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Mus



The enigmatic Spanish duo of Fran Gayo and Mónica Vacas paints dreamily abstract pictures of muted joy, pleasant weariness, and melancholy resignation using soft-focus watercolor strokes. Their sound drifts and wavers with once-bright colors now on the edge of darkness, like the end of a sunset. It's ever-so-slightly techno influenced, with minimal sampled beats, but keening sampled strings and wordless drifting female vocals are the predominant musical elements, giving their pieces the poignancy of lullabies, albeit slightly disorienting, vaguely millennial lullabies. When there are words, they're sung in Asturian, an exotic language spoken in the northwestern part of Spain, making them sound like the incomprehensible fairytales of a lost culture.

The featured "Nautila" originally appeared on the ethereal, ambient Zuna CDEP, released on Spain's Acuarela. Petaluma's Pehr Records licensed the music from Acuarela and released the 12-song Mus in 2000. Also in 2000, Mus released the more acoustic-inclined five-song Alma EP on Acuarela. That record, featuring the coolly beautiful "La Sosiega," is distributed by Darla Records in the U.S.

In 2002, the ethereal duet released their second LP, El Naval, featuring the lilting "Al Debalu," on which they let go of the electronics which dappled their previous album, continuing in the gently folky vein of their Alma EP, rendering each song with a delicate hand-crafted care that infuses the music with poignancy and immediacy. The album also contains appearances from friends Iv´n Palacios (Medication) on bass, Luigi Navarro (Edwin Moses) on guitars, Frank Rudow (Viva Las Vegas) on drums, and Irene Tremblay (Aroah) on acoustic guitar.