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MÚM – The Peel Session (Fat Cat)

Posted: November 27th, 2006, by Alex McChesney

For all that the late John Peel gave music, it’s the Peel Sessions that will stand the test of time long after anecdotes about taping his show onto C90s as a teenager and queuing up to hand him a demo tape that one time he DJed at your student union have grown even duller than they already are. At their best they were a chance for a band to experiment and try out new material in the studio. At their worst an invitation to a few point-missing acts to replay their songs note-for-note, though this was, thankfully, a rare occurrence. This EP, consisting of the four tracks from Múm’s lone session recorded in 2002, falls somewhere in-between those two camps. Three songs from their 2000 album “Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK”, and one from 2002’s “Finally We Are No One” are offered up, and while there are no radical departures to be had, the necessary compression of time and budget imposed by a radio session, along with the opportunity for post-album tinkering, has had a pleasing effect on them.

Scratched Bicycle and Smell Memory, for example, both gain extra glitchy beats, and feel less fussy more skittish than their official counterparts, but despite the odd electronic edition or momentary meander, it’s the the uncluttered production that truly benefits the songs and grants them a general intimacy where once they might have felt a little too fragile and distant for comfort.

Hardly an essential purchase for the Múm-curious, then, but not without merit for those feeling starved of their gentle Icelandic tinklings.

Fat Cat

Alex McChesney

Alex was brought up by a family of stupid looking monkeys after being lost in the deep jungles of Paisley. Teaching him all their secret conga skills (as well as how to throw barrels at plumbers), Alex was able to leave for the bright lights of Glasgow where adventure struck him and he needed all his conga skills to save the world and earn the hand of a lovely Texan princess. He now keeps a low profile alphabeticising his record collection and making sock monkeys in the likenesses of his long lost family.


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