Sunday, 6 April 2014

Album Review - "Mu" by Mu

"Mu" - Mu

Mu manage to create a better articulated version of the kind of thoughts which pass through your head while cloud-watching. Or even lying in bed at night mulling things over. Reading their EP description, “our adventures in the tragedies of youth,” It’s hard not to cringe and imagine a whining collection of songs on heartbreak and self-esteem. However, Mu are something quite different altogether.

This is their self-titled debut EP, as a little-known duo out of Vancouver, Canada and while their music is categorised as electro pop, it is also unpredictable and experimental. Mu combine minimal melodies with Indian percussion, chimes and electronic work and then put the spotlight on their free-flowing vocal harmonies.

It does remain to be an exploration of the struggles of youth: “I want to live my past like this won’t go too fast by.” Although it feels more like you’re in the middle of a good time and you don’t want it to end, rather than weighing us down in sombre music.

For some of the EP it is almost spoken word, with poetic lyrics rolling into each other. But then it expands into their lovely vocal interludes. There is a combination of clever lyrics “I can be as dark as the back of the moon” with a subtle sensitivity that makes each track stick in your mind. 

Published on AdamNOTEve. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Rat & Co 'Vocal Insanity'

When live and electronic sensibility collide, a magical sound can emerge. ‘Vocal Insanity’, while giving off the impression of a crazed tense track, actually refers to something quite serene and enchanting.

We’ve been following Rat & Co for a while now and while it did start out as a one-man bedroom producer project (Joshua Delaney), it has now expanded into a full four-piece band.

‘Vocal Insanity’ starts off quiet and eerie, with distorted vocals from Delaney and spacey synths. Then syncopated percussion comes in among the moody sounds. It offers a timelessness not unlike a Four Tet or Boards of Canada track.

Rat & Co keep it downtempo throughout and with very sparse lyrics, so that the whole thing evolves into a trance – especially with that vocal loop on top of jangling percussion and a thick electronic section. They do also offer time to breathe, with a break of a simple guitar melody, before it is then added to the ever-growing layers.

While the track is not anchored in clear lyrics or structure, it is no background listening music. And it will be interesting to see how the track translates into a life show.

‘Vocal Insanity’ is the first track off Rat & Co‘s upcoming second album Binary, due for release in May. Their album launch will be at the Shebeen Ballroom in Melbourne on April 10.

Published on Purple Sneakers