Cellist turned electronicist
The wilfully unpronounceable mmph is the pseudonym of Seoul-born, Boston-based producer Sae Heum Han. Han started out studying cello at the prestigious Berklee College Of Music before coming to the conclusion that studying scores from three centuries ago wasn’t exactly what he signed up for. He switched to a focus on electronic music and production while simultaneously starting his mmph project.
The first mmph release was the low-key ‘Choreograph’ EP in 2016, which defined his mix-and-match approach to blending unpredictable rhythms and fractured melodic interjections with a maximalist orchestral sensibility. The EP marked him out as an underground producer to watch, leading him to contribute his studio skills to serpentwithwings’s ‘Soil’, David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ and Lauren Auder’s ‘Who Carry’s You’. ‘Dear God’, his debut EP for Tri Angle from earlier this year, was a moving paean to his sick mother, drawing out a plaintive spirituality from its seemingly randomised sonic architecture.
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Han’s keen ear for seemingly incompatible ideas is what makes his music so appealing. His new EP, ‘Serenade’, takes that eclectic approach to new levels, switching from passages of orchestral serenity to hairy guitar, from scattergun R&B rhythms to eurodance euphoria – and that’s all within the first 30 seconds of lead track ‘Minuet’. The new EP suggests Han might have made peace with with his classical foundations, while still finding ample room for adventurous electronic dexterity.
‘Serenade’ is out on Tri Angle