Mise En Abyme

Do You Hear the Hum

by Dan Raper

8 May 2007


Mise En Abyme, an arty electro-rock band from Portland, exist in the small band realm. This is their third album, but they’re making no great play for accessibility. Kudos for that, as its all about judging the music on its own terms—and in fact, there’s little need for open-mindedness when listening to the band’s latest, Do You Hear the Hum. It’s gothic in a not-quite-Knife way, trip-hop in a not-quite-Portishead way, and art rock in a not-quite Radiohead way. Confused? The music sometimes feels that way, swinging from fuzzy instrumental hip-hop (on “The Riot”) to chanting Gothic solemnity (“Extruder”) to skuzzy rock (“The Next Country”). The group must be having a laugh (are they having a laugh?) on “Tourist”, the most Radiohead of the songs on Do You Hear the Hum. Technically, the song’s great, a “National Anthem”-type song taken to its logical extreme, with snippets of sound as if the CD player’s actually skipping (makes you think). Mise En Abyme excels at a slightly slower tempo, pushing around in murky corners for atmospheres that stick. You get the feeling, listening to this technically proficient sound, that darkness covers everything.

Do You Hear the Hum



We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article