07.25.08 - 10:18am
Pete Um – No Pressure.
24. July 2008 by Chrissie
If one reads this record’s press-release, one can only shake one’s head in wonder. Pete Um, claiming to be more un-musician than musician, fiddled around on this new music for more than 7 years and in this time brought out an album with just 35 minutes in length, but which has 18 songs. But, cockeyed as this picture is, it fits the psychedelic kind of music – and even un-music – which one gets to hear on “No Pressure”.
“Sometimes, when the north wind blows, you have to turn your back to the south.”
Pete has already recorded a great deal of music, albeit on limited CD-Rs at home or on vinyl. However, his heart always belongs to the tape recorder – thus his early recordings would always go the lo-fi route, he made music just for himself and was too shy to admit to anyone that was his dream to make music. In 1996 he finally got himself a computer and matters got considerably more serious.
And so the actual record “No Pressure” is now one of these umpteen thousand recordings. What number it is in the list of official recordings can’t really be worked out from the complete discography. However, what is clear is this: he’s been making music for a long time, and one notices it. Pete knows what he’s doing, even if it isn’t accessible always or for everyone.
The music is a long way away from lo-fi; almost perfect recordings, diverse sound experiments and distorted vocals are the results, among other things. If it’s necessary to find a category for unidentifiable music, then one would file this somewhere between minimal electro, experimental, freak folk and psychedelic. Computer genertated music which doesn’t skimp on melody but never takes the direct route.
And then there’s the length of the tracks. At the start of the record there’s still proper songs, fractionally over 3 minutes in length, with lyrics and the whole business. And then, in the middle of the record: 3 songs, none longer than a minute, one experimental sound lined up after the next, the creation of confusion as a deliberate device. All that just to bring back order with the next track and almost churn out a ballad. That’s the way it is in many places on the album, as the number of tracks and the total length will explain. His experimentation does credit to his self-promotion.
Of course it fits in with this scheme that the vocals are only set in the background and often distorted. But then when one catches one of the tatters, there’s no skimping on the wisdom and the pain of life.
“See, nobody lives forever
and nobdy ever is free.”
All in all with “No Pressure” one has an album, which surely won’t appeal to everyone. A certain openness and a weakness for experimental electronic music is a necessity. And Pete doesn’t want to use force, that much it says in the title. But get involved with Mr Um, he’s delivered a truly polished album – you don’t get seven years’ worth of work from nothing!