The Universe is Inside My Body (And My Cassette Collection)

I love Orange Milk Records. Featuring releases from Artists like Fire-Toolz, Giant Claw, Toiret Status, Machine Girl, and dozens of other phenomenal underground artists; the label is a knock-out. Every release seems to find some new way to break music, spinning your listening-ears around like those taffy machines. My favorite recent release is Shmu’s The Universe Is Inside my Body. I’ll go over it track-by-track and talk about some of the brain-tinglies it gives me.

❄Snow Arp Under the Viole(n)t Ocean🌊

Starting off with a barrage of sounds, some melodic, some percussive, and some neither; it’s like we’re being pelted with squirt guns while being slowly lowered into a pool of synthpop. Shimmering chimes and bubbling sounds complement a mysterious building melody, before solidifying into ice at the halfwau point as the song’s main hook begins.

€ (F-Zero Hero) 🥝 Fiction As The Greatest force🚀

The beginning sounds like someone dropped the Seinfeld intro on the concrete. But then without warning, it explodes into a big bang of a myriad of JRPG-sounding melodies that try to find a stable combination. The unstable percussion is very fun, giving the song a pounding heartbeat so that you don’t get (as) lost. Like the last song, an abrupt change hits around the one-third mark, becoming a composition of crazy arpeggios and manic chords. After calming down a bit, the Seinfeld sounds come limping back, MIDI slap bass colliding with the sound like it was a wonky 80s synthpop single.

Sapien 🧠 Stimulation Theory (Meaning borne of the stories we tell each other)

The start of this song plays the “sound collage” style a bit more straight than we’ve been tasting so far. That is, before we get pelted by a barrage of MIDI instruments, all playing different hyper-active melodies one after the other, along with some jarring and unusual vocal samples. This song and the last have complimentary titles. It almost seems to say “Fiction is the greatest force, its meaning born of the stories we tell each other.” It seems analogues to analogies; saying the way we learn is by comparison of external experiences with our internal ones; applying a story to our own life.

🍐Talking to the animals & fruits🎷🐢

I also would like to talk to animals and fruits! The samples of crowds cheering really make me feel like I can do it, if I put my mind to it. Then it sounds like I’m getting lost in a traffic jam or a dark construction site, and I wonder if I really want to hear what they might have to tell me. In the second half, things get real spaced-out and echo-y, letting you really sit and listen to the individual sounds being thrown at you. At least, it’s a little more spaced out. For any other artist, this would be the intense part!

{Tech, No Human}⚙ memories, thoughts & imaginations exist where?

One of the more “followable” songs on the project, but by no means the least strange. The repeating melodic structure is built piecemeal out of operatic samples, detuned guitars, and a strange arp riff that eventually bridges all the other diseparate components of the song into a whole. Also, the title is a very Hofstadter question to ask.

🌬Ripple In The Cosmic Data Flow✨

I love the weird edutainment-style voice reading out every letter of the alphabet. It’s almost like a number-station, or a hash to make sure the ripple within the data flow hasn’t set our cosmos too out of wack. After all letters have been accounted for, we are treated to a relaxing little section with surprisingly few samples jumping out at us, compared to before.

Consciousness ~ Biological Waste♨

This song slides nearly immediately into a thick dance beat, immediately giving a familiar and parseable backbone to the track. The title seemingly alludes to a theory of consciousness that sometimes keep me up at night. Perhaps, consciousness isn’t really what we feel like it is. It certainly gives a sensation of being in control, but is that true? Our neuronic processes seem to be largely predictable and trackable, behaving to strict chemical laws that are never broken. So are we really in the driver’s seat, or are we simply feeling the passive expression of our biology? Consciousness might not be the driving force of our brains, but rather something like steam waste, evaporating and rising out of it. The song slaps, though.

🦄Superhuman Desires & Sensations 🦄

This song is particularly inspirational to my musical work as Heaven Topology. The bouncy bassline with the swingy percussion is something I really like, and I also love the melodic direction this track takes. It’s almost like the intro song to fictional digital sitcom shown on a 90s internet safety DVD.

The Soul Vs. Evolution Of The Birth Of New Gods ♻

This song feels like something of a cooldown, with a sluggish tempo accented by bright notes and samples that shine through the muck. The title implies that the soul is at odds with the “birth of new Gods”, or rather, the evolution of the birth. I am certainly interested in learning about how the birth of Gods has evolved, but seemingly, they are in some sort of competition with my soul. Or, perhaps the recycling symbol is an implication that the New Gods are being recycled from souls, or vice versa. Either way, I’m intereted!

The breaking of emotional bonds & intricate webs🌐

I was listening to this song while writing this post, and I started to dissociate and completely forgot what I was doing. That’s probably a better description of it than I was going to write, anyways.

🚖my self automated car feels the ecosystem🌵 🌴 🌱 🌿

I what the term “self automated” implies. Is it saying the car automates itself, rather than being automated externally, by perhaps the manufactuerers? In that case, it might be some strange form of life. I wonder, to what extent, it could be integrated into the ecosystem. Since it automates itself, perhaps it doesn’t want to drive down roads anymore? It very well might rather become a part of nature. We often think of industry and machines as being opposed to nature and the ecosystem. In our current life, they usually are opposed—but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Intersubjective 🔮<<Electro Chemical>⚡

As a web developer, the unclosed angle bracket is killing me. Oh Shmu, why did you not add a closing bracket! Was this just to torment me! This song is effectively a dissection of a MIDI piano concerto, the pitch flying all over the place and bending into octaves it was probably never intended to go in. And then, right in the middle is an explosion of fusion-inspired relief.


This might be my favorite of the titles. It is somehow nice to think about my body in the context of a “castle” formed by biology. Chemicals came together and formed a protective stronghold (or a tower) to contain and maintain. This track is a surprisingly relaxing ending to the album, while still containing all the chaos the rest of the album showcases.

~$puja 4 rahu$~

This song isn’t on the album, but it’s the latest track Shmu has released (as of August 2022), so I figure I’d throw it in here! It’s a 25 minute long synth-lead prog, or maybe krautrock inspired jams. This one song is almost as long as the entirety of The Universe is Inside My Body! While not quite as sample heavy as the album, the track has a very determined beat and driving melody, something almost like Boredoms would create. Even though the track is long, and the formula may seem repetitive, there really is a lot of color and differentiation thrown all throughout that I never got bored during the whole runtime. I find this a bit of an unexpected direction for the artist to head in, but it is one I am excited for!

Thank you for reading!

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