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MSTRKRFT Ends Five Year Hiatus With 'Party Line' And Upcoming Album: Exclusive Premiere

 Jesse F. Keeler and Al-P of MSTRKRFT at SXSW 2016
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora

 Jesse F. Keeler and Al-P of MSTRKRFT pose backstage during the Pandora Discovery Den SXSW on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. 

MSTRKRFT will return to electronic scene this year with their 10-track military-inspired album Operator, and their latest single "Party Line" featuring Chain and the Gang's Ian Svenonius premieres right here on Billboard.

MSTRKRFT -- Jesse F. Keeler of DFA 1979 and Al-P -- emerged in the late aughts with the near-inescapable "Easy Love" and a number of remixes for music mag darlings Metric and The Kills, amongst others. In 2009, they seamlessly fused hip-hop with their own brand of electronic music on Fist of God, featuring collaborations with John Legend and Ghostface Killah. Aside from two 2011 singles off an unnamed, unreleased EP, MSTRKRFT hasn't released a full-length album or EP since 2009, and they've been quietly working on Operator since late 2013 to remedy that.

MSTRKRFT Announces North American Tour

"The ‘operator’ concept for us was essential in the creation of the music on this album, but I’m not sure what came first, the title or the idea," Jesse F. Keeler tells Billboard. "While browsing military related websites and blogs, mostly consisting of vets talking to each other like any civilian I suppose, I noticed repeated reference to something they called 'operator culture.' It seemed to be something that was sometimes laughed at, sometimes caused disdain, but was referenced constantly and seemed to be understood by everyone. I came to believe the operator concept is one of detachment."

On "Party Line," Svenonius' commanding voice duels with the song's blaring synths. "We had a really strong instrumental piece with the working title ‘Party Line’ that demanded a vocal with a certain swagger," says Al-P. "Ian was able re-contextualize the title and make it work with the lyrics he wrote, which became something we connected with personally, and fit perfectly with the entire album as a body of work."

Preorder Operator, out July 22 on Last Gang Records, on iTunes, and catch MSTRKRFT on tour this June:

Wednesday, June 1: Washington, DC, U Street Music Hall
Thursday, June 2: Cambridge, MA, Middle East
Saturday, June 4: Chicago, IL, Double Door
Wednesday, June 8: Denver, CO, Club Vinyl
Friday, June 10: San Francisco, CA, The Independent
Saturday, June 11: Los Angeles, CA, Exchange
Monday, June 13: Ottawa, ON, Ritual Nightclub
Tuesday, June 14: Toronto, ON, The Horseshoe Tavern