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Pop Involved [Ver. 3.0]

  • Artist: TU M'
  • Title: Pop Involved [Ver. 3.0]
  • Label: Fällt (UK)
  • Release: 2004
  • Format: CD (DL)
  • Edition: 500 (out of print)
  • Lenght: 51:03
  • 01 Wake Up 4:26
  • 02 The Mouse House 3:55
  • 03 What? 4:46
  • 04 The End Of The Summer 5:01
  • 05 Something Sweet In The Coffee 5:16
  • 06 Plum Cake 3:19
  • 07 What Time Is It 3:51
  • 08 To Loaf 3:19
  • 09 Nervous Breakdown 2:11
  • 10 Untitled 2:56
  • 11 Humans' Voices 2:44
  • 12 I Can't Get Started 3:09
  • 13 Our Stupid Computer 1:29
  • 14 Mezzo Forte 4:49 / download

All compositions by Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli. Recorded in 2002/2003.

Mastering: TU M'
Cover design: Fehler / Alorenz

Pop Involved [Version 3.0], as its title suggests, followed an iterative development path. The third version in a series of upgrades that unfolded since late 2002, it collects fourteen tracks which chart “ the liquid borders between electronica, improv and Duchampian readymades. ” In the words of Dan Warburton (The Wire) it demonstrates that while “ playing good melodies can be as difficult as showing off your avant garde chops… ” Pop Involved successfully manages to do both. — Fällt, Press Release


Ever inventive and stylish in theri modes of production, Northern Ireland's Fällt label have moved on from their Invalid Object Series of downloadable MP3s to a new project entitled Ferric – a numbered edition of burn-to-order CDs (representing a teasing conjunction on the exclusive and the disposable) packaged in large jewel cases with the usual attractive minimalist design – in this case, the catalogue number is represented in data code in the bottom half of the cover. The second release in the series features Italian duo Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli as Tu m' – the name is taken from a 1918 mixed media work by Marcel Duchamp in which oil and pencil desins of a bycicle wheel mingle with a bottle brush, and a slash in the canvas is held together with safety pins. A similar delight in aesthetic disparities drives these short sonic vignettes, in which plucked and strummed acoustic guitar integrates with the quavering, bubbling misfocus of digital sound, making it difficult to tell harmonic overtones and string rasps apart from feedback and glitch. The music isn't groove – or beat – driven, but builds around juddering partial drives, looped and loosely asembled motifs, that interlace with and invade the casual instrumental patterns. On ‘Something Sweet In The Coffee’, a fingered guitar riff ripples out into odd ringing tones and pulsating synthetic textures with more than a nod to the hazy kaleidoscopic ambiance of John Martyn's Echoplex technique. Elsewhere an accordion seems caught in unclean doodles of sound – flicks and pocks which fold into the mix without displacing the organic flute tones, Later tracks develop a more restless and abrasive feel, culminating in the overblown and distorted drone of ‘Mezzo Forte’. There are even milling and rotating patterns of sound recalling Duchamp's Rotoreliefs, and yet Tu m' use disparity for ingenious atmospherics rather than shock. If this is abstract music, it's also complex and scenic – flickering arpeggiated currents tend to feed into more amiable banks of texture and colour. — Matt Ffytche, The Wire

Simply can't hold back how insanely good this is. ‘Structural faults are good starting points for our pieces – finding an 'error' in a loop or in a track is a wonderful surprise, and that error becomes a source for our ideas.’ As part of Ferric, the limited edition burn-to-order series from Ireland's Fallt. This is a smart introduction to Tu m'. The Italian duo of Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli eek out fourteen vignettes in playful, melodic exploration. Fusing glitch, toybox and muffled lo-fi recordings into a piece of work almost bursting with colour and geography. At length: the frazzled, intense pixel wash of 'Mezzo Forte'. Zestful, almost fruity bubble on 'The End of the Summer'. The creaking, eerie glacial collapse that forms the backbone to 'Untitled' and overwhelming beauty of 'Something Sweet in the Coffee'. In short: fucking amazing. — Failme.net

