Monday, October 10, 2005

Mugison / Mugimama, Is This Monkey Music? / Rating 7.1

occasionally brilliant yet disjointed stylistic grab-bag.

Its nice to read a review of an artist from Iceland that doesn't beat the whole magical mystery country issue to death. PFM focuses on the music, the songs found on the record compared to his other releases and that's a lot more than I can say for most of the reviews I have come across for Mugimama. I know it seems like I have only unkind words for PFM (since the primary focus of TFM is PFM) but lately I have come across reviews on other music sites that are so utterly shameful that I am tempted to expand this blog's microscopic vision to a wider lens. Why do magazines, papers, and websites seem to think ANYONE can and should write about music??? I don't have enough hours in the day to tackle that enormous subject.

Sorry I digress.

I am starting to feel sorry for bands from Iceland because they are treated with the kind of alien commentary we normally reserve for PBS specials about glowing ghostly creatures living at the very bottom of the ocean and have never been seen before on camera. I've been to Iceland and Butte, Montana and trust me, Butte is totally out of this world too yet I have not uncovered a press frenzy hinting at D&D type folklore leaking from its barren landscape.

I stumbled across a great interview with Mugison where this very topic is brough to light.

Q: Icelandic artists are often sold to foreigners as something very exotic and strange, and when I read Nick Doherty' biography on your website, I also got this impression. He says you come from Iceland, "a land of magic and wonder where life means seabirds on rugged cliffs, Arctic foxes in lairs and little fishing villages nestled in coves." The same things are said about Mum and Bjork (and then they put in the word "elf" in as well...) and probably a lot of other artists too. Do you feel comfortable about being presented as an exotic artist? Is this Iceland as you see it?

A:"- yes and no, I come from Iceland and I'm a bit fucked up, but I've never really got into that elf business, I'm scared of ghosts though and lot's of stuff, but I'm more the fishing village and seaman as opposed to elf and landscape. I think all humans are exotic, everybody is fucked up and everybody is special."

Mugimama, Is This Monkey Music? isn’t an easy record to describe in a few sentences and what better way to explore the music then to do so first hand. I found a site that has the entire cd available for your listening pleasure. While I am sure there are other sites that have this too, this is the one I found first. I am impatient and not internet savvy so when I found this link, I stopped hunting. (Just so ya know, I am not playing any favorites here.)

Anyhow, the songs will stop playing eventually but you can hit play to continue to listen to the whole song. Tracks I heart: #1 "I want You" (Beckish) , #4 "Birds" (slow boy/girl duet) and the best spoken word by a little girl ever (his sister I think) can be found on #10 "Salt".

The Mugi quote "fucked up and special" keeps swimming around in my brain. If I had to sticker this cd with a fast label, that would be it.

Fucked up and special.