“Heat the Silent” by Mumex Duo Details matter, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, and if you needed a jazz duo to remind you as much this fall season, Mumex Duo is here to answer the call. In their new album, the illuminating Heat the Silent, Mumex Duo are putting intricacies into even the simplest of tracks, such as the heartfelt experimentations “Thelonious,” “Beyond the Eighth Door,” “Variations on Estate,” and “Heat the Silent,” in addition to three other songs of note, and while you could make a case that they’re taking things a little further than they have to in terms of meticulousness, that could be the best element of this record’s appeal.
The structure of the music matches up with the depth of the melodicism excellently in songs like “When All the People Are Sleeping” and the somewhat elaborate “Beyond the Eighth Door,” and I would even say that had these artists not incorporated the delicate touch they do for the better part of this tracklist, the material wouldn’t sound as accessible as it does in this scenario. It’s clear that Mumex Duo takes harmonies a little more seriously than most, and despite their ultra-focused technique they never sound like they’re getting hung up on formula more than they are on a fluid song structure. Heat the Silent features plenty of provocative beats, particularly in moments like the title track, “Joe’s Island,” “Variations on Estate,” and the rollicking “Thelonious.” The grooves in these tracks are never implied but instead made from a collective force that doesn’t always include a heady presence of drums, which is telling of the physicality that Mumex Duo can muster up when they need to.
The punch of the melodic play alone is enough to get us to where we need to be in any given instance here, so why dilute the finished product with a lot of excesses we don’t need? Beyond the instrumentation and the execution these guys are providing us in every performance included in this disc, the master mix is pretty well balanced and doesn’t Bogart the spotlight for any one specific element over another, which is always a positive in my book. There are occasions in which the lion’s share of the charisma is coming off of the chemistry as opposed to the glow of the play, but this doesn’t water down the narrative of any songs or the album as a complete piece at all - it does the complete opposite if you ask me.
If you weren’t already a fan of Mumex Duo before sitting down to hear what they can do in this latest record, something tells me that the music of Heat the Silent will have you considering their skillset a lot more in the future. This is a good time to be into new jazz, and before I came across this act, I was starting to think hybrid players were the only ones taking up the aesthetical mantle. These two prove otherwise and offer as pure a listen in Heat the Silent as I could hope to get my hands on right now.
Massapequa, New York