Around this time last year illustrator and producer Robert Mirolo started releasing new music again after a hiatus of a couple of years. After three Dublin shows and “one smutty art show” in Berlin, he linked up with Jason McNamara on drums and Ben McKenna from Meltybrains? to form SSMMÜTT.
Now the group are back with their first release of the year, after focusing mostly on playing live, honing their sound.
“In January we spent two weeks touring Germany and the Netherlands which was a really huge eye opener for us in terms of how to engage people while playing improvised music and also just an amazing experience in openness and hospitality,” says Robert Mirolo. “It can be incredibly easy to get down-trodden in Dublin, particularly in the past 12 months. The city seems to be returning to a really volatile pre-Celtic Tiger like state, and I’m sure it’s good and fun for everybody doing a rake of coke and falling off swings in boujie hotels, but for artists in the city it’s made the place feel actively hostile (again).
“I think everyone feels like a broken record parroting these adages but it really has become so so so pervasive that it’s impossible to ignore when talking about art. Couple that with the ubiquity of spooky social media algorithms and the self-worth lottery of likes and it’s no wonder everyone’s feeling so apocalyptic.”
Even amongst the constant barrage of news that creative spaces are dying in the shadows of cranes, Robert says there is some relief.
“In a way it’s refreshing that things have got this bad because people are beginning to see things for what they really are, and forge new paths that are more reliant on legitimate community, and care and interaction and respect. I feel it’d be irresponsible to talk about this and not mention the likes of @uefa_unofficial, The Cultural Equinox,
and B.Y.O.A.A.S. Dublin doing real grassroots work to make the city more tolerable. Massive, massive, massive props. Anyway, you might wonder what all this has to do with a ten minute psych-krautrock track. This was the climate the music was made in. I spent most of my time so far making aggressive and/or morose music and there’s definitely elements of that here, but I hope that’s infused with a certain optimism. The songs were written and recorded and performed in a state of complete joy. I love playing music with everybody so much, and particularly Ben and Jay. That’s all really.”
SSMMÜTT play Tengu this Thursday with Dowry, Simon Bird Traashboo and Tribal Dance. Check out ‘Suppe Sonne’ below.