With exotic melodicism leading the way, “Thelonious” begins to fill our speakers with the type of buoyant play that precludes the most intimate of songs, but if you’re under the impression that this is the greatest show of strength Mumex Duo is capable of delivering in the new album Heat the Silent, you’re in for quite a surprise this October. Punctuated with the most ethereal arrangements I’ve heard in this kind of a song in a long time, “Thelonious” is a good sampler track for what you can expect to hear out of the bulk of Heat the Silent, and I would even suggest that it encapsulates the mood of the entire record inside of its surprisingly fleeting running time.
The more aggressive selections featured in Heat the Silent, of which there are quite a few to marvel at in the tracklist, showcase a variety of different attributes that Mumex Duo bring to the table with them. While the setting limits the reverence of the casting harmonies in “Thelonious,” “Joe’s Island,” “When All the People Are Sleeping,” and “Beyond the Eighth Door,” we’re never listening to a piece that has been produced halfway. Contrarily, there’s a fullness to every track here, embodying something – either melodic charms, rhythm prowess, or even a broader sense of compositional indulgence – that gets us a little closer to the identity of the act as they stand in or outside of the recording studio. They set out with an ambitious task at hand, but this shows us a duo that was up for the challenge for sure.
Where we do find indulgence in Heat the Silent is in the most experimental content; “Variazioni Senza Fine” and the title cut “Heat the Silent” couple simplistic song concepts with much more elaborate melodic trappings to throw our ears for a thrill ride of a loop. There’s not a lot of unutilized tension in the mix, and when there is some pressure coming between instrumentation and arrangement (i.e. “Variations on Estate”), it’s necessary for us to appreciate the narrative that Mumex Duo is trying to develop without the presence of any lyrics. This might be a record filled with more intellectually-based songs than most, but those anticipating reworked versions of the same old content will need to brace themselves for what this LP is made of.
Mumex Duo makes an instant classic out of Heat the Silent this autumn, and while I will need to hear more to understand what their overall premise as an act is, this has given me a pretty good indication as to what I should be expecting from these two in the future. There are no wrong ways to make a good record, but to implement as much fusion and avant-garde influence into this piece without going off the rails took a lot of guts and thought, and it’s obvious to me that Mumex Duo were the right players for the task. This will be a high point in their career together for some time to come, and I don’t think I’ll be the only one to say so.