Riddled with a tonality that speaks to the soul through its warm depth of emotion, we find the striking features of “Heat the Silent,” as we do those in “Thelonious” and “When All the People Are Sleeping,” to be devoid of the vacant tininess that has become all too common in modern jazz. Both melodic and imposingly physical parts are the staple of these tracks, which join six equally stirring compositions to comprise Mumex Duo’s new album, Heat the Silent. Heat the Silent is a full-bodied treasure chest of critical thinking in the jazz genre that pushes the limits of the band behind its design to the very brink of experimental accessibility only to produce some of the best material they’ve composed since the formation of their group. Breaking it down to bare fundamentals, Mumex Duo’s latest studio cut is no ordinary jazz album; it’s a peek into the postmodernity of tomorrow’s smartest music.
The progressive flow of this tracklist makes the music so much dreamier than it already was to begin with. Once we get going with the avant-garde elements that commence in “Variations on ‘Estate’,” it’s easy to lose all track of what’s going on around us, drifting in and out of consciousness as “Joe’s Island” swaggeringly sways to an almost gothic rhythm before finally resurfacing by the time the sparkle of “Variazione Senza Fine” comes into focus. It’s a hard LP to put down once you’ve picked it up for the first time, and that’s not something I’ve been able to say about the vast majority of releases that I’ve studied over the last couple of months.
There are so many layers to this mix that it makes me curious about what this band’s live show would sound like, or for that matter, if they could even achieve the same sort of mammoth sound that they do here in a stage setting. It’s absolutely crushing in “Thelonious” and “Heat the Silent,” but there are no occasions on which the music feels larger than life as a direct result of the superior mixing alone. While it’s not as heavy as it might have been in different circumstances, Heat the Silent is a really physical record that demands a reaction out of those who press play on any of the seven songs in its devastatingly handsome tracklist.
From where I sit, Mumex Duo is changing the game with this latest release and making it difficult for their peers both in and out of their scene to compete with the sheer intensity of their music. Heat the Silent is easily the most mature collection of songs to see widespread release thus far in their career together, and I think that it will play particularly well with their growing list of fans in the American underground. They’ve come into their own here, and to some extent, raised the bar for every artist planning on following them this fall. Mumex Duo has just submitted October’s most inspired record, and it should be considered a must-listen for indie and alternative jazz fans alike this month.
Mario Coppola: Photo Credit