Pete Um / No pressure
Pete Um is part of the Gagarin 10th Anniversary Tour in Sept 08

Pete Um (UK) is a tape-poet from Cambridge, UK, with sardonic humour, unreliable MD player and a bunch of weird electronic miniatures. When not depressed, he can be a great entertainer. Meanwhile, his music had been boosted by eccentrics such as Ariel Pink. Attempts to define his personality provoke his peers to phrases like...

...Um is an electro-dadaist pop star peddling audio anxiety and monomania from the digital kitchen sink
...Um is the glint in Delia Derbyshire's eye as she puts Kurt Schwitters and Julian Cope to the razor blade
...Absolute belter of oddball proportions

We have a few Questions to Mr. Pete Um:

Mr Um, your lyrics are full of sardonic melancholy. Have you been an unhappy man in your adolescence?


Some people call you a poet, some a musician. How would you put it?

I'm not a poet, and I'm more of a non-musician than a musician. I think I work in a highly-specialized field which draws on a range of crafts.

When and how did you start making music?

I've had a very long love affair with tape-recorders, but I was too shy to tell even my girlfriend that I wanted to make music until I was 21. Then I became the terrible singer in a band. After that we split and I bought a computer in 1996 and I began in earnest then.

Why are your tracks so short?

They are not short. They are concise. Why shouldn't songs be short? I like short songs. If a song of mine seems too short, you can always listen to it twice. Or you can listen to my song „That's Too Close“ which is about how a pretty girl told me my songs were too short. One day I will meet the Dalai Lama and I will wait for his words of wisdom and he will tell me my songs are too short.

To whom are your lyrics addressed to?

A lot of my music is made just for it's own sake, and I'm kind of talking to myself, but sometimes I'm bitching about a specific other person or how this world of ahistorical squares has done me wrong.

What is your connection to horses?

I have a special T-shirt with a horse on it to wear on particularly troublesome days.
Also, I love the story that Nietzsche saw a man cruelly whipping a horse, and he was so overwhelmed with unSuperman-like compassion that he permanently lost his mind and threw his arms around the horse's neck