MU! by GnoomesRelease date: May 31, 2019
Label: Rocket Recordings
Gnoomes’ previous release, Tschak! was one of my favourite albums of 2017, so for me (and I’m sure many others) this latest offering, Mu! comes highly anticipated. The thing about Gnoomes though is that, as a band, they’re a uniquely melon-twisting experience. They’re equally as psychedelic and narcotic as the rest of Rocket Recordings’ roster and yet, they sound like none of the other bands. Sure, very few of the label’s roster sound alike (usually, this is the result of side-projects) but, I find that I can at least categorize the large majority of the bands. Putting such a band into words is something that I find difficult and daunting but, a pleasure all the same.
I continue to love how simultaneously electronic and analogue everything sounds. Moreover, they continue to create beautifully segued together and seamless albums that flow as one cohesive whole. For me what stands out most as something that I like from this record is the guitar work. There are so many nice guitar parts and I really mean nice. There’s something really pleasant and euphoric about the music on this album and whilst the synths do a lot of the work, I love Gnoomes with guitars, it’s fucking sick. This is most notable in ‘Glasgow Coma State’, ‘How Do You’ and ’Sine Waves Are Good For Your Health’ which all feel like perfect summer festival music. Although ‘Utro’s’ combination of gnarly synths and eviscerated, metallic guitar lines, should be noted for its gripping mind-bending power as a tar-trap like opener; i.e. “sit down and shut the fuck up, Gnoomes are on”.
Another track I love is ‘Ursa Major’ which kind of reminds me of a Pink Floyd style interlude with loads of whooshing synths and general instrumental batshittery meeting very soft melodic vocals, the phasers just sound fucking great. It’s awesome! It just through the album off the edge into a whirlwind of electronics and super-fast drum beats (that I think are both digital and analogue). Everything just seems to go whacky like at the end of Darkside of the Moon.
Overall, Mu! feels like a delightfully blissed-out record, I love its warmth and it occurs to me that it’s just really fucking well-produced. Everything just sounds fucking great. In a way, I’d compare the experience to listening to The KLF’s Chill-Out World, where the album is just a really smooth journey through sound where individual songs take a back seat to sonic exploration and everything is experimented with and takes it turns going weird but, at the same time it sounds fucking brilliant.
I love that every time I finish listening to this album, it takes me a while to notice I’m sitting in silence and I feel like that shows that it makes me introspective and it makes me think about and listen carefully to the sounds that I’m hearing. I find that not many albums have that power over me. I’m looking forward to listening to this album whilst in a colourful room proverbially tripping my balls off.