(múm, Ferrara, 13/5/05 by r_mal)
You've got to love a band who (possibly) chose their name on the basis that the word looks like two elephants nodding. Or apparently, you haven't got to, as I've known little or nothing of múm upto know. And for why haven't I known? I don't know, I'm clearly a fool.
The nice men at Fat Cat sent me a copy of the band's latest disc, a short (= 4 track) Peel sessions compilation. Those two words, that sainted soubriquet still holds a certain sway, don't you think? Peel sessions. In plain English it doesn't make a great deal of sense, but to those in the know, it's a hallmark, more trusted than the Bank Of England, and more reliable than Gordon Banks driving a Volkswagen. It screams good taste, it cries pick me! for I was chosen by a wiser man than you!
So múm hey? What's that all about? Well technically both you and I should already know, seeing as the band will be celebrating their ten year anniversary next year. And given the music they purvey, I really should have got my head professionally screwed on some years ago, as this is very nice indeed. It's not aggressive in any way, but continues in the Icelandic tradition of being fairly oblique but not difficult to appreciate. It's pretty sparse in some ways, but not purposefully empty in the same way as, say, Murcof - the sound is filled out delicately and prettily between the enveloping high vocals and the glitchy, electronic beats with samples and backwards loops and all sorts of fun. It never gets excessive really though, it's very restrained and cute without being twee or throwaway.
So where should you start with múm then? I have to confess, I don't really know. This cd seems as good as anything, and I heartily recommend it for what it is, even on only initial listens. I couldn't possibly compare it to back catalogue though, although I'd love to hear suggestions.
múm - Scratched Bicycle/Smell Memory (Peel Session)
Recommended: Peel Sessions
Label: Fat Cat
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws
If you like this you might like: Sigur Ros - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do
Tags: Múm; John Peel; Iceland; electronica; glitch