In The Mix: Royal T and Múm Strike the Soul

Royal T Leeds DJ Set at the Boiler Room: Royal T starts his Boiler Room set off right; a pulsing house beat with soft, yet penetrating raps quickly transform into a techno-house dance track. Although the crowd appears confused and unsure how to dance to Royal T’s mixing, once the set really begins at four minutes in, the crowd and vibrations follow T's direction.

After the DJ is interrupted with a shot of tequila, he re-vamps his mix by starting with a soothing female vocal then silences that track and allows his talents to really shine. Right at this moment, the Royal T alters everyone’s already high expectations, with “Das Low-key.”

Halfway through the set, the tempo is turnt, and the crowd really wakes up in eagerness. The DJ produces such great sound, such sticky beats that wrap you up and take hold (no lyrics needed). T lets his tracks ride out for a while, but never fails to add just enough, and not too much.

Royal T has that music that actually makes you move. This is wildly clear as he approaches 20 minutes into his set and the Boiler Room turns into an absolute rave – all under T’s name. Sirens slow down the party just to turn it back up again (now with a heavy electronic beat). With that escalation, he circles back to the hard house beat he was mastering and creates an electronic house beat using the same sirens and light womps.  

The final three minutes encapsulate everything he so cohesively presented us with at the Boiler Room. It is no secret Royal T has a good ear with pure talent in mixing and creating. The DJ so easily made the 30-minute set memorable as his own. Alike Múm, you can tell DJ Royal T cares for the feeling his music brings, not necessarily the likability of his sound or the popularity that comes with his name.

Múm – Finally We Are No One: Múm, a talented and divergent group from Iceland, quickly gained attention with their early anomalously intriguing work from 1999 to 2001. The band became popular internationally along with the Icelandic group Sigur Ros. People were expecting to find a similar melody-rich specialty in Múm that existed in Sigur Ros. However, people were far from disappointed to hear that Múm had an entirely different and unpredictable sound, while always remaining very atmospheric.

In 2002, the band released "Finally We Are No One," their second album release that gives us a great lead on who Múm is and where they can take us. The eccentric record starts with the relaxing "Sleep/Swim" interlude, into the riveting "Green Grass of Tunnel." With a twinkling, luminous beginning, the track picks up with the help of the guitar, synthesizer, violin and more. Sounds of percussion filter the beautiful tune, and it feels like the perfect soundtrack for a contemplative car ride. The added whispering vocal at the end only makes the tune more peaceful.

One notable thing about Múm is their technique in letting the music play by itself for at least 30 seconds before one of them will add their vocal. This lets us really process the music; and whether or not a vocal is added, we’re ready for it. "Now There’s That Fear Again," pushes to a more contemporary sound, again adding a light, feminine vocal. Melodies are incredibly soothing with natural beat made of claps, clicks and snaps.

"Finally We Are No One" proved the talent and wonder that existed in this group to combine electronics and computerized producing with genuine instruments. The technique used throughout the record is gracefully played out in the omniscient and reminiscent song "K/half Noise." Múm successfully produces an electronic orchestra that is able evoke such feeling and thought in listeners.

During "We Have a Map of the Piano," you can’t miss the scratchy radio bytes added to the rusted natural effect Múm was trying to achieve. One of the few songs on this record with a piano tune, the track also features a lovely accordion solo. Electronic horns permeate during the final two minutes, achieving a more psychedelic vibe. Another song on the album with a memorable accordion tune, is "I Can’t Feel My Hand Anymore, It’s Alright, Sleep Tight." The track identifies as another electronic orchestra that fills and builds in a patient and relaxed way.

The psychedelic sound is carried right into "Don’t Be Afraid, You Just Got Your Eyes Closed," a crescendoing electronic pilgrimage with no destination. The driving beat under the high-pitched xylophone intensifies and expands throughout into an ending that again, incorporates a horn section. The tune lead by the trumpet is strategically interrupted and completed by distracting computer/copier noises.

Diverting to a different vibe with an ever-stimulating glow, it sounds alike an underwater dream in the "Faraway Swimmingpool." The title track "Finally We Are No One," has a driving tempo made up of maracas and that gently glide beneath the pretty piano/trumpet tune. Layers of warm sound swallow you up in "The Land Between Solar Systems," the most interesting escapade of them all to end the record.