take a walk on the dark side Mueran Humanos
take a walk on the dark side Mueran Humanos

Mueran Humanos
Incubate Festival
Sept 18 2011
Live review

take a walk on the dark side Mueran Humanos
take a walk on the dark side Mueran Humanos

This is a pop music but from the dark side.

Mueran Humanos are from Argentina but now live in Berlin. Their name is Argentinian for Death To Humanity which gives you a clue to what’s going on here. There is a darkness and tension to their keyboard driven music and they have taken the Suicide approach to making music but very much gone their own way with it.

There are two of them, the hauntingly aloof and beautiful Carmen Burguess and the rocker Tomas Nochteff and between them they make a music that is beguiling, dark, sexy, dangerous and haunting. In a barrage of electronics with a tough bass they create an unsettling music that is utterly compelling.

Tonight there are, admittedly, a couple of sound problems, but nothing serious but the band are scowling in a way that is captivating. The scowls are not in a hissy fit kind of way but in a way that adds to the mesmerizing tension of their music. A music which is built round a Moog and keyboard assault with an added dirty disco bass, kinda like the aforementioned Suicide on a really bad trip but also, oddly, quite pop.

That sort of gives you a clue for what’s going here.

It’s pretty dark but not beyond pop, the duo, from Buenos Aries, now live in Berlin have cut an album that has a disturbing cover and play these shows that are walking on the wild side. The impenetrably and utterly glamorous, Carmen Burguess, looks like some kind of forties film star in her raincoat and looks moody, dark and sultry sexy whilst she plays keyboards and sings with that scowl etched on her face whilst Tomas Nochteff plays a good, heavy, driving bass. Tomas looks like some kind of Boca street kid who is taking his aggravation out on the bass instead of on the football pitch. He sings as well.

The set starts off with a drum machine before the keyboards pile on the layers of sound with the squelching Moog building some kind of drone with an ethereal melody line, the haughty vocals are then added and then the bass and then some sort of cassette player adds some noise sections.

Mueran Humanos are like nothing else. There is a trance power about them, their album cover is a woman’s head with her face blanked out and replaced by what looks like female genitalia. There is that air of Throbbing Gristle’s industrial strangeness about them, that sort of industrial edge freakiness but also there is that weirdly commercial edge to what they do, that sort of thing that the early Soft Cell had, that idea of walking on the dark side but somehow being able to translate it subverisly into the mainstream.

They never let the scowl down, they remain haughty, dark and imperial. Their songs are captivating, haunting and beautifully strange, that they make all this work in the back room of a bar is a testament to the strange power of their music.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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