Before diving into this review let me just say what a wonderful thing it is to stumble upon an artist and enjoy their sound for the first time. Almost every time I go searching for a new netlabel release I have no idea what will be presented to me. It adds to the excitement to music discovery and keeps my desire for new music alive. This past week I have been heavily steeped in this second release by mmpsuf. Let’s not get into how to pronounce the groups name, I could have a guess but I don’t want to for fear of guessing terribly wrong. What I will guess, however, is that these artists are heading for something very awesome if this second release is any indication of their sound.
I was browsing the super helpful netlabel blog Yamanote Dreams and came across this release which was listed as ‘electronic, ambient’. Needless to say the groups sound goes leaps and bounds beyond these two genre tags and reaches deep into Bjorkesque vocal use, rich organic instrumentation and high quality recording. The music seems to create its own space, opening up fields of sonics, for example on the track ‘God’s Retina’ the vocalists “ooo’s” are layered over what seems to be an infinite amount of times, filling wide spaces while being carried by heavy bass beats reminiscent of Bjork or Boards of Canada.
Opener ‘The Beauty’ plods in with a manipulated, crushing sound and the crisp, clean voice of Eglė Sirvydytė professing a deep connection with the environment and nature around her. More vocal trickery is displayed on ‘The Sailors’, vocals swirl in and out of both channels before a distorted piano (I think it is a piano, not quite sure) bellows in with glitchy paced beats again led by Egle’s stunning breathy vocals. I have an overwhelming feeling of joy when her voice soars up high for a small moment, but also loss as it slips away – it is a strange thing that does not happen to me a lot with vocals – the techniques she employs really draws out emotion from me. The track builds and builds until it cannot let up, with crash cymbals and layered vocals bringing it to the point of no return.
The record closes with the stunning and utterly beautiful track ‘The Rooms’ which consists of voice and acoustic guitar, it is recorded amazingly and runs through the deep connection this group has with nature and our surroundings. However I think the song also points toward our destruction of the place we call home,
“My room has seven doors, and seven burning windows. My bed is full of smoke, that every night I breathe in. And this is all I am, and nothing more than this. When it gets so dark, I must remember this.”
At least that is my interpretation of the lyrics within this wonderful closing track. I really can’t say too much more about this release, It should be listened to in full to get a real idea of the sound. To pin it down to a certain aesthetic I would say it is singer-songwriter music set loose on the electronic world. Listen to the preview below, check the video of ‘The Rooms’ on or main page and download this album right away. You will not regret it. [AS]
Mmpsuf – The Sailors