ALBUM REVIEW: Moon Hooch

This is Cave Music

Hornblow Recordings

Moon_Hooch_-_This_Is_Cave_Music_coverGrowing up in Ridgewood, NY, I would often walk down DeKalb Avenue and catch the “L” train at DeKalb and Wyckoff. On daily basis, there was no escaping the sounds, the preaching and diatribes that took place on the platform, in the cars and near the token booths. Mind you, this was over 20 years ago and, with the members of Moon Hooch being in their early 20’s, chances are they had not yet made their presence known in the subways of New York City and the surrounding five boroughs. Still, I find it hard to imagine not paying attention, reading my newspaper or possibly even moving cars as opposed to lending an ear to these three young lads.

Moon Hooch is horn players Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen along with drummer James Muschler. The sound they create is simply infectious. Think of Morphine procreating with Thelonious Monk, but throw in a bigger palette. Their most recent album is This is Cave Music and it is adventurous, original and raw. Their unique style of dance music is provocative and carnal. Be ready to throw your room keys at your stereo and strap in for one hell of a ride.

On the GBMB ratings scale, This is Cave Music solidly enters Mercury’s atmosphere.

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BTW, it should be noted that I discovered this music at my local public library in Rio Rancho, NM.  Not bad.

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GBMB Ratings System

There are nine planets in the solar system plus the sun. Beginning with the sun as a perfect “10,” and finishing with Pluto as a “1,” albums will be given a planet rating. Here is how it will work.

10 – Sun – Super hot stuff.
9 – Mercury – As with the formation of the Caloris Basin, this CD will probably cause a very large impact.
8 – Venus – Bright. You gotta love this one.
7 – Earth – Either too liberal or too conservative.
6 – Mars – The god of war loses a battle or two, but stays afloat.
5 – Jupiter – This planet is known as “The Wandering Star.” That would best describe this CD.
4 – Saturn – The rings are a bit tarnished.
3 – Uranus – Scientists don’t seem able to figure out which pole is north. Quite the conundrum.
2 – Neptune – The god of the sea, and this CD is definitely drowning!!!
1 – Pluto – This planet is smaller than several moons. Sounds insignificant.

There you have it. The rating system that will be used for all future reviews. Your comments, suggestions and criticisms would be greatly appreciated.

ALBUM REVIEW: FKA Twigs

LP1 @ Young Turks Recordings

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Upon first listen, the combination of voice, sound and appearance gives LP1 an ethereal quality. If a woman fronted Pink Floyd in the early days, the results might have bared a striking resemblance to LP1. Lyrically, FKA Twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett, exhibits her insecurities and vulnerability front and center. On “lights on,” she writes “I shy away / in my mind / in hope I can someday share this place”. She writes abut unrequited love in “numbers”: “was I just a number to you? / was I just a lonely girl to fly?”

The album has a very surreal approach. FKA Twigs often sounds like Kate Bush but with more a trance tone. Yet, it is difficult to turn away. This is not music to multitask to. With each listen, one will be pulled deeper and deeper with no exit door or escape hatch. My recommendation is to find a comfortable place to lie down, close your eyes and be moved.

RATING: Somewhere between Venus and Mercury.

A Quick One with Melanie DeBiasio

Melanie DeBiasio
The Great Beyond Music Blog recently exchanged emails with Melanie DeBiasio.  Quick and to-the-point answers.  Enjoy.
GBMB: Who are your influences and what do you find compelling about each of them?
MDB: Nature, silence, humans, old sounds, fan of old LP, fan of cinema, fan of having a true experience. ​

GBMB: What are you most proud of about “No Deal”?
MDB: “No Deal” seems to shiver boundaries and resonate in many hearts, it seems that this “creature record” makes its own path in many people, and is not mine anymore, i’m just part of it, and i like that idea.. being part of it.

GBMB: What are areas you would like to improve between now and the next record?
MDB: I don’t know. I don’t know if i wanna know ..​

GBMB: Phil Selway of Radiohead recently placed your album at the top of his Best of 2014 list. What does something like this mean to you?
MDB: ​That this musician got excellent tastes!  Ha.  Well that feels good to know that it’s shared ..

GBMB: Describe how you felt when you first read/heard that comment?
MDB: Surprised. Sleepy still..I think.

GBMB: What would you want listeners of your album to come away with?
MDB: A feeling of openness.

GBMB: You have spoken about the “space in the blackness”. How would you define the blackness?
MDB: Deep, infinite, mysterious, might be scary or yummy or cold or safe, just unexpected and full of contrasts.

GBMB: What are your plans for 2015?
​MDB: I don’t know.  I don’t know if i wanna know..​