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CD Feature/ Mou, Lips!: "Untree"

img  Tobias
Everybody agrees that buying your vegetables seasonally is the right thing to do. So why is this wisdom never applied to music? “Untree” certainly fits the approaching mood of Summer perfectly, an album which makes you feel all frisky and frolicsome as the first rays of the sun tingle your face through the open window.

Certainly not the thing to expect from a CD labelled “Avantgarde” in the press release. On the other hand, there are obvious indications that Andrea Gabriele, formerly a member of Tu’ um and now fostering Mou, Lips! next to writing project-based soundtracks for companies like MTV or BMW, will probably welcome the arrival of the warm season by spinning some Philipp Glass records rather than roots Reggae.

At least in terms of rhythm, the pulsation principle reigns supreme, from the declining reed figures of opener “non e colpa mia!” to the quirky dance of the elements “cosa buena”. Jara Queeto guests on Trumpet, Ivan Solana joins in on Bass Clarinet and many others add their bits and pieces here and there, invigorating the airy electronic textures with an organic touch and occasional Jazz references. Even though there is no information on the recording procedure, “Untree” often sounds as though it could have been improvised on the spot.

The only thing one could hold against this theory is the radical precision Gabriele applies to his creations. Not even once extending beyond the length of a pop single, his work is marked by the unhurried development of musical ideas and by clear cuts once the thought has been brought to a conclusion. William Basinski would stretch a track like “bora” to at least an hour – here, it ends after barely three minutes.

The abovementioned comments already hint at the stylistic eclecticism to be found on “Untree”. From acoustic guitar deconstructions, field recording-infused dronescapes, backwards-loops coated with sugary glitches and melancholic Ambient to heartwarming scenes of pastoral serenity (“still life(s) live”), the record has almost everything on offer that makes the world of accessible experimental music such a wonderful place – when experienced at the right time.

Most people also agree that you need to consume products locally, in the country where they were produced. My father, for example, still insists the only time he really enjoyed a Martini Rosso was on a trip to Italy – the bottle he brought home never really lived up to that. Here’s the difference with the music comparison, though: As long as the sun is shining, you can listen to and cherish “Untree” almost anywhere.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mou, Lips!
Homepage: mOAR Records

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