Today Sae Heum Han, better known by his stage name mmph, has dropped a new remix EP featuring new versions of each track from his recent release, ‘Serenade’ (out now on Tri Angle).
Following mmph’s production work on the recently released Perfume Genius’ latest single – a cover of Bobby Darin’s “Not For Me”, ‘Serenade Remixed’ sees the 24 year-old’s own tracks reimagined by acclaimed electronic composer Roly Porter, hyperactive cut-and-paste pop wizard Giant Claw, hotly tipped jungle techno artist Forest Drive West, and one of the most exciting producers to emerge out of London in the past year, object blue.
Above Sae Heum Han’s desk hangs a blue and white crochet crucifix given to him by his grandmother. This object doubles as the artwork for ‘Serenade’. Separate from any religious connotations, the crucifix represents love, loss and hope – themes mmph explores on the EP.
Han, who also produced David Byrne’s grammy nominated album ‘American Utopia’ and serpentwithfeet’s ‘Soil’ which has been celebrated in many end of year lists, attended Berklee College of Music to study cello before shifting his concentration towards Electronic Production & Sound Design, a pivot that resulted in the birth of his project, mmph. mmph’s compositions exist at the intersection of analog classical music arrangement and forward thinking electronic sound production.
‘Serenade’ evokes a newfound expressive romanticism utilizing a broader palate of orchestral and electronic sounds. Melodically focused, orchestrally informed and rhythmically driven, each of ‘Serenade’s songs utilize a different classical trope to create Wagnerian suites in miniature. “Minuet” is a stately dance in triple time (performance), “Tragedy” is a play (death), “Elegy” is a mourning poem (death), and “Serenade” is a courtship song often played in the open air (love). Fusing synths choirs, arpeggiated (sometimes plucked) strings & steel string guitars, mmph creates a sense of extraordinary melodrama that feels more at home against the romantic backdrop of a Turner seaside cliff than a college student’s basement. Against these romantic landscapes, the baroque-feeling mini-operas of mmph’s ‘Serenade’ comes to life.