2009 12 28
2009 12 02
TU M's highlights of 2009 at Blog.Crónica
2009 10 28
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on The Wire: “ The typically stark 12k artwork on this release carries a quote from Jean Cocteau:“ A poet always has too many words in his vocabulary, a painter too many colors on his palette, a musician too many notes on his keyboard." That observation doesn't really apply to the Italian duo Tu m', whose 'Monochrome' series – titled with synaesthetic accuracy – is profoundly minimal. The four tracks on this first volume are steady systoles and diastoles garlanded by flurries of static and wistful, entropic motifs; as simple and organic as the rising and falling of breath. Tu m's work has a cumulative impact, acquiring emotional force as the slow-motion magic of repetion takes hold; it's as assured as it is self-effacing and, ever so quietly, rather wonderful. ” — Chris Sharp
2009 10 26
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Paris Transatlantic Magazine: “ Over the past few years Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli, perched on their mountain top in Città Sant'Angelo, Pescara, Italy, have surveyed the landscape of contemporary electronica in all its diversity, swooping down like birds of prey into the fields of glitchy post-techno and dreamy J-pop to grab tasty morsels from the undergrowth. On Monochromes Vol. 1 they stick to the sky above in four spacious, contemplative tracks, characteristically elegant and polished, content to let their sounds fly like kites instead of chopping them up into bits and stitching them back together into amazing technicolor dreamcoats. The disc comes with a quotation from Jean Cocteau ("a poet has too many words in his vocabulary, / a painter too many colors on his palette, / a musician too many notes on his keyboard"), which might lead some folk to expect a move into Sachiko M less-is-more territory on the part of our Italian adventurers. Not at all - the music is as rich and colourful (I wonder about the album title though) as anything Tu m' have released in their career so far: it's just more leisurely and serene. Looking forward to Vol.2, lads. ” — Dan Warburton
2009 10 13
2009 10 09
The TU M's video The Way Up of 2006 will be presented at group exhibition Exhibition 2.10242009 – MVSEVM (Chicago, USA), from 24th October to 21th November 2009 – With: David Brooks, Joe Cruz, Chris Cuellar, Szu-Han Ho & Jesse Vogler, Gabe Martinez, Andrew Yang, Harley Young.
2009 09 27
2009 09 04
Monochromes Vol. 1 will feature an entire solo-broadcast on September 8th, 2009 at Folio, NPS Radio 6 (Dutch National Radio) – “ NPS Folio September 8th, 2009: TU M' Monochromes Vol. 1 (09/09/2009 from 00:02 – 01:00) – The best releases from the undertows of the electronica from splashing LabTubbers to TimeTickiking Turntabelists. Tonight only one release across the board: Monochromes Vol. 1 by TU M'. The Italian duo (named after the last painting by Marcel Duchamp) consists Emiliano Romanelli and Rossano Polidoro. And as is often, besides composers and founders of the MR.MUTT label these artsists are also active with video and installations. This CD is ambient result of the first, with beautifully drawn-out ‘modular electronic compositions for chamber ensemble’. This Folio is compiled by Arno Peeters. ”
2009 09 03
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Blow Up.: “ L'arte sublime del loop. Che ben conoscono e praticano i pescaresi TU M', qui al loro rientro dopo un lungo periodo di assenza discografica (ancor più notevole, considerati i prolifici standard del duo). Una programmatica raccolta di composizioni monocrome, tessiture dormienti, interminabili, smagliate fino all'inverosimile. Fluttuanti nella zona quieta del vuoto anecoico che contribuiscono a creare, palpitanti della stessa tremolante malinconia ambient dell'ultimo Stephan Mathieu. 8/10 ” — Nicola Catalano
2009 08 31
