Cover Corner: Kronos Quartet/múm – Smell Memory

kronos album

Iceland’s múm are re-issuing their 1999 release Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today is OK at the end of August. On it are some reworked songs. The Kronos Quartet, a legendary chamber music group with a massive resume of collaborations, some Grammy awards, and best selling albums, have redone “Smell Memory.”

Kronos Quartet

What is a frenetic landscape shaped by insectoid chirps and cheeps with those gently drawn synthesizer strokes that add the softer undertone to múm’s brand of electronica on the original becomes a lush natural landscape where the sound breathes with a natural voice. The classical instruments allow the plucking and pricking to take place but the resonance of the bass makes the sound heavier and the natural drums lend a more human quality to the percussion.


At 10 minutes, the song, in its original or as the Kronos Quartet reimagined it, is a joyful work that reclines comfortably over its full playtime. Another creative collaboration by the Quartet brings their brand of pop-classical to the attention of many who wouldn’t have heard it.

Beyond this, go back and listen to the mind bending soundtrack for Requiem For A Dream. And for múm check out the gentle, beautiful low key electronica of Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy.


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