Mutations was produced to fulfill contractual obligations with Beck's previous label, the small independant Bong Load Records. The album was recorded in under ten days, and some songs were written in just a few hours. (i.e. the secret track "Diamond Bollocks" was written while the rest of the band was watching TV.)
Of course, when Beck's current label Geffen Records heard the album, they got in a legal fight over who would sell the album, since the album turned out so well. Geffen Records distributes the album, and hopefully Bong Load got some money out of the deal.