Presenting ‘Minimum’, the debut album from MNMM, a captivating ‘middle-east meets west’ mix of post-rock, ambience, heaving progressions and Iranian musical elements.
Composed with members of Goodbye Enemy Airship, Warpigs and ZÖJ, this new project, spurned from the minds of Gelareh Pour, Gerard Mason and Brian O’Dwyer, is a culminating point of some of Melbourne’s finest post-rock composers. Elements of Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even tiny hints of Tangled Thoughts of Leaving are riddled throughout the music – all tastefully blended with Middle Eastern lyricism and instrumentation.
“With Gelareh being from Iran, it’s only natural for her to sing in her mother tongue,” begins O’Dwyer. “Personally, I hear voice as just another texture or layer within a track, so having all the words in Farsi adds something a bit special or different for me, I don’t think I’d enjoy this music as much if it was sung in English. All the lyrics are taken from works by contemporary Iranian poet Houshang Ebtehaj, except for one track that was written by Mohammad Ali Talebi, father of Arash Talebi, a dear friend who passed away in 2015. Iranians take their poetry very seriously, culturally it’s considered one of the highest art forms. This album largely deals with themes of love, loss, hope, tragedy, all rather fitting for the music.”
As the first single off the record, This Song is a Lie opens with a slowly unfolding progression as each instrument chimes in. Light strings, howling kamancheh (Persian spiked fiddle), subtle yet intense drumming and Pour’s guiding vocals all result in culminate in a soundscape defined by intricacies – a true feast for those with adventurous ears.
“This Song is a Lie is probably the most consistently upbeat track on the album, so we felt this would be a good introduction to the band,” says O’Dwyer. “The video features long-time friend/collaborator Elnaz Sheshgelani. The clip centres around Elnaz’s interpretation of the poem used in this track, she interprets the words and meaning of the poem into a modern contemporary performance. I particularly enjoy the idea of an Iranian Woman blending Iranian movement with contemporary dance, in the setting of an inner-city Australian environment, there’s so many comparisons you can draw from that to the music itself.”
Even with a three-person line-up, MNMM establish themselves as masters of creating urgency, emotion and atmosphere in their music. The captivating mix of unfolding post-rock and unique, commanding vocals creates a left-of-centre challenge to traditional song structure, resulting in a refreshing take on the post-rock genre. From Pour’s coiling, dramatic vocals through to the hallmark guitar and drum-driven crescendos, MNNM’s self-titled record is inventive, dramatic and a pleasure from start to finish.
MNMM’s first single, This Song Is A Lie, is available to stream now via Bandcamp and all good streaming services.
Their self-titled record Minimum drops on 12 November, 2018.