For the uninitiated, Mueran Humanos, (Tomas Notcheff, Carmen Burguess), can be a tough one to explain. I could list their influences and call them “a psychedelic-krautrock garage punk-electronics duo who manage to capture the rich cultural history and excitement of their adopted home of Berlin and infuse it with a sophisticated South American chic imported from their native Buenos Ares”, but that would be doing them an injustice. The reality is that there isn’t anything to explain. They don’t need a pretentious description full of talking points that make music nerds get all mushy and gushy. Once you listen to them, it just makes sense. At their core, these are simple and catchy songs with a solid electronics foundation solidified by driving bass lines and textural keyboard parts (which could just as easily take you on an atmospheric journey as they could break out into a “Sister Ray”-esque Velvets freakout at any moment). Vocals are shared by both members, and they create an important dichotomy between the masculine and feminine energies that shape the band. Spanish speakers are in luck, because the lyrics are surrealist poetry of the highest order. Thankfully for the rest of us, they occupy that special place reserved for bands like Einsturzende Neubauten, (Jochen Arbeit of EN actually appeared on the bands last album), or Os Mutantes where they transcend language barriers and are capable of telling a story through the sheer power of the human voice. There is something magical about this band, and it oozes out through the cracks every chance it gets.
Hospital Lullabies is a companion piece to a movie of the same name directed by Carmen Burguess, and without question this is their most refined and cohesive statement so far. While there is a darkness to some of it (fleshed out by imagery of nightmares, childhood terrors, and the trauma of mental institutions), it is balanced by feelings of romance and optimism and an overwhelming sense of childlike wonder.
Hospital Lullabies has delicate dream-like moments (Vestido), motorik cosmic freakouts (Alien), EBM floor-fillers (Los Problemas del Futuro), avant-garde poetry soundscapes (Cuando una Persona Comuìn), and New Order/OMD-esque electro dance-pop ballads (Detraìs de una Flor). That being said, there is a thematic linear thread that ties everything together, and the album really should be approached as a whole rather than a mere collection of songs.
Ultimately, this is a record that could only be made by two people completely and totally in love with one another - two people who have dedicated their lives not only to each other, but also to this music (which they are generous enough to share with the rest of us). So, if this is your first exposure to Mueran Humanos - then welcome! You’re in for something special. If you are a longtime fan, then what are you waiting for?