Mumex Duo Release “Heat the Silent”

Equally elegant and well-controlled, the arrangement that graces the instrumental components in the song “Heat the Silent” stands out as one of the finer elements to behold in the new album of the same name by Mumex Duo, but it’s hardly the lone gem in this treasure chest. Using melodies as their guide, Mumex Duo explores a vast songbook of experimentation in tracks like “Beyond the Eighth Door,” “When All the People Are Sleeping,” and the aforementioned “Heat the Silent” with a fearless attitude, and whether you’re a longtime fan of classic jazz or simply looking for something clean and removed from plasticized pop this spring, Heat the Silent is an all-around impeccable listen.  

The combination of string parts, keys, bass, and sheer control of tempo makes for some stellar harmonies in this record, and even had vocals been an element to contend with I know that I would call this an instrumental-centric LP. There’s so much from our daring twosome to bask in, from their delicate touch in “Joe’s Island” to the unabashed emotion behind the original “Variazioni Senza Fine,” and even when the power dynamic isn’t at the heart of the master mix it feels like they’re still able to present a lot of creative control over how this tracklist unfolds from one beat to the next.  

In “Beyond the Eighth Door,” there’s a moment where the groove is almost overpowering, and still, the band plays forward with a steadiness that is uncompromising, suggesting surrealism that has been missing from most of the jazz offerings I’ve heard in the last few years. Mumex Duo doesn’t mince melodies when it comes to dabbling in the avant-garde, but there’s no debating the subtle pop sensibilities of this record, either. The jazz here is undeniable, but it’s presented in such a way that even the unaware listener can get into the concept without feeling out of their depth.  

Filler is the bane of every contemporary record, no matter the genre, but it isn’t something that we’re made to grapple with in Heat the Silent. Even though there’s a lot of content and rich aesthetical ground covered here, it doesn’t seem like Mumex Duo is struggling to find its voice, ironically enough. They’re confident in the profile that they’re presenting in this record, which is part of the reason why they’re able to breathe as much life into “Heat the Silent” and “When All the People Are Sleeping” as they are, even without the assistance of synthetic elements in the mix.  

The future is looking very bright for Mumex Duo after analyzing what they have to offer in Heat the Silent, and even though there is a lot of competition in the modern jazz movement at the moment, what they present in this album is so strong that it’s hard to compare their output with the general standard in their scene. Heat the Silent isn’t without flaws, but for what I look for in an album of this kind, it’s as streamlined and accessible as they come. Mumex Duo is on my watch list, and I believe a lot of other critics are going to be saying the same in the months and years to come.  

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