Over a bed of disrobed electronic minimalism, each Pete Um vignette unveils itself like a sardonic commentary over newsreels, or a hidden diary of notes he's typed then deleted before posting on social media. At times taking on resentment towards the specifics of post-Brexit Britain, Pete takes aim at various reactionary targets amongst obscure poetical despondencies, laying these out between and around tongue-in-cheek observations about day to day life.
Pete's own music finds itself nestled between different British pop, autodidact and avante traditions. Mark Perry's diaristic oddities, the spoken-word absurdity of the Bohman Brothers and Bowie's more stripped back numbers come to mind, but Pete is on an island of his own, broadcasting laconic waves of malaise, reminding us that we're not alone in this mess.
Pete Um - voice and synth
Mastering & artwork by Oliver Barrett
Pete Um is a tape-poet from Cambridge, UK, with sardonic humour, an unreliable MD player and a bunch of weird electronic miniatures. Attempts to define his personality provoke his peers to phrases like...
"...Um is an electro-dadaist pop star peddling audio anxiety and monomania from the digital kitchen sink
...Um is the glint in Delia Derbyshire's eye as she puts Kurt Schwitters and Julian Cope to the razor blade
...Absolute belter of oddball proportions..."
"To whom are your lyrics addressed to?" Felix Kubin once asked Um:
"A lot of my music is made just for its own sake, and I'm kind of talking to myself, but sometimes I'm bitching about a specific other person or how this world of ahistorical squares has done me wrong."
Um's 2019 LP 'As You Were' was one of the best of 2019. Low Company wrote: "Where so much contemporary stuff in this vein sounds hopelessly mannered and contrived and untouched by actual real-world experience of being on the outside of ANYTHING, 'As You Were' sounds fully free and unforced, hopelessly alienated from the thing we call society and GLAD of it, and even at its most demented and disorderly your man sounds like he’s wrenching everything he possibly can out of his primitive keyboard-and-mic set-up cos it’s all he’s bloody well got, not cos he's self-consciously imposing limitations on himself."