MOOONS - Star Eater
Take two Canadian artists that usually record their lo-fi folk music by themselves. In the meantime, one relocated to Utah in the USA as a scholar. And yet they still find together, over the Internet, to record together a more experimental music under the name Mooons.
One of the contributing musicians is Soren Brothers whose alter ego is Man Meets Bear and who has a knack of recording truly personal folk music that teleports you right into the bleak mountains of the North American continent. Then there is Roan Bateman aka Dark Bird whose musical approach doesnít seem to be that different, but I concede that I am not as familiar with his music. By themselves, their songs are usually rather short, but when it comes to Mooons, they are not afraid to allow longer structures.
Star Eater is their third collaborative album, and the six songs are all named after the phases of the moon: New Mooon, Waning, Gibbous, Crescent, Waxing and Full Mooon. I was only missing the Half Mooon, but thatís maybe a bonus track for a possible future re-release.
The opener New Mooon is at eleven minutes the longest track, and also the albumís highlight. It starts quite moody, with foreboding keyboard carpets, conjuring a truly chilly atmosphere. Three minutes into the song, a discrete rhythm slowly joins the synths, and before you know it, this is a finest chill-out track that probably owes more to Terry Riley than to modern electronic music. The following pieces more or less go into a more folk inclined way, although the guitars are put through a lot of different sound effects that at times you forget that you are listening to two guys strumming their guitars. Itís the longer tracks like Crescent (ten and a half minutes) and Full Mooon (eight minutes) that have an overall more experimental touch, and at times one might feel reminded of the early to mid-Seventies collaborations between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno who also married guitar and synthesizers into an unprecedented new musical universe.
I have to admit that I seem to like Mooons a little more than the artistsí solo endeavours, making this a project where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Itís probably the longer structures that allow the listener to truly dive deeply into the soundscapes. If you like experimental ambient music that has its origins in lo-fi folk music, you really should check out Mooons.