MME dUO | awholerunboom
This is quite a debut by the pairing of duo Patricia Koellges and Tamara Lorenz here known as MME dUO. awholerunboom (on Makiphon) is comprised of twenty-one tracks, varying in length from under a minute to over ten. Quite a layered collage style from the Cologne-based artists, using voice, loops and additional video clips – it’s a dizzying array of near haiku vocal bits and pieces.
The double vinyl set (all broken up into the four seasons) plays like voices caught in the mechanics of a motor, delivered like a broken Fluxus poem, with bird-like flutters and a bit of funk. A see-saw of humanoid industrial rhythm. Over the past few weeks I’ve gone back to this set many times, it’s oddly inspiring – in the way in which unexpected means seem to be used in the making of music here. It is not at all obvious if they are using instruments at all, other than voice and rap-tapping on surfaces to create engaging percussion.
They do, in fact, incorporate the use of electroacoustics, small synths, loopers, tuning forks, electric bass, as well as the obvious percussion and voice – but they do so with a formidable secret recipe – where at times they throw the listener for a loop with a horse trot, or a bit of wave bending. There are zero tropes here, and no filler whatsoever. Instead of a ‘everything + the kitchen sink’ approach, the two seem to hone in on the between-ness, the chasms that leave wildly undefined residues – and then they make sonic sense of it. I rarely ever say this, but I absolutely love this album – there is nothing like this anywhere out there. An hour and a quarter that is not only memorable – it’s a head-turner.
At times trippy, at times tribal, and for an instant I’m reminded of the soundtrack to Liquid Sky (if you don’t know it, Google it) – especially on the bubbly and animated Youyou. awholerunboom is both sophisticated and childlike, not an easy balance to achieve. Mind you, this is far from any semblence of ‘perfection’ – but that is certainly not the strategy. They intentionally leave seams for you to see as part of their patchwork, adding a hand-fashioned feel and humorous undertones. Bloated and silly at times, the track Dump says it all.
As the arcane album waxes and wanes from sloughing jam to gentle, breathy experiments one begins to hear this not only as a deeply appealing collection from conceptual reference points, but as abstract folk music filtered through an encoded fiction. A complete rush.
NOTE: The sumptuously gorgeous abstract packaging, which the cannot be replicated online in its glory, was created by the duo themselves.