Italian duo Tu m' – Rosano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli, whose name is taken from the last painting by Marcel Duchamp in 1918, have an extensive background with releases on their own labels, others and at least one colourful website which offers up their and others material in mp3 format. they have recently formed a group, 'Steno', with Frank Metzger (ex Oval), work as video artists and run another label–Mr Mutt–which released a sound piece that Robin Rimbaud was commissioned to produce for the 52nd year of the Prix Italia, the oldest and most prestigious international radio, television and web competition: categories are drama, documentaries, ‘performing arts’/television and music/radio. Wake Up (1) yields sparkly jittery datafunk glitch melodious folk acrobatic musical martial arts. it reminds me of fridge here and there owing to the acoustic guitar blips and harmonics: briefly dubby also in a guttural kind of way However The Mouse House (2) and What? (3) are glitchy, noodly and like electronic junk food: quicktime groovy flavours and bizarre shunt and push rhythms which are quite claustrophobic in their own way, before gradually going into a Hal style breakdown before resuming the gristly journey once more. heinous and appalling sonic junk food. The End of the Summer (4) and Something Sweet in the Coffee (5) kick in, acoustic glitch folk with violin (5): otherworldly. by Plum Cake (6) Tu m' are cooking, if you'll forgive the phrase, pushing up raw mouse on mars style jams, a bit dub, very indie. What Time Is It? (7) gets more mischievous: i think using a melody from an Intel? advert, clipped guitar and other samples deployed rhythmically to animated effect. To Loaf (8) and Nervous Breakdown (9) are glitchy scattery things: Untitled (10) drops into something more charged and open, percussive clicks pulsing through space later also occupied by seismic drones gradually coming into time with the clicks, only to fall away into the nothingness. More lateral emissions and glitched jazz guitar jamming with trumpet? issue later, on Our Stupid Computer (13) in particular, the duet sustained erratically for over a minute, the guitar occasionally folding over itself impossibly in cutup funk pulsations. Mezzo /Forte (14), the closing track deploys raw tones and frequencies of an Ovalesque stark beauty. — Ben Guiver, Dogmanet.org

Tu m' are an Italian duo who take their moniker from Duchamp's final painting which depicts amongst other things, a pointing finger and a bicycle wheel. The image's Dadaist humorousness finds its analogue in the work of Tu m'. Wake Up unites plucked acoustic guitar with gurgling electronics into a busy current of music which it's possible to either be pulled along by or perhaps electrocuted. The guitar and what sounds like a wheezy harmonium played backwards contribute to an impression of technologised folk which makes surprisingly engaging sense. What? sounds like Trumpton's factory is working overtime and not being very happy about it at all. In fact it seems that the production line keeps tripping over itself and threatening to break down. It's abrasive and higgledy-piggledy and not something to be put on as background music: like a few other tracks here, if such a listening mode is attempted a headache may be the unwelcome result. The End Of Summer is warm and slithery, borne on slurred drums and elastic pings (perhaps the sound of tent pegs pounded by rubber mallets?) It's nostalgic and entirely appropriately titled. Something Sweet In The Coffee reprises the acoustic guitar and mixes it with needlesharp percussion and a sawing viola, or similar. The outcome is reflective, slightly trippy and carries an undertow of unease –cyanide doesn't taste sweet, but something of its ilk surely does. Plum Cake continues the practice of enjoyably domesticated titles (a relief after far too many sub-Autechre namings by other groups), but doesn't live up to its name – unless that's the sound of beetle mandibles chomping on said cake. What Time Is It is all brightly-lit pink perspex, like the innards of a Barbie Swatch watch keeping imperfect time. Humans' Voices is peopled by a husky vocoder serenaded by a chilly descending line. The album closes with the burbling warmth of Mezzo Forte whose instruction is adhered to for all of half a minute before it's swamped by noisy humming – one last interjection of humour. A constant throughout Pop Involved is a sense of mischievious playfulness, a cheeky, likeable humanity – titles such as Our Stupid Computer and I Can't Get Started underline this observation. Pop Involved is highly recommended for fans of the interaction of dysfunctional electronica and acoustic instrumentation – the first fellow practitioner which springs to mind? Matmos. — Colin Buttimer, Themilkfactory.co.uk

