Moonflare - All The World Is Bright With Joy And Magical Delight (Cubic Pyramid, 2009)
Moonflare is a soul trance artist reigning from I can only assume are the golden coasts of Portugal (Lisbon is on the coast, right?). This release is his first for new label cubic pyramid, just beginning it's journey into the foray of international neo-psychedelia. The world is bright indeed.
This CDR starts with a funky drum beat, echoing in and out like it was recorded in a tunnel. A repetitious guitar rift, moaning voices and oscillating synth fuzz burst through it, almost like you were listening to a Can song. It moves upwards, blissfully through a load of tremolo and sparkling synths until the drums and the bottom drop out. Those pretty synth lines soon become death drone dirges and the fog of heavy electronics is cut only by wailing voices and sharp, discordant guitar notes. The behemoth pushes on slowly before it ends with no light in sight.
The second song, an epilogue of sorts, is a different beast. A lonely, effected guitar plays bar room, solitary desert blues over some high droning, Penderecki-esque orchestra strings, while electronics quietly bloop and bleep. It is pretty much hair raising mood music, reminiscent of a Jaramusch soundtrack or some other existential noir score. I actually enjoyed it so much I was wishing that there were a few more like this and that the original behemoth had a few less minutes to it.
It's funny that the album is called All The World Is Bright With Joy And Magical Delight. I don't think it is tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the hopeless optimism and earthy vibes of some psychedelic music, but when it drops into the heavier droning it almost felt that way to me. It's good that the album never falls into the other cliche category of just being "heavy" "massive" "death drone", though some of the themes do go into darker spaces. Moonflare is very promising in that it is pretty unique in its own right. I'd love to hear what else he/she/they/it (?) come up with and would hope that it covers more of the mood piece style of music they deftly display on the second track.
Expect a label feature to appear soon and more stuff from these psych artists of The Gentle Land.