Silence is Sexy: Mute Kept Stumm on Cage Album Surprise

by coldwarnightlife

John Tilbury, the pianist and collaborator of Cornelius Cardew, once wrote an article with the title, “John Cage: Ghost or Monster?”

On the current news from Mute, the answer is both: the influence of Cage’s work, “4’33’,” is the motivating force behind a new box set in the label’s fortieth year; and there will be no less than fifty Mute artists featured in the collection.

STUMM433 follows the label’s catalogue numbering scheme while paying tribute to the notorious work. The key to the joke is that the artist’s role in “4’33′” is not to play for that specified length of time. Fans of Depeche Mode and Nitzer Ebb should not, therefore, be looking forward to new material.

“4’33′” is not about silence; rather, it turns the focus onto the ambience of the concert hall and the reaction of the audience by musicians not playing their instruments. Expect very different takes, therefore, from The Normal and Simon Fisher Turner, or Laibach and Polly Scattergood.

They can take some comfort in the news that the net profits from the project will go to help sufferers of tinnitus and musicians needing mental health support.

Artists featured include:

A Certain Ratio, A.C. Marias, ADULT., The Afghan Whigs, Alexander Balanescu, Barry Adamson, Ben Frost, Bruce Gilbert, Cabaret Voltaire, Carter Tutti Void, Chris Carter, Chris Liebing, Cold Specks, Daniel Blumberg, Depeche Mode, Duet Emmo, Echoboy, Einstürzende Neubauten, Erasure, Fad Gadget (tribute), Goldfrapp, He Said, Irmin Schmidt, Josh T. Pearson, K Á R Y Y N, Komputer, Laibach, Land Observations, Lee Ranaldo, Liars, Looper, Lost Under Heaven, Maps, Mark Stewart, Michael Gira, Mick Harvey, Miranda Sex Garden, Moby, Modey Lemon, Mountaineers, New Order, Nitzer Ebb, NON, Nonpareils, The Normal, onDeadWaves, Phew, Pink Grease, Pole, Polly Scattergood, Renegade Soundwave, Richard Hawley, ShadowParty, Silicon Teens, Simon Fisher Turner, The Warlocks, Wire, Yann Tiersen

Mute note:

The box set will be released in May 2019 with more details being shared over the coming months. To register interest in STUMM433 and be first in line to pre-order and receive exclusive updates on the contributions, sign up at

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