Antlers Mulm – a sonic journey into the dark

Some music has the ability to bring back memories of places. Places that hold experiences or impressions. Music can remind one of people and relationsships. And some music can mystify you, create images in your head of places you’ve been or never been before. Places that don’t necessarily exist, but are comprised of dozens of visual impressions you’ve encountered earlier in life. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read along, take a listen, and you might just find out.

Antlers Mulm is a dark electronic, ambient & spoken word music project whose sole member is Hans Johm. He is hailing from Germany, and is also running a record label known as Sonderübertragung.

The three ‘tags’ mentioned above (genres, if you will) are fairly good as guidelines for what to expect from a Mulm release – yet there is still a lot between these that is not easy to put tags on.

A thing that seperates Johm from other ambient projects is the use of clear, bleak keyboard melodies, that sound like they are pulled out of a machine from the 70s; they have this “fake” feel to them. This, together with subtle samples and Johm’s calm, almost preach-like vocals creates a surreal atmosphere.

This being said, there are some points where I think that the vocals don’t work very well together with the melodies – this is typically when Johm’s lyrics goes from being spoken to almost sung – however, this is a rarity, seeing as Johm does not have the abilities of a singer. But this fact is something that I at the same time admire a lot: despite his lack of this particular feat, he is still the man behind the microphone; the man with the ideas – and it simply works.

He has released over a dozen of full length records throughout the years along with a couple of EPs, and done some minor touring (mainly in Russia; the ambient scene there seems to be quite extensive). The latest full length I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying (Weihnachtsfunk 4 has since been released) is the Age of Efficiency – an album that was a little different from the other releases I’ve heard by Mr. Mulm. It’s a bit difficult to put my finger on what it is, but I think that this release might be a bit more beat-oriented, yet it still retains the mystical atmosphere that Johm is a pure guru at creating. There also appears to be a bit more focus on the lyrics here, although they seem to be quite cryptic in meaning – but my guess is that there is a certain critical approach against modern society inbetween the lines.

One of my favourite tracks by Antlers Mulm is the track Untruth (Restructured), which is featured on the Lone Songs EP. I find this to be a very appropriate title; seldom have I experienced a similar feeling of loneliness while listening to some of these songs, or any other songs by a different artist for that matter. Have a (lonely) listen:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s