MÚM: Early Birds (Morr Music)

themilkman on Jun 29th 2012 01:04 am

Múm: Early Birds

Early Birds: (A Compilation Of Early Recordings, Rare Music And Forgotten Songs From 1998-2000 Or Thereabouts)
Morr Music 2012
15 Tracks. 72mins39secs

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Icelandic electronic folksters múm have been pretty quiet since the release of their last album, Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know (2009) and the end of the tour that followed a year later. Despite the recent announcement that the band has been working on the score for Jack & Diane, a film due out later on in the year, which is said to feature a collaboration bwtween the Icelandic formation and Kylie Minogue, the appearance of a compilation, published on Morr Music, the band’s original label, to which they returned with Sing Along… can easily be taken as a stop gap between projects. This said, Early Birds collects a number of rare and previously unpublished material recorded between 1998 and 2001, at a time when the band consisted essentially of Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason.

Over the years, múm have released music on Morr, TNT Entertainment and Fat-Cat, and have morphed from a primarily electronic duo in the early days to a quartet with the addition of twin sisters Gyða and Kristin Anna Valtýsdóttir and a collective of musicians and singers for Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (2007)  and Sing Along… (2009), following the successive departures of the Valtýsdóttir sisters. Continue Reading »

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MÚM: Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know (Morr Music)

themilkman on Aug 18th 2009 12:57 am

Múm: Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know

Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know
Morr Music 2009
12 Tracks. 49mins10secs

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Things have changed quite drastically since Múm landed on TMT Entertainment in 2001 with the hugely poetic and overly electronic Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK album, and the remix album that followed. The band was formed by Gunnar Örn Tynes, Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason toward the end of the nineties, and shortly after, twin sisters Kristín Anna and Gyða Valtýsdóttir joined them. Since, the band has gone through many changes. In 2002, Gyða left, followed a couple of years later by Kristín, leaving Tynes and Smárason to head a constantly changing line up, until the current one came together to record  Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, released on Fat-Cat in 2007. The album signalled quite a radical shift in musical direction as Múm appeared to leave their delicate electronic textures behind in favour of a much more acoustic sound, not that far apart from the magical kingdom of Danish ensemble Efterklang. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Dec 4th 2007 12:24 am

Interview: Múm - Natural High

Following the departure of Kristin Anna Valtýsdóttir, gone to marry Avey Tare a couple of years ago, Múm founding members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason rounded a few long term friends and, as a sextet, went on to record their most joyful and flamboyant record with Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy. Here, we caught up with the pair during their current tour to talk about dealing with Kristin’s departure and the ever-changing nature of the band, how the new album came to life, working on satellite projects and beans on toast. Continue Reading »

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MÚM: Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Oct 9th 2007 01:07 am

MÚM: Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy

Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy
Fat-Cat Records 2007
14 Tracks. 44mins05secs

The topography of Icelandic outfit Múm is as chaotic and unpredictable as that of their native island. From the band’s early days as a quartet dealing primarily with crystalline electronica to vastly acoustic landscapes explored as a trio, to their most recent incarnation, as an enchanted seven-piece ensemble. Following the departure of singer Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir in early 2005, founding members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason focused on a commission by the Holland Festival, working on a performance piece based on the work of avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis with the National Dutch Chamber Orchestra. Both Tynes and Smárason also spent time working on various side projects, including a solo album for the former, under the name of Illi Vill, and writing for the latter. Continue Reading »

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AVEY TARE & KRÍA BREKKAN: Pullhair Rubeye (Paw Tracks)

David Abravanel on Oct 1st 2007 10:29 pm

Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan: Pullhair Rubeye

Pullhair Rubeye
Paw Tracks 2007
08 Tracks. 31mins33secs

In 1975, Lou Reed, already established as the hippest rock star of his time, released a double-album of atonal, feedback-drenched, amelodic noise, entitled Metal Machine Music. In the years since, the reasons behind the creation and release of the album continue to be heavily debated: was he trying to escape a record contract? Did he wish to alienate his audience? Or was he just trying something new, and screw what the teenyboppers thought? In time, MMM became a genesis record for noise musicians who, unlike most listeners and critics at the time, actually took it seriously.

Now it’s 2007. The music landscape is different from 1975, but in many ways it’s also the same; this is to say, an artist really going out there and experimenting – as innocent as it may be in intention – can still shock and upset its core audience, no matter how open-minded they were thought to be. Continue Reading »

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MÚM: The Peel Session (Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Nov 21st 2006 12:34 pm

Múm: Peel Session

The Peel Session
CDFAT057 / 12FAT057
Fat-Cat Records 2006
04 Tracks.21mins14secs

Icelandic purveyors of fine dream soundtracks Múm fill the gap between their last record, released two years ago, and their next opus, due out next year, with the publication of their sole Peel Session, recorded at the world famous BBC Maida Vale studios back in 2002 following the release of their debut album, Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK. The session captures the band as they begin to blur the boundaries between their electronic roots and the more delicate acoustic and textural sound they have showcased in recent years. Here, while they still largely rely on electronics, as the opening sequence of Scratched Bicycle/Smell Memory attests, Múm dress their songs in slightly more contrasted tones. Continue Reading »

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