Pproducer Alex Crossan, aka Mura Massastuck to the “difficult second album” trope when it came to the 2020s release RYC. Displacing the brash, vibrant pop that made its name on 2017’s self-titled debut album, RYC was dull and brooding, trading themes of isolation, anxiety and nostalgia against a backdrop of stifling drums, post-punk guitars and plaintive vocals.
After the Covid lockdowns, Crossan has thankfully found joy again. demon time features a star-studded list of collaborators — singers Shygirl and Erika de Casier and rappers Slowthai and Unknown T, to name a few — with Crossan giving them carte blanche in the studio. The result is contagious on club vibes Hollaback female dogfeaturing Shygirl, as well as featuring De Casier on R&B bop E-motions.
The disc was originally titled Fun for good reason, as Crossan supplies floor fillers in a range of zeitgeisty genres: UK garage on the 3 of a type sample BbycakesPC Music-style hyperpop on Slomo, and reggaeton on the recent single bless me. Yet Crossan never deviates from the formula. Each track is a verse-chorus sugar rush, providing the listener with a three-minute hit of predictable entertainment in radio-friendly styles. It’s momentary pleasure – a party bottom piece rather than Crossan claiming its own attention-grabbing sound.