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Suvome


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Ambient, ethereal ectronica

Status:

Most recent release, Subomu (2001)

See also:

Suvome's Bandcamp site

Comparisons:

Lino, Portishead, Paradise Motel, Massive Attack, Love Spirals Downwards, This Mortal Coil, Ruby, Garbage

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

LOVE it! The classical music classes that these kids had attended have served them well. To my ears, a seamless marriage of classical and rock riffs merged happily together. The songs evoke images, complex and murky just by the sheer artistry of the musicians working in harmony. (Anachro1@pacbell.net)

Vocally, I think Mazzy Star's and Elysian Fields' special brand of listless, erotic, jazz-inflected singing. Musically, it swings from updated Jean-Michel Jarre to the heavy re-mixes of Ruby and Garbage. (11/01, neal)

Recommended first album:

Either

Recordings:


The Sunlight Embassy

Release info:

1999—Modern Recordings, PO box 1038, Glenelg South 5045, South Australia—mrcd003

Availability:

Australia, or see Suvome's website for availability

Ecto priority:

Very HIGH. (Anachro1@pacbell.net)

Group members:

Tobin Lush—programming, guitar
Jenni Lush—vocals

Guest artists:

Jason Littler—additional programming
Mark Scruby—additional guitar

Produced by:

Tobin Lush, Jenni Lush (except 1 track: Tobin Lush, Jason Littler, Jenni Lush)

Comments:

Well, this was one of my favourite CDs and one of the more interesting debuts in Australia last year. Until the day I bought that CD I never even heard of them. I still don't have much info—they came out of nowhere (Adelaide, in fact) and took me completely by surprise. I love it when that happens!
     Just like Lino, Suvome fit in that somewhat nebulous category of ectronica, but any comparisons with Lino might be more interesting for their differences than similarities. Lino's record gave birth to two singles so far—I don't see any potential mainstream single material on The Sunlight Embassy. Lino display a definite pop streak, absent in Suvome. Suvome are Portishead meets Paradise Motel (perhaps Paradise Motel as they are on Flight Paths more than the early one)...
     A review I read mentions Massive Attack as another reference, but in truth I don't really know enough Massive Attack to comment. If I mention them here it's only because Massive Attack will probably mean more to most of you than Paradise Motel. Which is just too bad, because I really feel "Portishead-Paradise Motel" hits the mark.
     So what is it like? Well, we have samples, various atmospheric noises, vinyl-like scratches (something I feel Portishead will need to answer for one day), half distant, half melancholy, sometimes angry vocals...soundscapes, yes but not of that Cocteau Twins variety, lush, floating through and blending into one another. These are all definite, separate and relatively sparse tunes, each telling their own story. Unlike Lino, there's no sugar coating here, this stuff is quite gritty..."take a ride" positively rocks.... Some nice deep bass sounds, too. Fun to listen to over the headphones.
     In short, this is a very strong debut by any standard. (afries@zip.com.au)

Another Australian CD that I just picked up and really like is Suvome's The Sunlight Embassy. (gordoja@optonline.net)

I must confess to falling in love with murky, gothlike music such as this (my entry into the world of 'ecto' was happy rhodes, after all), and when the music is as compelling, complex, and played to its best advantage as the sunlight embassy is, well I hope they keep this quality of work coming! (Anachro1@pacbell.net)


Subomu

Release info:

2001—Modern Recordings, PO box 1038, Glenelg South 5045, South Australia—cd 04

Availability:

Australia, or see Suvome's website for availability

Ecto priority:

Hovering between recommended and highly recommended. (11/01, neal)

Group members:

Tobin Lush
Mark Scruby
Jenni Lush

Produced by:

Tobin Lush, Mark Scruby, Jenni Lush

Comments:

I know the band has been eagerly waiting for comments to show up on these pages. I think their patience will be rewarded, as this album is not one I would have reviewed favorably if I stuck with my first impressions. At first glance, this is a pretty standard issue post-Portishead brand album. It's got the electronics, the samples and the airy female vocals. But it's been a real sleeper of an album for me. Each passing listen led to the discovery of treats hidden within the sonic layering. And what originally struck me as mundane and uniform now seems compelling and varied.
     The opening track "hotel-motel" reveals a catchy melody that I only seemed to notice on the dozenth listen. Jenni Lush' voice, a strange mixture of disinterest and passion (I guess Mazzy Star and Elysian Fields managed to pull that off too), weaves in and out of the electronic backing. "Russian Cruiser" sounds like Oxygene-era Jean-Michel Jarre, but with a much heavier bottom end. It's a 6+ minute track that goes nowhere slowly, but ends up recalling Bel Canto's icy northern atmospherics in the fadeout. "Last Summer" sounds like winter to me. A return to Bel Canto's frozen Baltic, but with jazz-inflected vocals. "Fieldtrip" is built all around what sounds like a looping Led Zeppelin guitar riff, with another of those cryptomelodies. "Basic Architecture" is a sonic joke that continues to remain funny. A feeling of retro-electronica permeates the disc, which often sounds like '70s-era synthesizers and oscillators are being combined with '90s-era samplers and drum machines. (Word of warning: While the first album is almost an hour long, this offering is only 38 minutes.) (11/01, neal)


Thanks to Ricardo and Neal for work on this entry.

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