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on The Silent Ballet: “ Tu M's Monochromes Vol. 1 understands the virtue of stillness. From the cover onwards, this is a precisely elegant work, with the Italian duo jettisoning the edgy electronics that they were previously associated with in favour of gentle revelation. Releasing through a 12k-associated label and roping in Richard Chartier to design the artwork indicates that they are embracing the minimalist aesthetic even more than their earlier work. There is a reason for all of this, but let's get the obvious namecheck out of the way: Tu M' are not merely musicians, they are artists, and with their accompanying videos and diagrams that illustrate how Monochromes was produced (handily available on their website) it is almost as if they are playing up to comparisons with Brian Eno. But Eno hasn't produced an ambient album for at least a decade (some would argue he doesn't need to with the existence of Bloom as an iPod app), and Tu M' are, at the very least, worthy heirs – this is their Thursday Afternoon. One further connection between the two – Tu M' named themselves after Marcel Duchamp's final work and their label Mr Mutt in reference to the signatory on Duchamp's infamous Urinal, a work that Eno – presumably in a bid to reclaim it as a functional item – pissed in. But there is another artist that Tu M' reference on this work – Jean Cocteau's quote ‘A poet always has too many words in his vocabulary, a painter too many colours on his palette, a musician too many notes on his keyboard’. In response to this, Tu M' reduce the number of colours to one or two shades in their videos, and the quantity of notes in their improvisations. As they are operating via laptops, the issue of the keyboard is academic, as is the expansive vocabulary (as if to underline this, the track titles are merely Monochrome 01-04). The four tracks within last over an hour between them, gradually building up in such a delicate and subtle way that the density of the tracks can be quite surprising unless you're paying attention. The shortest piece omits the long build, but even that evolves and shifts in its duration – however it doesn't sit in quite so comfortably with the overall mood of the work, sounding more like a refugee from Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II. The other three pieces billow and waft about in a more minimal manner – perhaps the duo are sacrificing their own adventurous side in exchange for consistency of effect, for adherence to the concept, but as a whole it works. The final track takes up nearly half the album's running time, but doesn't dominate with its scale, gently ebbing away over the closing ten minutes as if to usher in silence. One of the videos for Monochromes shows an imperceptibly shifting landscape that seems to gradually change as mountain ridges rise and fall, developments so subtle that one doesn't notice it occurring at any one instant. It is a perfect illustration for the album – nothing happens, and yet everything happens. There's been no shortage of ambient records recently but Tu M' have put a lot of thought behind the Monochromes project and the result is one of the finest recent examples of an immersive piece, a tranquil auditory experience that will stay with the listener long after it is over." Score: 7.5/10 ” — Jeremy Bye
2009 08 25
Please, No images!
2009 08 18
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Brainwashed: “ Consistent with the 12k sublabel's aesthetic, Tu M' are a duo of multimedia artists that work not only in the realms of sound, but in the video arts as well. Monochrome is four long tracks of laptop improvisations, recorded live by the duo. The video accompaniment is available via their Web site, but is unnecessary to enjoy the music. The album lives up to its title and is an intentionally minimalistic piece of ambient sound. – The opening Monochrome #01 drifts glacially on gentle reverberated string tones. The tones are offset by some lower frequency bass pulses and what sounds like the occasional slow, quiet cracks in an arctic ice floe. There are the occasional moments of denser layered sound, but it stays mostly soft and melodic throughout. The change and variation is present, but it's not a dramatic shift at all, and it has a consistent feel from beginning to end. Monochrome #02 is even more stripped down then the first, a buried ambient melody far, far in the distance that slowly comes into focus, but never dominates or becomes forceful. Instead, the swirling notes are content to haunt in the background under a gauzy layer of sound, like a thick fog around the entire piece. Monochrome #03 is the shortest piece, clocking in at just over seven minutes. Unlike the prior two, it is a bit more forceful in its opening, with overt organ like notes swelling and then retreating like waves on a beach. There is less of a sense of sprawl here, as it feels more concise and rhythmic in its structure. The closing Monochrome #04 is nearly half of the album at almost 30 minutes. Dynamically, it follows the first two pieces more than the third, opening with almost pure silence, only the most miniscule tones lurk far off in the distance. The long, quiet opening resembles