Fällt continues its line of distinctive releases with Pop Involved (Version 3.0), the second in its burn-to-order 'Ferric' Series, by Italian duo tu m' (Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli, whose moniker originated from Marcel Duchamp's 1918 painting). The association with the French dadaist isn't immaterial as the group's songs have a ready-made, collage-oriented feel to them, and, much like Duchamp's works, tu m' treats traditional materials in post-modern fashion. And, true to dada form, the group embraces the glitch as a key element in its music-making process, as the 'error' is regarded as a fortuitous means by which to pursue unforeseen pathways in their music. The music resembles what a slightly more sedate Mouse On Mars might have sounded like had the group discarded beats and taken a more eccentric, even hermetic path. The fourteen songs are eccentric pop miniatures that exude a Sonig-like spirit of lo-fi tomfoolery. Some tracks sound as if they originated as conventional tunes but were then digitally shredded into mutated fragments that could only be re-assembled into cubistic semblances of the originals. ‘Wake Up,’ for instance, begins with straightforward acoustic guitars but they're abruptly ambushed by digital processing; throughout the track, one hears the distant strains of a back porch folk song struggling to surface through the song's dense, glitchy layers; ‘Something Sweet In The Coffee’ similarly runs its acoustic guitar duet through a glitchy blender. ‘What?’ and ‘I Can't Get Started’ demonstrate tu m''s penchant for MOM mechano-rhythms, while the clicks and whirrs and playful handling of traditional instruments on ‘What Time Is It?’ suggest another MOM connection. In other songs, one hears the chatter of mice within some cramped hole (‘The Mouse House’) and fuzzy, chiming waves that suggest some bastardized take on Steve Reich (‘Mezzo Forte’). As ballast for such strange fare, tu m' include two lovely episodes, ‘The End Of The Summer,’ a becalmed oasis of wave-like shimmer, and ‘Untitled,’ all sparkling showers of crackle and thrum. Aside from the music, the release is notable in other respects too. The disc comes in a customized, large-format jewel case and, secondly, as its title indicates, it's actually the third version of the release, with the preceding two having appeared during the past two years. This latest upgrade features some different songs and altered sequencing compared to its predecessors, so the differences aren't merely incidental. The presentation of Pop Involved (Version 3.0) may be tasteful and sober but there's an infectious joie de vivre in the dada-like music inside that's certain to charm even the most inveterate listener. — Absorb Magazine

Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli take the name Tu m' from Marcel Duchamp's last painting. Of course, Duchamp is one of the true visionaries of modern art—and that includes music (a collection of Duchamp musical pieces is available via Sub Rosa). So there are ample reasons for these two Italians to pay homage to Duchamp's legacy, not only by using his name, but by creating music that embodies his desire to push his audiences to reconsider not only what art is but what life is as well. That's what these two Italians are doing on Pop Involved [Version 3.0], released as part of Fällt's "Ferric" series. As far as I can tell, they are using many of the same ideas, sounds, and techniques currently in vogue in the electronic music world (glitches, fusion of acoustic instruments with digital processing). However, they manage (like Duchamp did 80+ years ago) to take these common elements and create something fresh, interesting, surprising, funny, and entertaining out of them. The work begins with an acoustic guitar playing a soft, repeating melody that quickly merges with what sounds like a static-filled recreation of that melody. But the guitar remains throughout, repeating that first, simple melody over and over again, while the digital noise blows up and expands and does all sorts of other, weird things. It's a song of contrast—silence with chaos, calm with confusion. It's an interesting way to begin a disk, and, structurally at least, it's representative of the other works. That is, most of the works combine opposing forces: simple sounds or simple melodies that either are fused with more complicated doppelgangers or slowly build into bigger, louder, more confusing versions of the original melody. And this repetition would be a problem (would become boring) if each of the individual songs didn't sound so fundamentally different from one another. In some ways, what Tu m' has created here is nothing short of a lexicon of electronic music, only a lexicon that has been culled and arranged to suit its own, unusual aesthetic. "The End of the Summer," for example, sounds like the remnants of one of the softer moments on Fennesz's Endless Summer, repeated over and over, growing more distorted with each repetition. By contrast, "What Time Is It?" sounds like an early ISAN track, with the repetition growing from a simple alarm clock melody, adding acoustic piano, guitar, digital noise, and other fun tidbits to create something that, while still retaining the original melody, is beyond chaotic by the end. And then there's "I Can't Get Started," which sounds like the beginnings of some Radian or other Mego artist's industrial electronic enterprise, only in these Italian hands, the industrial sounds are not ground into noise or meat but taken apart, stripped and rearranged as digital melodies and rather odd trombone solos that grow and mutate and expand in unusual, entertaining ways. And that's really the key to this group's work: entertainment. Even when their music is at its most obscure or dissonant, it's always centered on a melody, there's always a hint of humor in the choice of sounds, and there's always something unexpected lurking around. Duchamp would be proud. — Michael Heumann, Stylus Magazine

