Mutant Press - Music for Elevators EP

Mutant Press
Music for Elevators EP

Velvet Underground meet John Lee Hooker and take him to a trip-hop club night on this EP. Mutant Press mixes old blues staples with minimalist guitar riffs and electronic samples, taking a lot from the great pioneers of techno-blues conceptualism Pig In A Can.

On opener ‘Sister Suicide’, a detached deadpan voice allows the basic hypnotic guitar line to take charge and create a shadowy, dark atmosphere, before the first solo comes in, where spare sustained notes work in a perfect union with the austere feel of the song. In the second solo, guitarist/singer Mr Yummy somehow strays away from the track’s stark simplicity and indulges in some swanky blues-rock chops, bringing this haunted song to an unexpected conclusion.

In the next track, ‘Wired’, two striking human voice guitar solos (the focal points of the track) sound, by contrast, seriously intriguing and experimental with hints of a child-like human voice in the guitar tone creating a surreal, uncanny mood which adds weirdo charm to this absorbing track.

Everything on this EP is performed and written by Mr Yummy except for the final song ‘Simple Man’ which is written by Klaus Nomi. And you can tell the difference – ‘Simple Man’ completely abandons techno-blues experimentation and is pure pop with sarcastic lyrics and a simple melody – the band poking fun at the genre, showing that they can write a picture-perfect pop tune, but still choose to ridicule their own creation by singing it in a mockingly drab voice and setting it within a sardonically bare and plain arrangement, deliberately ruining this song’s mainstream appeal.

Apart from demonstrating that an eclectic approach to popular music works wonderfully (when old and new, popular and esoteric, profound and superficial are being mixed expertly and in the right doses), what this EP also shows us that the magic of a basic blues phrase is not spent to this day and that it can elevate any minimalist musical idea to a level of real beauty, bestowing on it that age-old magic, depth and power. Those who can use it well always end up winners.

Music for Elevators is out soon.

Guest article from Alyssa O.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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