Shmu: The Universe Is Inside My Body (Orange Milk, 2021)

March 6, 2021 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Shmu: The Universe Is Inside My Body

Samuel Chown’s uncategorizable Shmu project has finally made its way to Orange Milk, after Keith Rankin designed the cover to one of his albums a few years ago. Far away from the shoegaze and synth-pop of past efforts, this is a very Orange Milk affair, filled with meticulous digital drums and a barrage of shiny, plastic MIDI instruments and effects. Angel Marcloid helped mix and master the album, and it’s impossible not to compare this to her Fire-Toolz project, right down to the emoji-riddled song titles and snazzy, jazzy basslines. Like her music, this is hyperpowered, super emotional music which smashes genres apart, but this album feels more fun than cathartic, while capturing the same trapped-in-the-internet feel. Like a lot of releases on the label, this is very dense, intricate sound construction which also breathes and feels remarkably spacious, and though it uses a lot of artificial, even cartoonish sounds, it still has a human heart to it. I could spend several paragraphs picking apart standout moments on this album, but that would take away the fun. It’s just super enjoyable, and easily my favorite Shmu release since the absurdly underrated Shhh!!!!

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