mmpsuf
Retina


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (101 Reviews)
February 7th, 2012 | 10 replies | 2,393 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quite possibly the first standout release of 2012.

“Dedicated to the Beauty (no matter how sad)”

As a reviewer, my role as a cog in the music-entertainment industry is always made more meaningful, and a damned sight more interesting, when an album presents itself as something to be explored. Suddenly, reviewing becomes assessment: an album can be discussed, explained and interpreted on top of simply being described. It becomes a critique of art instead of what can so often amount to a glorified sales pitch. To condense these last few lines into a few words: the repressed academic inside me grins like the smug, sorry and sordid nerd that it is.

Mmpsuf fit this specification to a T. Emerging from the darkest reaches of the Lithuanian capital in early 2011, their two releases to date revolve around the idea of music representing a purpose. Retina, in particular, focuses on the visual manifestations of music and of “the beauty”. Mmpsuf seek to slowly unveil the beauty of their latest release, and in turn alter our perceptions of what beauty actually is.

As grandiose as it sounds, the method they employ is decidedly simple, if not incredibly risky. Retina begins with a steady barrage of dark, distorted waves of sound, offbeat drums and squealing strings paired with soft, exhausted vocals. To the unaccustomed ear, “The Beauty” is intolerable. But after all, the “the Beauty” is Retina’s destination. Throughout its runtime, the music becomes more accessible, ultimately coming to a close with a more conventional display of beauty in the form of an acoustic tale. Here Elge’s vocals easily fill the void left by all the electronics: maintaining the kind of breathy, soulful expression that drips with a defiant sadness. By moving towards music we relate to more easily, mmpsuf push our fondness backwards, towards the opener. At a point, “The Beauty” becomes bearable. Eventually it develops into something rather wonderful. The song itself doesn’t change at all, just our perception, and it’s with this that Retina truly triumphs.

In between these two polar opposites, we witness everything from acapella openings to blaring horn melodies; all containing a clear sense of progression as is fitting for the album. The development of “The Sailors”, especially, is positively infectious with the insistent percussion and keyboards driving the song forwards. As usual, the means are quite subtle, though the effect is powerful nonetheless.

Perhaps it could be said that mmpsuf don’t quite reach their goal: Retina can sometimes seem convoluted and, at worst, oppressive. Those with enough patience, however, will unravel a collection of slow, sad and atmospheric tracks all uniquely beautiful. With Retina, Mmpsuf have reached for the moon and have managed to brush it, a preview for what I can only hope becomes a long, exciting career.

Retina was released on 1st February 2012 and can be purchased, streamed or downloaded for free from their official website.



Recent reviews by this author
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Atomos VIIPlinth (UK) Music For Smalls Lighthouse
The Correspondents Puppet Loosely StrungSon Lux Alternate Worlds
Nicholas Szczepanik Not KnowingKassem Mosse Workshop 19
user ratings (5)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also posted at: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

I have a strange affiliation with these experimental, indie-electronic releases. I don't know, to my
mind they're just a lot more memorable than most of what we see nowadays.

How's the review?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



30295 Comments


Re the summary: someone hasn't heard John Talabot

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Neither have I heard the new Ulrich Schnauss effort. But soon... soooon.

I can't find a link or stream for Talabot, so I guess that'll have to wait for a bit.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No one feel this way or the other over the review, then?

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a'ight, gotcha. Might start placing unsuspecting friends in front of reviews before I post em. Describing stuff like this is never the easiest, I could have started name dropping a few but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on this site who's rated their music.

Anyone had a listen yet?

Manic_
February 7th 2012



447 Comments


haven't gave it a proper listen yet but heard it on soundcloud a few days ago it was real good. Wasn't expecting to see it here.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeh, it's good.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



30295 Comments


I really have to echo cwhitMD's thoughts here

Thankfully I have the added benefit of knowing what this sounds like, but a lot of your writing here is quite clunky, as if you really had the hardest of times trying to write about this album. No clear identity for the music emerges in the writing, and a lot of your stuff just becomes quite boring to read as a result



StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Okay, can you think of any examples of reviews where I've managed to avoid this? I can kind of comprehend what you're saying, but I think with context it would be more clear for me.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2012



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess not then. I'll just sit here being puzzled. Hmmmmm.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy