Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Muke - Shutterspeed Lullabies

MUKE – Shutterspeed Lullabies (2008 – Unreleased)
Grade: 8/10

Muke is Madeline Liebowitz and Luke Kuzava, two college students who started making music on a whim. From their bio, they “had nothing much to do one day and decided to try and record something on Maddie’s iBook,” which ended up being the first song on their album, ‘Shutterspeed Lullabies’. This song is also incidentally my favorite, ‘Dreamsicle’. Though lacking real lyrics, and having layering created by beatboxing into a mac, it still manages to be wonderful. Madeline’s vocals and the interesting use of percussion make this track one to definitely check out.

Moving on into the album, ‘Dreamsicle’ is followed by the more mellow ‘Sirens’ and the whimsical ‘Clockwork’. Clockwork features more of the cool percussion (including something of a beatboxing solo) that is one of the defining features of the album. The percussion is especially interesting because neither of them is trained in percussion. Their lack of classical influences lets them experiment uninhibited with “numerous random percussive, instruments from knives and spatulas to wooden frogs.” ‘Electric Skyline’ is another mellow track, followed by ‘Swingsets’. Swingsets features similar vocals to Dreamsicle, merely calmed down. The use of vocals other than words is the second big defining feature of the album. It does get a bit repetitive towards the end of the album or with multiple listens, but Madeline’s voice is still very enjoyable.

‘Hamburger Waltz’ is another gem in this album. The lyrics could be a commercial for a burger joint, and would sound ridiculous if the delivery didn’t sound so serious. The lo-fi guitar solo in the middle makes this track a keeper. The final track, ‘Hanglider’ does not benefit from the faded vocals, but otherwise the slow lullaby is a great way to end the album.

Overall, this album is one you should check out if you’re into the acoustic scene, like cool percussion, or like the tracks I posted. Even though this is pretty far from my traditional fare, took a break and found time to sit back and enjoy. And you should too.

Muke - Dreamsicle (YSI)

Muke - Dreamsicle (zShare)

Muke - The Hamburger Waltz (YSI)
Muke - The Hamburger Waltz (zShare)


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