When George Bush declared that the justification for invading Iraq was the existence of weapons of mass destruction, The Mirror began publishing a daily tally of how long the search for them had gone on via its WMD-ometer.
Day after day the number kept rising until it became blatantly obvious (even to Bush) that the hunt for chemical and biological weapons was a fruitless one, and the newspaper eventually decided to stop running its counter after 400 days or so.
At almost precisely the same time, on May 24, 2004, Mylo released his much-loved debut album Destroy Rock & Roll, lauded by critics from Pitchfork to the BBC to Q to Rolling Stones, with its smart electro-party-funk sounds guaranteed to be heard at all the cool hangouts.
Since then, music fans have been waiting patiently for a follow-up from the man from Skye. If there was a Mylo-meter, it would be showing 2,453 days.
So why has that elusive second Mylo album turned into the Chinese Democracy of dance? The answer probably lies in the story of its predecessor. Few people saw Destroy Rock & Roll’s success coming. In fact, it was so unexpected that Mylo’s own independent label Breastfed hadn’t even bothered to obtain legal permission for any of the six songs he had sampled on the album before it was released. They were only cleared after the record had outgrown its underground roots.
The word-of-mouth nature of Destroy Rock & Roll’s rise to prominence meant that its release date was staggered as new territories discovered it, from May 2004 in the UK to February 2006 in the United States. That, in turn, elongated Mylo’s promotional obligations to the record and by the time he had eventually stopped touring, he described himself as a “wreck” and expressed genuine concerns that his hearing had deteriorated.
Somewhat ironically, the most commercially successful single he is associated with is Doctor Pressure – a mash-up of Mylo’s Drop The Pressure and Miami Sound Machine’s Dr Beat that the Scot had no involvement in. Yet that didn’t stop his label (now under the umbrella of Sony) putting this new version as a bonus track on a re-released version of Destroy Rock & Roll.
His forays into the world of mainstream pop have been jinxed. Despite being recruited to record several tracks for Kylie Minogue’s 2007 album X, none of them ended up on the finished product, which prompted a pissed-off Mylo (he called the album “a complete mess”) to leak the tracks on the internet a year later. His mood wouldn’t have been helped by the fact Kylie did use two tracks produced by Calvin Harris, the man seen by some as the prime beneficiary of Mylo’s legacy. Mylo also worked on a song with Little Boots but didn’t get it finished in time for it to make the cut of her 2009 album Hands.
However, there are signs, albeit isolated ones, that a new album might be on the horizon. In January 2009, Annie Mac played a teasingly upbeat track he sent to her at BBC Radio 1 which she referred to as I’m Back. Another new song, Wings Of Fire, appeared on a DJ mix album he put together for a Mixmag covermount CD in January 2010 and sounds like it was inspired by 80s sci-fi scores.
More recently, his output has consisted of remixing the likes of The Human League, Bryan Ferry, Robyn and, last month, Cut Copy’s Take Me Over. And on January 20, 2011, he made public a five-minute mash-up thrill-ride culled from an astonishing 141 songs:
Mylo R1 Minimix Jan 2011 by mylo
His live appearances have been confined to about a dozen DJ sets in the past couple of years, including RockNess in June 2008, Glasgow’s Winchester Club in February 2009 for a Southern Comfort-sponsored night, Edinburgh’s 2009 Hogmanay celebrations and the Isle of Wedge charity event in his native Skye in August 2010.
Mylo, who now lives in London, has given hints about how his second album might sound in sporadic interviews. In 2006, he said: “It’s going to be faster and more seamless. I’m going to try and start it in a high tempo and then just keep going. It’s probably going to be a bit less radio-friendly. Don’t get me wrong, I love funk music, but I think my tastes have changed.” Three years later, he revealed: “I don’t want to use any samples this time, apart from one Rachmaninoff piano riff.”
For now, though, there’s nothing else to do but wait…
Mylo – I’m Back (Radio 1 rip)
Mylo – Wings Of Fire
Mylo – Drop The Pressure