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MUGU GUYMEN "Interstellar Thief Thief"

March 24, 2008 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

The Mugu Guymen are a noise-rock duo who may or may not actually be from Nigeria. (If you’re curious about the origin of the band name, see this Wikipedia article.) Here are the facts I can give you though: They use contact miked drums and drum-triggered sounds run through effects, as well as some mangled guitar and hollered vocals to create some high-energy, chaotic noise-rock.

The drums are usually either pounding out rock beats or building up to that point, and the noises are largely harsh, swirling analog sounds with laser sounds well-represented. As you might guess because of the similar methods used, this probably comes closest in sound to Mindflayer, although the Mugu Guymen sound is much more varied. You might call this psychedelic, although definitely not “nice psychedelic.” The fact that it’s improvised and the techniques in use are quite literally experimental means you get moments that were probably just as much a surprise to the band as to the listener. During one song there is a sudden surge in guitar volume and a totally evil crashing sound washes over everything. I’m guessing it was a fluke but it sounds perfect at the same time.

This tape is full of those kinds of moments. It must be some combination of genius, dumb luck, and smart track editing. There are 4 tracks on side 1, which are all pretty hard-hitting, then one long track on side 2 which gives you some slightly more low-key moments in between the cacophonous moments and also provides more evidence for the “genius” assessment since it’s consistently awesome. Some really funny stereo things happen on side 2 also which might make you wonder if your tape deck is chewing up your tape. If you hear something like that, don’t take a chance, make sure your tape is okay! You’ll want to give this one some repeat listens.

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