Múm's latest offering retains the organic sound they're known for but with a reduced...
Shamir Masri 2004-04-22
Not surprisingly the interest surrounding the Icelandic three piece has swelled since their debut release Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is OK. Múm's latest offering retains the organic sound they're known for but with a reduced use of electronics. They certainly haven't ignored technology, but the use of instruments like banjo, accordion, glockenspiel and pump organ enhances the weathered folk feel of the music.
The album was written in an isolated Icelandic lighthouse and recorded in a weather-station; creaking, dripping and pecking sounds place you in a dark, cold wooden shack in some remote part of Iceland and the journey begins.
Feeling slightly uncomfortable to begin with, I gave in to Múm's mystical sound and daydreamed of sailing in the North Atlantic in a longboat. Kirsten's poetic, childlike, Icelandic vocal tones are almost whispered, adding a strange 'oldness';you feel you're listening to a soundtrack for some silent film. You can't help but increase the volume to try and catch all the intricacies; you can imagine the music accompanying an ancient silent film; a fairy-tale or a mystery, perhaps. Even the breaks between tracks seem to be dripping with atmosphere.
This partly due to Múm's use of 'classic' technology; their vintage amplifiers, gramophone speakers and one inch analogue tape creating a time-honoured grain.
It is said that folklore is very important to the Icelanders - tales of magic, elves, spirits and superstitions abound. The country even has a folklore museum. The diversity of Múm's fan-base certainly reflects their style, and we should take their example. This is one for everyone to try at least once!