Bernhard Gunter's hyper-minimalistic compositions, but constructed with more melody and musicality rather than digital glitch fragments. Through the slow build, bass textures and reverberated space enter, the former like thunder far in the distance, but never really become loud. The sound begins to peel away about 2/3rds through the track, fading away into a glassy silence. There are some very beautiful sounds here, but Tu M' seem almost intentionally set on keeping them in the distant background rather than being a captivating force. Perhaps that is the intention all along, given that this is music intended for gallery installations. It is extremely difficult to listen to this while devoting full attention to the music. However, in the background while doing other activities, the frigid ambience seeps in subtly, but is not easily ignored. ” — Creaig Dunton
2009 08 02
TU M' | Chorale | (Temporarily Canceled)
2009 08 01
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Textura: “ The Jean Cocteau quotation accompanying Monochromes Vol. 1 – ‘A poet always has too many words in his vocabulary, a painter too many colors on his palette, a musician too many notes on his keyboard’ – speaks volumes about the refined, minimalist aesthetic Italian multimedia duo TU M' brings to its latest project. Armed with laptops and mixing boards, Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli recorded the release's four Monochromes live on June 11th and July 5th, 2008 at Vico Santa Chiara Studio in Città Sant'Angelo, Italy. As a project, Monochromes constitutes a collection of ‘modular audio and video compositions for electronic chamber ensemble,’ with this sixty-four-minute volume the first in a presumed series. Atmospheric, fragile, and anything but monochromatic, the material is ambient soundscaping of an exceptionally ravishing kind. In the first setting, a gently wavering melody cycles amidst a vaporous mass and muffled percussive accents; in the second, faint, flute-like tones gracefully unfurl like the slow lifting of a veil as a tonal cloud smeared with static swells in volume. In the see-sawing arrangement that follows, soft whistles alternate with lower-pitched exhalations. The least melodic and most reduced of the settings, the fourth Monochrome moves like an immense cloud formation across the sky for a full thirty minutes, with speckles of static and crackle popping alongside its billowing tonal mass. Unusual for a piece of this kind, a shift occurs two-thirds of the way through when the mass quietens, allowing celestial tones to assert themselves more audibly. As previously noted in the textura review of the duo's 2005 Dekorder release, Just One Night, Polidoro and Romanelli named themselves TU M' after the title of Marcel Duchamp's last painting and chose Mr. Mutt as the name for their CD-label in homage to the artist too (in 1917, Duchamp, under the name Richard Mutt, submitted his infamous urinal–known commonly as Fountain–as a sculpture in a New York exhibit). But, just as Just One Night evidences little in the way of dada-like mischief, so too is Monochromes Vol. 1 a wholly straight-faced collection . That it documents a more serious side of TU M' doesn't take anything away from the beauty of the recording's material. ”
2009 07 26
2009 07 24
The TU M's Visual Works will be presented at group exhibition Summertime – Warehouse Contemporary Art (Teramo, Italy), from 25 July to 12 September 2009 – With: Uiso Alemany, Marco Appicciafuoco, Adam Ball, Madeleine Berkhemer, Fieroza Doorsen, Matteo Fato, Don McCullin, Francesco Patriarca, Dan Perfect, Italo Rodomonti, Al Satterwhite, Junior Toscanelli, TU M', Jim Lee. Curated by Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi.
2009 07 13
New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on XLR8R: “ Italian multimedia duo TU M' issues the first volume of their Monochromes series and it comes off as quite a lengthy, yet celestial journey, stretching across miles upon miles of bone-chilling Arctic tundra as the haze of the golden sun dissolves into thick gray clouds. Composed of four mammoth tracks, the album mirrors the gauzy, droning placidity of William Basinski's works on The Disintegration Loops, arcing serene tones of ambient blur over a dusky mist and warping it ever so slightly into a loop. Every few measures, a faint ping will ricochet through the fog, like a rock skipping down the belly of a canyon–but prepare for mostly dim scenery. 7.5/10 ” — Chris Sabbath
2009 07 03
New Web Site – A Digital Archive of Musics, Videos, Images, Texts about TU M'.
