Numün – Voyage au soleil (Musique Impossible)


Numün is a New York based trio of musicians between Bob Holmes of ambient-country pioneers SUSS and Joel Mellin and Chris Romero of Gamelan Dharma Swara. It’s a kind of space themed exotica with elements of psychedelic and post rock thrown in. It’s music designed for a mood, a place where electronics can meld into sound design but melody and musicality is never far away. It’s seductive and hypnotic music, unhurried by the modern day world. You can just sink into it and it will wash all over you.

Their instrumentation is pretty impressive, beginning with the exotic ones, dholak (two headed Indian drum), cümbüş (a fretless Turkish banjo), Balinese gongs, gamelan, theremin, harpsichord and synthesizers, organs, and a bunch of more conventional instrumentation. Closest comparisons could from the likes of Korean post rock outfit Jambanai, Australian sonic wanderers All India Radio or the UK’s epic instrumentalists Public Service Broadcasting, though truth be told their ingredients are diverse and unique enough that they really only sound like themselves. You wouldn’t even really call it fourth world music, despite the exotic nature of their instrumentation as they’re not aping styles or appropriating cultures, everything is in slave to their own unique, gentle low key vision. In this sense it’s almost instrumental folk music with the odd exotic or sound design flourish. It has this incredible way of providing a kind of blanket soothing that you can drift away to but periodically you focus back in, and during these moments it feels positively transcendent.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.