Tell us about Murrumur.
I started this project just over two years ago after a drastic change in my life's circumstances caused me to have anego deathin regards to what I was doing with music after 6 years.
At the end of the summer I decided that I was going to teach myself to sing and make pop songs, and my method of doing this was by imitating cloud rap and saying silly stuff. I didn't want to take it too seriously until I was assured that I was a more practiced songwriter, and figured that this method would allow me to practice before I tried more. I still say silly stuff sometimes because I love to be silly. All I had done prior that at all resembled pop music was write a few songs with Willow Gauze when we were both in Phoenix, one of which eventually evolved into "Medicine" from Magic for Beginners which was essentially the first pop song I ever worked on, and the first murrumur song. I hadn't called myself that yet, but around this same time I was introduced to Neolemurian time sorcery and qabalistic numerology, which both came to be driving forces in my lines of thinking after reading the collected works of TheCCRU.
The name Murrumur is taken from one of five great syzygetic lemurs (time entities) as described in neolemurian mysticism. Something about the way Murrumur was described heavily appealed to the current of oceanic sensation that I've felt pulling me for my entire life. In the earlier stages of the project I was making a lot of decisions for both my songwriting and my life based on gematria, which I still do to a slightly less dictating degree. Maybe two people have actually approached me knowing what the name means.
Tell us about your project, 'WEBMAKER.'
The ease of access to information on the internet, especially streaming, made it incredibly easy to get into more niche music in the 2010s, marking me as one of the very many quiet and awkward listening to the 90s and early 2000s output of Creation and Darla Records.
Converging currents, signals, and cycles had me listening to a ton of IDM and indietronica type music at the time where I started to write music at all, which in the beginning was very messy and breakbeat focused. I couldn't play an instrument particularly well or fully understand how to grasp the functions of a DAW yet but desperately wanted to make ashoegazealbum. That feeling never went away as i continued to write different kinds of Downtempo and Breaks focused electronic music for several years.
The idea of making something directly blending aggressive electronics with ethereal shoegaze was incredibly appealing to me because of the sheer natural contrast of such things, yet so naturally fit for each other at the same time. I can't pretend that I invented this sound because it's absolutely been done before, although barely. Prior to the recording of Blood Electric I had only heard this done by Sadesper Record, more than two decades before. Blood Electric takes its name from the cyberpunk novel by Kenji Siratori who has also been an avid Murrumur listener since that song came out.
Webmaker revolves around the use of Assisted Rhythm Technologies and live instrumentation played in the style of shoegaze mixed with meticulously made digital instruments that are near unrecognizable as such. There's certain points where there are no guitars and barely anybody has actually called me on it. The album's cover features Priscilla who dies in the fourth song.
What influences are present in the project?
Webmaker thematically revolves around religion and mysticism and their effects, hauntology, feminism and attempting to find beauty within the filth of ephemeral reality. The first half of the album involves uses of hauntings, which are elements of our cultural past returning like ghosts. The opener itself is a haunting in that it's a cover of a Vashti Bunyan song, which is known to a lot of experimental music listeners because of another cover of this song made by Satanicpornocultshop in the early 2010s.
It feels like a standard in a way. Blood Electric was not originally intended to be part of the album but bringing it back itself is a haunting. Both that and the song that follows use samples of the Think Break which is another haunting. Sample based music is made up entirely of hauntings. This is interrupted by Priscilla's Canvas, which was made with no samples and features a digitized performance from Machine+ using a contemporary style of bitcrushing her guitars and vocals. Angels on Parade continues this with heavy influence from a combination of internet cloud rap and vocaloid, specifically Mikgazer, a vocaloid shoegaze compilation.
With that in mind I thought that getting a group of bitcrush rappers on a shoegaze song sounded like a fun idea. Rat Jesu also plays guitar on this song. Taking Flight is about occultism as a means of sisterhood. I say something about making offerings to Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft in Greek mythology, which is something I've accompanied my friend Nyx to do in a cemetary. ix, who is a New York based sludge metal artist and friend of mine wrote the lyrics for Sleep Forever over an evening, following the rest of the song taking ages to finish. Following the more mystical themes, it's this sort of mix between graphically violent imagery and cryptic prose about the cyclical violence of the Catholic Church, as well as presenting danger with getting into occult activity as well.
