, it is reduced to very few elements, swollen by loops that repeat themselves to the point of insanity, “Black Propaganda” is one of Mulero’s most mature, complex and devastating works. It seems that he was determined to spit out all of the satanic tar left in his lungs in order to show us a landscape that is so arid, apocalyptic, and synthetic it’s scary. There is no place on this album for feelings in any sense of the word: the trip is not at all pleasurable or evocative. It is disarming, disheartening. It’s full of sharp edges, frozen ponds, sadness, and industrial bile. Mulero has polished his dark side unspeakably, serving his victims a black, toxic, poisonous brew of pitiless, icy techno. Paranormal activity.
This is an album full of pain; it is a weird substance that we only know exists because of its gravitational pull, like dark matter. “Instant Widespread Of The Dirt” is a domino effect of satanic techno at a gentle speed: there is so much tension accumulated in this track that you’re going to wear down your molars, you’ll be clenching your jaw so tightly. “Intentionally False” is 4x4 with the glint of metal, serpents among the synthesizers, and steam in the machine room. In “Disinformation” he annihilates rhythmic linearity to break the patterns like eggs; serving us up an omelette of drones and drums that will massacre your parietal lobes. In “Inaccurate Information” he goes cosmic on us, but in his own way: with complex rhythmic programming, echoes on the claps, threatening sounds, and an abundance of sulphur… The children of industrial devastation have a new dictator to bow down before. Vicente del Bosque should check him out for the next World Cup: Mulero is in better shape than ever.