Since their foundation in 1998, múm have forged a sublimely bright, warm and rich take on electronica, imprinting it with their own unique sound and character. What sets the band apart from so many of their peers is both their strong, playfully haunted melodies, and sorcerous integration of analogue and digital technologies. Playing an assortment of instruments and percussion alongside some crisply programmed electronic washes, beats, dingdongs and beep-beeps as well as found sounds and field recordings, the band’s talent, inventiveness and nose for musical exploration is immediately audible.
Their first release, a split 10” with the girl-band Spúnk saw light in the summer of ‘98 and following a number of collaborative projects, the group’s celebrated debut album ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK’ (reissued by Morr Music in October 2005) gained a wealth of glowing press and widespread praise. A remix project, ‘Please Smile My Noise Bleed’, also released on the Morr Music label in November 2001. Their FatCat debut, ‘Finally We Are No-One’, was released in May 2002 and followed by a plethora of tours taking the band many times around the world, dazzling the crowds by re-creating their recorded works with the main focus being on live instrumentation, accompanied by the more common site within electronic sets, the laptop (music-calculator). The band’s second FatCat album, ‘Summer Make Good’ was released in May 2004, flanked by two singles, ‘Nightly Cares’ and ‘Dusk Log’.
Since their debut, múm have also written and performed their own soundtrack for the classic Sergei Eisenstein film, ‘Battleship Potemkin’, live performances of which have taken place in Hafnafjordur, Iceland, Brooklyn Lyceum New York, USA, and at the distinguished Gijon Film Festival, Spain. They composed music for a radio play on Icelandic National radio ‘Svefnhjólið’ (Sleeping Wheel) by Gyrdir Eliasson, winning the Nordic Radio-theater prize. In 2005 they were invited to Amsterdam by the Holland Festival to collaborate with the National Dutch Chamber Orchestra to create a performance piece based around various compositions of the late avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis for one of the centre piece shows at the festival.
The start of 2006 saw the band’s creativity start to blossom once again, starting with two remixes for Goldfrapp of the tracks ‘Number One’ and ‘Never Know’. They followed this with two legendary DJ sets at the FatCat Festival in Belgium in February and at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas. With a combination of decks, effects, laptops, toy microphones, old cassette player recordings and vocals, coupled with their own recorded material, strange electronic covers by friends, gypsy folk music and general craziness on stage, the DJ sets made such an impact, that the band is now putting together a DJ mix cd. They were also subsequently invited to DJ Summer Sonic Festival in Japan as well as be headline Radio 1’s Rob Da Bank tent at Bestival on the Isle of Wight. Rounding of 2006, FatCat released their 2002 BBC Peel Session featuring significantly revised, expanded versions of the favourites “Scratched Bicycle / Smell Memory”, “Awake On A Train” “Now Theres That Fear Again”, “The Ballad Of the Broken String”.
2007 saw a fresh batch of múm activity, around the long awaited follow up album to ‘Summer Make Good’. A noticeable musical departure from that LP, ‘Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy’, released in September 2007, retains all the sonic detail of it’s predecessor, but takes a musical direction more akin to earlier recordings. Revitalised by a new line-up, ‘Go Go Smear…’ is a colourful, twitching, playful work of art, full of life affirming energy. Preceded by the ‘They Made Frogs Smoke Til They Exploded’ single and video, and followed swiftly by the lush, cinematic ‘Marmalade Fires’, múm played a clutch of long-awaited US and European dates towards the end of the year.
In August 2009 múm released a new album, ‘Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know’, on Morr Music.