Friends of the random summer usually rode bicycles and solved
mysteries. Now they sat in the library with stacks of old records
they listined on a gramophone. most of the records
stored the sound of people speaking. some the sound of birds singing.
This library was the saddest place. The friends went outside. Yesterday
had been dramtic. but today was going to be ok.
Do you remember waking up in the morning when you were nine years old? Sleepily shuffling downstairs for pancakes lathered with syrup flopped on your plate by mom in her night-robe, hair all frayed and kindly smiling? Do you remember running outside, into the summer sun, meeting up with friends and exploring a world more expansive and fantastic than anyone but children can create? Chasing your shadows in the daylight that never seemed to end, but faded away far too quickly?
This album will bring it back for you.
The unique qualities of the IDM subset of techno lend it well to recreating child-like or innocent soundscapes, with light, airy clicks, simple melodies, gently manipulated samples and a propensity to fill space until you can barely imagine anything else fitting in among all the dancing sounds. No one does this better than múm, the Icelandic quartet that has been one of the posterchildren for the musical genre.
The key to what makes Yesterday was Dramatic, Today is OK such a fantastic album is its embrace of both the simple and the complex. Every sample, acoustic instrument, melody, and even brief vocal samples from the angelic twin girls who form half of the band are stripped to their absolute bare bones, the core of what makes them catchy and appealing. Yet, taken all together, these elements weave an extremely complex rythmic pattern, fading in and out, complimenting and contrasting one another, stuttering and jumping ahead suddenly to constantly keep your attention. It makes the music immediately approachable (that can't be said for much of IDM), yet extremely hard to pin down.
The first of múm's albums, there are some notable distinctions between this and their next excellent album, Finally we are no one. They give much greater prominence to the click-clack of their samples, regaling acoustic samples further to the background than in FWANO. There are fewer contributions from Gyða and Kristín, their only notable appearences on There is a Number of Small Things and The Ballad of the Broken Birdie Records. Neither of these qualities detract from the album in my opinion, merely giving it a different, more innocent sound than it's sister (which makes sense, considering the divergent themes of the two albums. Yesterday was Dramatic, Today is Ok shows the life of a child. Finally we are no one shows the death of a child), but if you particularly enjoyed the acoustic bits and vocals of Finally we are no one on tracks like green grass of tunnel or i can't feel my hand any more, it's alright, sleep still, you should be warned that there are less of those moments here.
1. i'm 9 today
2. smell memory
3. there is a number of small things
4. random summer
5. asleep on a train
6. awake on a train
7. the ballad of the broken birdie records
8. the ballad of the broken string
9. sunday night just keeps on rolling
10. slow bicycle