Those who already own Tu m's Pop Involved, which Fällt released back in 2002, might be tempted to pass over Pop Involved [Version 3.0], thinking it's ‘just another remix album’ (the fact that the new version has the same index number doesn't help matters), but if you do you're making a mistake. Only a few of the tracks are common to both discs, and even pieces that appear to be the same (i.e. have the same title), aren't. Comparing the two versions is a fascinating exercise, and reveals how far Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli's elegant glitch laptoppery has evolved over the intervening two years. The juxtaposition of treated and untreated instrumental source sounds – frequently bright acoustic guitars, bathing the album in a Mediterranean sunlight –throws up some ravishing sonorities and fascinating perspectives. It's also less overtly ‘poppy’ than its predecessor: in fact, things can and do get deliciously weird, notably on ‘Humans' Voices’, ‘Nilo’ and ‘The Mouse House’, which sounds like a Fennesz remix of Sun Ra. — Dan Warburton, Paristransatlantic.com

It's been a while since I last heard some music by Tu M', the Italian duo of Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli. Much of their previous releases were alright, but there was always something missing, or rather: not every track was as strong. Each of the works had hit or miss character. I can't say that has changed in the time that I didn't hear their music but the majority of the fourteen tracks found on this CDR is quite enjoyable. More than before Tu M' seem to take their inspiration from popmusic, with sliced up parts of guitar playing and it is processed with all the usual laptop technqiues. Also more than before the balance between these two different sources is much better. But as so many with Tu M' releases that I heard there are some very nice tracks in here, but also some that I think would have been left off, like 'Plum Cake' or 'What Time Is It?'. Maybe the release would have been too short, but it could have captured one's attention throughout. — Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

It is a very strong record in terms of both structure and sonics, possessing a warm tension between the ‘played’ and the ‘processed’. — James Elliott and David Daniell, Antiopic Records

Uscita in CDR ma di gran lusso – confezione ‘larga’ da DVD e stampa praticamente perfetta anche la nuova di Rossano Polidoro e Emiliano Romanelli aka Tu m', duo attivo da anni e con diversi CD accolti con favore anche su queste pagine. La terza versione di ‘Pop Involved’, per diretta ammissione degli interessati, ‘investiga semplecemente il piacere della melodia’; se applicato alle glitch-microwave-improvvisazioni tipiche della coppia, il concetto porta dritti verso i Books, ai due dischi dei quali la musica rimanda immediatamente. Ma questo giusto per far capire che tipo di suono sia quello contenuto nel CD, dacchè le differenze restano sostanziali. Innanzi tutto in luogo del bluegrass e contry folk qui trovate chitarre acustiche – e/o altri strumenti a corda – che giocano e filtrano melodie meno antiche e più europee, se è possibile azzardare distinzioni così speciose. Poi il modo con cui i Tu m' affrontano la materia glitch-pop è più disinvolta e disinibilta, i due toccano temi a più ampio respiro, si allargano anche verso ipotesi ambient, minimal-techno e ‘pure-pop’ aggiungendo, in definitiva, colori più vividi e frizzanti. Il risultato non è mai di maniera, nonostante la consuetudine con cui materiali simili sono stati pubblicati negli ultimi anni, e proprio perchè il linguaggio usato è così vario da impedire la minima pausa. La frenetica ‘Wake Up’ e ‘The Mouse House’ (dalle parti dei primi Dat Politics) aprono al meglio il CD ma il bello arriva col dialogo in punta di jazzettino ‘What Time Is It ?’ con la nervosa (...) ‘Nervous Breackdown’ e con ‘I Can't Get Started’, piccolo miracolo di breackbeat subliminale. 7/8 — Stefano Isidoro Bianchi, Blow Up

...ancora chitarre, ma non solo, nel nuovo album dei nostrani Tu m' per l'Irlandese Ferric. Come suggerisce il titolo ‘Pop Involved’, si tratta di una vera e propria svolta per il duo pescarese ormai sempre più interessato ad agire sulla forma della pop music, lavorandola come un pezzo d'argilla o una pagnotta da infornare. Per sua natura frammentata e frammentaria, la raccolta allinea una serie di materiali dall'andamento stranito e ciancicante, fratture del senso narrativo con Fennesz, Akiyama e Willits quali riferimenti più prossimi. — Nicola Catalano, Rumore

