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Burnt Umber Penumbra





Burnt Umber Penumbra releases B.U.P.3

On his third collection of 2020 so far (quarantine goals!) Burnt Umber Penumbra opens with a track called “Landings” that with its percolating digital oscillations and warm hazy drones does indeed sound like a good soundtrack for a lunar landing. On the next track (“Scamz”) the listener is brought back down to earth cold-opening with a voice message left by a robotic female from an unidentified government agency, promising “you will be taken under custody by the local cops as there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment,” followed by a fuzzed-out looped beat and heavily-reverbed repeating chords. Whether this message pertains to four overdue parking tickets or a quadruple homicide we may never know but the mystery’s the thing.

Based on no evidence whatsoever I would hypothesize that Burnt Umber Penumbra got his name from one of those band-name-generating-algorithms that in this case takes a discontinued Crayola color and combines it with a word or phrase likely to be uttered by Neil deGrasse Tyson. If so, consider yourself lucky not to be listening to Prussian Blue Trigonometric Parallax. Anyway based on a minute-or-two of extensive Internet research I learned that a “penumbra” is a physical phenomenon equivalent to a shadow of a shadow. So go ahead and light up a jazz cigarette and ponder that for a moment and while you’re at it put on this album because it’s perfect music for just this sort of mental activity--on B.U.P.3 you’ll hear echoes of everything from Tangerine Dream to M83 ready to take you on a journey to the center of the mind. Space is the place indeed.

As value added Burnt Umber Penumbra’s video output so far further solidifies the mystical aesthetic of his music. A crystal pyramid of unknown origin features consistently for instance, and he apparently has the ability to play clarinet through a Covid-style bandana face covering (see below). Which is pretty cool and so is the music. But consider yourself forewarned, there’s some magickal forces at work here. (Jason Lee)


 

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