Some records take a few spins to sink in. Like a good book or a good film, the true personality of the work exists in layers: sometimes they are layers of interpretation, other times they are simply layers of sound or images. Given that Daniel Murena is a soundtrack composer, it’s no surprise that his latest outing “Take Care of Me” – released under the name Murena Murena – has a complexity that requires work on the part of the listener.
“Take Care of Me” is composed of songs that have already seen existence providing a sonic backdrop to various plays and films. There’s an accent to this record that, as lazy as this makes me sound, is just particularly German…and I’m not talking about the vocals. I’m talking about the type of darkly playful industrial sound that a lot of acts have tried to make but very few have succeeded with. Murena Murena achieves a fresh nostalgia throughout the effort, and the whole thing feels like the stages of a hallucinatory Saturday night: the chanting opener “Turn Your Back on Gold” sounds like Bärchen und die Milchbubis practicing in a warehouse, before “Fight Rope” flashes you back to the height of the Butthole Surfers’ commercial fame. The fourth track, “Dark Twine” was obviously written in the Black Lodge. By the seventh track on the record, “74 Ways to Save Me”, the anxiety of the onset settles and begins to give way to atmospheric yet energetic peace. The antepenultimate “Madea Madre” is my favorite track on the record: beautiful, calm, yet noisy and strange.
Every track on “Take Care of Me” is interesting, but there’s something about the way Daniel Murena works them into context that gives something else to the experience. I’m biased, because I’m partial to listening to music as whole records, in the order they were presented in. It takes more time than just singling out favorites, but Murena Murena has shown why it’s worth the investment. Sure, you can eat dessert before the main, but where’s the maturity in that? How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?