Melbourne based artists Muphin & Plutonic Lab have long established themselves as two of Australia's more prolific recording artists, holding numerous solo releases under their belts. With "Silence the Sirens", the duo come together for a second time to deliver more of their trademark heaps goodness courtesy of the extremely productive Obese Records.
Plutonic has crafted 17 particularly diverse beats for Muph and friends to exhibit their own brand of lyrical dexterity, ranging from beautifully deep melodies ("Comfort Zone"), through rough bangers ("Colour of Fire"), and back to the beautiful with some epic masterpieces ("Nothing's Alright, Everything's OK"). Covering all bases along the road, Pluto displays an obviously wide range of influences, everything from rock, dub, jazz & electronic genres.
Its only been a short 3 years since the release of their first album ("Hunger Pains") and Muph & Pluto prove that they've learnt lessons well from the hectic touring schedules that have ensued. They even make a song about it... Urthboy guests on "Goin On Tour", and shows some nice variety in his flow, with a smooth little sing-song hook and a killer verse. A slew of other guests appear on the album, each providing their own little mini-highlight, none of the featured guests drop the baton at all. Red Ghost lends her incredibly smooth voice to "Lost Ones," providing a relaxing intermission between what is sure to be a crowd pleaser in "The Day Off", along with the well put together synth knocker "What You See" featuring another Melbourne MC, Ivens.
Mnemonic Ascent's Raph & BVA tear it to shreds on "Leave Your Shoes At the Door" with some raw delivery. While Fatlip and Pegz all get trashy on "Pessimist's Like to Party Too!!" as Plutonic shows off his slick genre blending skills once again. I'm sure the all the lyrics from that track are based on true stories.
Slap618 & DJ FX hold down the cuts nicely throughout the length of the album, with fitting sample selection and appropriate subtlety. For the most part, the cuts play a complimentary role to Muph's conscious words and Pluto's well crafted beats.
Muph has a reputation as being an exceptionally honest MC, and for the majority of this album, he reinforces that reputation, drawing influences predominately from real life. The title track "Silence the Sirens" is the standout track for me. From the ethereal vocals on the hook, to the excellently developed beat structure and sequencing, to Muph's inspired lyrics, it all comes together to create an addictive soundscape.
There are some low points on the album, a few tracks will become skippable after a while. It's not that they're particularly bad or annoying songs, everything on "Silence the Sirens" is obviously very deliberate and planned. Its just that they aren't as strong as other songs on there.
But the highlights more than outweigh the lowlights, ensuring that "Silence the Sirens" will be playing in your stereo/ipod for a while to come. While I'm not sure any of the songs on this album will have the commercial appeal of "Heaps Good" (the hugely successful single from "Hunger Pains"), it's obvious that their intent with this album was to create music with integrity & honesty, not make a quick buck.