Operator, the duo’s first album since 2009’s Fist of God, fits right alongside Death from Above 1979’s The Physical World as a return to the sounds of the mid and early ’00s, embracing distorted electro-punk and eschewing the poppier sensibilities of their second LP. Rather than include another laundry list of guests like those on Fist of God, Operator sounds like the work of two guys united by a singular vision.
MSTRKRFT was an immediate fixture on the festival circuit, meshing well with arena-ready acts like Steve Aoki and the Ed Banger crew. A decade later, however, the landscape has changed: EDM is now the music of the masses and DFA1979 have reunited, releasing a new record. MSTRKRFT, for their part, seem destined to return to their status as a side project.
Operator also looks to ’90s acts like the Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy for inspiration on tracks like “Party Line” and “Wrong Glass Sir.” Like those groups, whose driving, purposefully unsubtle production was equally suited to dancing or moshing, Operator trades pop accessibility for pure momentum.