The other musical influences come from a deep dive I was doing into 90s indietronica where I listened to every single album that I could find with that label that came out before 2000. There's a reason why it sounds so sparkly. The name Webmaker was inspired partially by the lemur Minommo, nicknamed Webmaker. Dream sorcery signals Minommo. The name was otherwise inspired by the writings of Sadie Plant in Zeroes + Ones in which she discusses the importance and symbolism of the loom for women and technology, the loom as a computer and computers as looms.
All of these things are composed of webs, just as the loom takes after the spider.
Can you elaborate a bit on your Bandcamp bio, 'Murrumur is a cephalopod by April Weaver Go fast #fairybeat.'
As I mentioned before I use the name Murrumur to signal the entity of the same name.
Some things in neolemurian mysticism that signal Murrumur are tendril having sea creatures- the jellyfish, squid, and octopus, two of which are cephalopods. I have always had a little bit of an obsession with the deep ocean because of how little humans hav
e explored it and how alien it really is to us. Murrumur is further signalled by deep sleep. Fairybeat is the style of music that I've evolved to make.
What is fairy beat?
Over-classifying genres is incredibly interesting to me, although I greatly prefer creation of new terms instead of listing several things consecutively.
The original idea I had was outright hypermodernized shoegaze with breakcore drumming, and it evolved in my head to this general idea of high speed and often sparkly ethereal music with indietronica inspired electronics musically representing faeries, pixies or angels. I use fae pronouns which further adds to the name. I feel like it's a sound im reintroducing properly. People are going to bite it so people will know who's responsible.
Tell us a bit about the track, 'flowers bloom inside my head.'
Overtime I've taken to using public social media to quickly develop collaborative work when I'm in a creative mood and will sometimes post a clip of something and go "who wants to make something with this?" In this case Astrophysics responded, and this ended up being either the second or third song that we made together, I don't really remember. The others are vaulted right now. It really was as simple as sending him a synth melody and getting sent back some guitar, bass, and drums to work with that I then arranged into an instrumental and sometimes chopped up and worked effects over.
This is the crux of a lot of online music creation which I have mixed feelings on, because on one hand it can be incredibly fast and effective, but nothing really hits for me the same way as sitting down with someone and writing the song together, whether that be in meatspace or in a digital space. A couple of times I've worked with Astrophysics I've been sent an instrumental with preexisting lyrics and vocals that I've been asked to replicate which makes a lot of sense given their history of making vocaloid.
I tried three different times to write this song because writing lyrics takes me forever. It was weirdly romantic in the beginning but I couldn't get it to work and it just eventually became this song about trying to overcome DPDR and physical illness and dissatisfaction with where my life is at. I write a lot about frailty and I have an uncomfortable feeling which eats at me that you can really obviously tell how sickly I can get from my vocal performance alone. It's painfully obvious here how asthmatic I am haha. The original intent was a gothy romantic synthpop song that unintentionally ended up sounding more like something from You Will Never Know Why. Valerie Cooper and Julee Cruise are huge vocal influences for me.
Do you have a narrative or message behind your music?
I mainly write about responding to trauma and the desire for things to get better, religion, philosophy, feminism, and antifascism.
My audience has always primarily been men but I have a deep hope for my music to connect with femme people who have gone through similar experiences. I desperately want a gentler world for people like me and it's represented at large in the songs I write.
What's next for Murrumur?
It's been about a year since I was working on an album besides the unrelated mousemallow ep I put out in September but I'm starting to catch a sound I've really been liking which is this darker, sort of gothy dream pop sound with really intensely chopped drill breaks.
Earlier this year I got really into chopping breaks instead of midi programming them, which I'd done for years prior, and it's really changed my workflow and how I edit rhythmics, and has really been shifting where my sound has been going this year. Mostly I've just been enjoying pumping out songs with friends since I haven't had the time to start working on some bigger concept. I really love being able to work around such a diverse and talented circle of musicians and artists. Being invited to Dollhaven has been really excellent because of the way everyone works together so casually. Songs might get done in an afternoon or in a day or two and it's a completely different vibe than trying to work with musicians who are constantly focused on making specifically albums.
Tim Lake and Kintsugi, who I get to work with locally, are both awesome to make stuff with. I've been producing more for other people which has been fun. Music has just felt really rewarding recently.