2009 07 03
Album of the Week and New review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Boomkat: “ This disc represents the auditory component of a mixed media project from Italian duo Tu M', who describe Monochromes as ‘a collection of modular audio and video compositions’ which create sound and light vibrations that reverberate around the performance space, resulting in ‘an atmosphere to be contemplated’. This being an audio-only CD, Tu M' have in a sense shifted the goalposts somewhat, and the only clue to the visual element you have is the album sleeve, which lifts a still image from the project. Having listened through the disc, it's actually pretty difficult to imagine how any sort of corresponding video might enhance the experience. These compact, finely worked pieces construct an enveloping ambience in their own right. Monochrome 01 immediately provokes comparisons to William Basinski with its looped, heavily enshrouded loops and ghostly piano gestures, but there's a more digital, less gritty feel to this album that sets it apart from that oft-copied sound. Next comes Monochrome 02, which is far less concerned with constructing any explicit melodic presence, instead content to cast sonic shadows for twelve minutes or so – it's all characterised by a disconcerting intangibility, vaporous and strangely... absent in tone. More overtly musical is the shortest entry here, Monochrome 03, which unfurls chords that gently swell and fall away like a distant orchestra, only for the final piece to present a more solid block of sound, casting a veil of digital smudges over your ears for a hypnotic half-hour. Abstract and immersive listening from the reassuringly challenging Line stable. ” — Boomkat
2009 06 16
First review for Monochromes Vol. 1 on Vital Weekly: “ You can't say, not anymore at least, that Tu M' are overproductive. In their early years they had a whole bunch releases (on labels as Headz, Fallt, ERS and Phthalo) but its been a while since I last heard their music. I am not sure how they arrived from the last point to this new point, but the four pieces – ranging from seven to thirty minutes) are fine examples of monochrome sounds. Highly atmospheric, deep, ambient, a bit hissy. Just a simple set of loops set forward to play music. Not unlike the recent Celer or the elsewhere reviewed Yui Onodera & The Beautiful Schizophonic, but Tu M' seems to play even longer and more stretched. Ambient music with the big A of course. If Brian Eno has artistic children then their names are Tu M'. Here too, nothing new under the sun, but its great late night music. ” — FdW
2009 06 10
2009 06 07
To receive latest news from TU M', please join the new mailing list.
2009 06 04
2009 05 13
TU M' | Monochromes Vol. 1 – The first collection of recordings of compositions for electronic chamber ensemble: MC # 01, MC # 02, MC # 03, MC # 04, will be released on CD by LINE (USA), in June 2009.
2009 05 11
2009 05 08
2009 03 27
It's available the Monochromes | Technical Rider – for Audio & Video Live Performances.
2009 03 25
“ Tu m's wonderfully abstract instrumental Wind In The Forest, which surely stands among the Italian avant-garde-ists' most accessible work. ” (Boomkat.com) – Composition available on the Nocturne compilation (Book + CD), released by Persistencebit Records (Italy).
2009 02 09
2009 02 03
A new review for Is That You? on 5 against 4: “ It was Crónica that introduced me to the Italian multimedia duo Tu M' who, early this year, released a free EP entitled Is That You?, which quickly became–& remains–one of my favourite releases of 2008. It comprises three tracks, one for each word of that title, exploring markedly different sonic environments. The laptop–rapidly becoming (at least, ostensibly) a sine qua non for the budding composer–is the instrument of choice for Tu M', but this is very far from obvious in the opening track, Is. It's an organic, woody composition, with clarinets & marimba pervading most clearly through the warm fog that drifts stodgily for its 5-minute duration. Tu M' have struck a critical balance here; the sounds are obviously treated & manipulated, but at no point lose that essential quality that betrays a raw acoustic origin. It's beautiful & tragic, a dirge-like procession that is as moving as it is striking. The longest track, That, occupies a more luminous landscape, spinning & pulsating with heavy radiance. Pulses, yes, but not a pulse, as such; the object at the aural centre floats tantalisingly free from any trace of rhythm, couched in the kind of soft ambient washes that, in lesser hands, become mere mush. It's an exquisite ambient creation, static & yet always shifting & evolving, hovering around the listener, by turns sitting quietly & looming large. You? is something of a counterpart to the opening track, although here dirge has turned to majesty, tears have yielded to a smile, its slow chord progressions sounding like a chorale intoned on deep brass. Although voluminous, the 7 minutes of velvet richness have a lightness that's difficult to pinpoint, but is clearly evident; maybe it's the brightness of the cadence that begins each repetition, perhaps the impossibly slow crescendo–whatever, it is a ravishingly, emotionally laden valediction to a really excellent little EP. i cannot recommend this release highly enough. My average rating: 5/5. ”
2009 01 28
2009 01 20
2009 01 09
The TU M's composition Wind In The Forest of 2006, it's available on the Nocturne compilation (Book + CD), released by Persistencebit Records (Italy) – with photographs by Francesco Brunotti and soundtracks by Byla, Martux, Retina.It, Populous, Pleo, Scanner, Wang Inc, Ether and TU M'.
2009 01 01
“ Through a personal use of digital and analog instruments, the TU M' reveal a complex universe made up of present and past, closeness and distance, where seeing and listening become a meditative contemplation. ” from the Biography Page.