TU M' | Pop Involved (Version 1.0) | Fällt/Ferric

Italian sound artists tu m' are up to something. Something quite clever indeed. This full-length disc incorporates 14 tracks, all quite plotted and somehow free sounding. These somewhat prolific artists have been known to dabble in single sound sources like glass, though here they take their blend of microelectronics to a much layered place, sounds of comic industry, airy blips and incidental beats. This release just plain floats and drifts at times and then uses a series of complex manipulated filters and gadgets to create unique atmospheres that do not rip off other like-minded artists – this is a dedicated new voice on the horizon. There is a wise blend of trad-Japanese strings that get channeled into the glitch in a 'look mom no hands' way. Sounds like a harmonium in an opium den. There are some fleeting circus antics and other alternate effects and maybe even some artificial intelligence. This is evolved sound for the post Logan's Run generation, like the way we once envisioned things that became, say, the microwave oven, the G4Cube or even the Segue. The whirring zip of choppy resonant bursts pave the way for a brighter patterned repetitive mix. The closing track, with its dizzying Steve Reich-like delay/repeat, leaves the listener wondering about a sequel. Fallt is building a curio cabinet of curated sound, a finer selection for those with advanced aural taste in those things which are minute and sculpted, finite and organic, digital and informed. Pop Involved is one of those rare limited edition releases that is a must for any fan of Daniel Menche to Goem to Zoviet France to Kim Cascone. — TJ Norris, Vital Weekly

Pop Involved, for the Fällt imprint label Ferric, sets out to explore pop structures and themes, without sounding very much like a pop record in the end. Perhaps the pop comes from the sound sources, as these tracks seem to explore a greater variety of instrumentation than heard on previous tu m' releases. Heavy on loop structures, ever changing, evolving and constantly introducing new elements, these pieces are complex arrangements of a very diverse set of samples and sounds. Remnants of vocals and diverse instrumentations (strings, piano, guitar etc.), nearly unrecognizable in their fiercely edited state, appear throughout these tracks, which move from quiet, meditative environments (the beautiful, circular processing of strings in track 5; the mellow, gently pulsing tones of track 12) to more frantic digital behaviours (the unstoppable vocal cutups of tracks 2 and 9) and all those challenging places in between. Perhaps tu m' have deconstructed then reconstructed some of their favourite pop songs for this release? There are some truly outstanding pieces here; not your usual laptop fare, and certainly not your usual pop record either. Recommended. — Richard Di Santo, Incursion

Egy megjelenés elott álló lemez, melyet az ír Fällt kiadó fog hamarosan megjelentetni Ferric névre keresztelt sorozatában. A lemez címe már mindent elárul. Ha a 'Nine Songs' és különösen a 'Domenica/Novembre' albumuk meg is mutatott valamit (nagyon is sokat) a könnyedebb hangzások, mufajok iránti elkötelezettségükbol, akkor itt ebbol a – saját mércéjükkel mérve – punkosan rövidre vágott darabokból álló, 14 tételes lemezbol egy biztosan leszurheto: gyermekien vonzódnak a ’nyilvánvaló’ szépséghez, a dallamok világához. A gyermeki hozzáállás egyrészt azt hozza ki belolük, hogy látszólag túlzásba viszik az apró dallamocskákkal való foglalatoskodást, játszadozást (pláne a velük eltöltött idot), másrészt leleplezo erejük is magától értetodové válik. Ha azt mondom infantilizmus, csak jóra gondolok. Zakatolás Disneylandben, egy flash sorozat síró macik és gagyogó babák országában. Rácsodálkozás, de megkockáztatom, talán még tisztelgés is ez a popzene elott. No nem úgy ahogy gondolnánk, például egy ’tribute to...’ album formájában. Csak úgy szépen szerényen, saját vérmérsékletükhöz illoen. A pop és a belole átmentett igazi ártatlanság és báj, ami a legszembetunobb. Letisztult megoldások, minimális laptop virtuozitás, ez az, ami szerintük a feldobott témához dukál. S ha valamilyen lunaparki melódiát mégis a saját improvizatív mentalitásukkal kísérnek, akkor azt is úgy teszik, hogy azzal szinte kánonban ’énekelnek’. Kitartóan el tudnak bíbelodni egy egyszeru dallamfoszlány módszeres szétfabrikálásával és összerakásával. Mintha csak a választ keresnék arra, mi muködteti a popzenét. Úgy vélik, hogy erre választ kaphatnak. Persze azért ok sem hülyék, csacska szerzeményeik közértheto szövetébe módszeresen csempészik be azokat az apró nüanszokat, melyek nélkül nem is éreznék jól magukat. Szóval a popularitás kézenfekvo lehetosége ott van, az hogy abból a végére mondjuk egy repetitív darab, vagy egy digitális majális születik, az már az o döntésük. — Farkas Zsolt Géza, Ultrasound