Music / Premieres
Mino Peric - Memory Melodies
Words by James Lynch
Monday 30th November, 2020
With the release of Mino Peric’s debut solo album Memory Melodies today, the Melbourne musician has shared a collection of understated and elusive synth music - an evocative encapsulation of his time in lockdown, which exists within the blurry space between contemplative and transportive.
Usually recognisable as the vocalist/guitarist of local post-punks No Sister, Mino Peric’s first solo endeavour finds the versatile music-maker swapping out his usual swarms of consuming guitar noise in favour of something a little more composed. Where No Sister’s music tends to explode with a sense of catharsis, Memory Melodies is far more introspective and insular, building around sedated synth textures and radiant programmed beats.

Opening with ‘This Century’, we’re quickly immersed in Mino’s new sonic world, as a skittering beat bubbles beneath layers of shimmering synthesisers. Instantly dreamy and tranquil, it makes sense that the album was largely inspired by the natural environment surrounding his home - bringing to mind the more peaceful aspects of this year’s stretches of isolation. Up next ‘Messiaen on Birds’ follows suit with a similar motif, broadened with warped samples of birds tweeting or disembodied voices, and ‘Afterthought’ speeds things up with a restless groove beneath the glistening layers.

As the album progresses and the tracks begin the stretch and blur together, Memory Melodies expands open further, the hypnotic soundscapes become all the more transcendent. Simultaneously meditative yet overflowing with creative melodic ideas and unique production, it’s the perfect listen to zone in and out of - leaving plenty of space for listeners to get lost in the waves of enthralling sound, while remaining focused enough to continually reveal new elements for them to latch onto.

To celebrate the release of Memory Melodies today, Mino was kind enough to share some thoughts on the album’s creation:

“During peak lockdown when we were all stuck at home, I found myself juggling moments of intense creative clarity, but also times where all I wanted to do was sleep for the rest of the year. Creatively, some days were really productive and others not so much, but on the days where I did feel like making music, I said to myself I may as well try writing something I’ve never made before and see if I ended up liking it (it was only a few days ago where a friend and I joked about how I should’ve called the album Some days I do a bit, others not much).

This was around the time when the only way we could catch up with friends was by going for walks, so I started walking with friends along the Merri Creek, which, although I live really close by, for some reason I’ve never done before. I began to feel really sensitive and conscious of the environment around me, whether it be the sound of shoes walking on sand, the trees in the wind, birds chirping, creeks flowing, and thought ‘hey I could make an album out of this!’

Over the years I’ve become fascinated with how nature and the natural environment has influenced my musical ideas and projects - in my previous band No Sister, we were always fascinated with trying to replicate a sound we heard somewhere and could only describe them rather playfully as sounding like a train horn, or something sparkly, or the sound of the sun reflecting off a mirror, or even something as silly as what a botanical garden would sound like if you were to replicate it on a guitar. I’m sure there are many others who think creatively this way but we found it both silly yet the only accurate way of describing things.  

So for this album - being stuck at home and daydreaming in my bedroom, one of the only other voices I could hear (other than the constant Zoom-ing with friends and family) were of the families of lorikeets in the nearby wattle trees. In a similar way to how French composer Olivier Messiaen composed bird-song, I thought it’d be interesting to give the mic to nature for a change and see how it influenced me (plus I wanted to make music you could not only dance to at home, but also do your laundry, vacuum and make your bed to, without feeling like you’re missing out on a show or a festival, seeing as there were none at the time). 

I chose the title, ‘Memory Melodies’, as a way to explore how different chapters of our lives sound, as they’re all profound and sound unique in many different ways (The La’s ‘There She Goes’ still takes me back to my bedroom in Year 10). In saying that, I find It’s always tricky exploring ideas of nostalgia and memory without it becoming too reliant on ‘the past’ or some stretched-out form of ‘longing’, so I was really into the idea of mimicking these bird-songs on my synth and turning them into lucid lullabies you could dance and vibe to, while also folding your clothes.”

Memory Melodies is out today in all the usual places.