numün - voyage au soleil Music Album Reviews

numün - voyage au soleil Music Album Reviews
The debut from this instrumental trio has the air of a purifying ritual, blending psychedelia with a loose-limbed minimalism. 

Numün’s first album, voyage au soleil, works in a stealthy, unobtrusive way. The band’s use of lowercase letters in their name and titles isn’t mere affectation; it’s a reflection of their introverted, sly methodology. Bassist Bob Holmes of the cosmic country band SUSS and guitarist Joel Mellin and percussionist Chris Romero of Gamelan Dharma Swara have arrived at a rarefied strain of instrumental music that has the air of a purifying ritual, blending the opiated psychedelia of Brightblack Morning Light with a loose-limbed minimalism that privileges subtle effects and incremental chord progressions. They achieve these results through instruments traditionally alien to rock, such as dholak, Theremin, gongs, and gender wayang.
Album-opener “tranceport” epitomizes this approach; it fades in with a feather-light drone, taking Brian Eno’s Apollo to church and to an even deeper quadrant of space. (The LP’s title translates as “trip to the sun.”) With its reverberant, two-chord bass plucks criss-crossed with the squawks of a cümbüş (a fretless Turkish banjo), Mellotron whorls, and tambourine-enhanced beats, “tranceport” morphs into a beatific psych-rock procession redolent of Chocolate Watch Band’s “Voyage of the Trieste.”

By the time the second track, “first steps”—a radiant slice of East-West psychedelia devoid of the tired tropes typically associated with this gambit—you realize that numün’s innate peacefulness guides their every move. Augmented by a snippet of astronauts conversing with President Nixon during the first moon landing (it’s jarring to hear the latter’s voice in such a blissful setting), “tranquility base” achieves liftoff through shimmering tones created by a synth version of a celeste and methodical bass riffs that add a riveting contrast and ballast to the track’s delicately beautiful atmospheres.

On their debut album, numün have created a suite of becalming songs that move at a tempo slower than a resting pulse while seemingly striving for a sacred quality. Much music in this vein has a tendency to lull you to sleep or to cloy, but voyage au soleil reveals numün as savvy navigators of paths less traveled.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

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numün - voyage au soleil Music Album Reviews numün - voyage au soleil Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, September 24, 2020 Rating:

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