"Mus is an enigmatic Spanish duo which 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."
"Easily one of the most beautiful albums that I've heard this year, if not ever, Mus' self-titled CD, which culls tracks from their 1997 and 1998 EPs and adds a few new ones as well, has hardly left my CD player lately...
It's different, powerful, and absolutely beautiful.
Ah, how to describe Mus? Somewhere between electronic music, ambient quietness, the orchestrated wonders of Godspeed You Black Emperor, the loungy dub of Portishead, the playful electronic sounds of Bjork, the quirky spaceyness of Stereolab, and the score to a musical lies this music. The band uses both synthetic and organic instruments, combining beats with keyboards and samples to create lush and sometimes haunting soundscapes...
I love this album. Whether the band is playing short and haunting melodic works or lengthy, swirling epics, each song is unique and beautiful in its own right. These songs blow me away with their depth and texture, their haunting melodies and imaginative experimentalism. Fans of beautiful and powerful songs could do no better than to seek out Mus."
Delusions of Adequacy
"...thoroughly soothes with its gentle melodic ambience, spare beats, sampled strings and distant female vocals (sung in the rare Asturian tongue). Comparisons to Bowery Electric, Portishead, Stereolab and 4AD are apt although this is more subtle and largely more pleasing to these ears."
Madrid's Mus offers plenty enigma on its first album, a moody and contemplative work that picks up where defunct etherealists Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance left off.
Though the lyrics are sung in Asturian, a rare romance language spoken only in the northwestern part of the Iberian peninsula, many of these 12 tracks operate as mood-setting instrumentals, with gentle female vocals adding only dreamy, wordless cooing.
Mus approaches its spare, classically tinged electronica as if landscaping a Zen garden: not a single note sounds extraneous or out of place, and each song is presented as cleanly as possible. Patient electronic percussion forms a latticework of beats, adorned with minimal doses of synthetic strings, spoken-word samples, and drifting, diminutive atmospherics.
Through an uncluttered amalgam of textures, Mus constructs a stately villa with long hallways lined by marble figures... Captivating fare indeed, Mus... is ambient, lovely, and lavishly esoteric. In fact Mus' strange, slightly bent beauty is distinctive and memorable enough to beget a genre all its own."
Jeff Stratton, New Times Palm Beach
released July 4, 2000
Licensed from Acuarela
Cover by Iker Spozio
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 belong to the zuna e.p. (acuarela 1997)
Tracks 6, 7, 8 and 9 belong to the pigaz e.p. (acuarela 1998)
Track 10 previously unreleased