May 1, 2003
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft Pink Truth
The Wind-Up Bird
April 30, 2003
Pale Horse and Rider
Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers
April 29, 2003
Set Fire to Flames
Space-lounge from outerworld regions of blips and bleeps collides with nostalgic IDM melodies and welded funk breakbeats. Alien funk hypocrisy... If Burnt Friedman and the Nu Dub Playerstook over the Star Wars cantina...The cover art depicts the otherworldly scenario with cartoonish aplomb: two aliens—including one with multiple eyes and mouths—sit drinking beer on a lunarscape beneath an orange sky reminiscent of '60s Star Trek episodes. Perhaps we could say that this is spaced-out electronic music made for Holodeck fantasies involving a shapeshifter, Uhura and Captain Kirk with his shirt ripped off...make-out music for Martians...Kiss me, Kate76#4...
The delimitation of this kind of sappy-sing-song Warp-influenced IDM with deep basslines and DCO squelches is its construction of the Kitsch Factor. Is it Kitsch, i.e. "pretentious art in really bad taste," or is it a mocked form of its own weirdness that moves the whole cosmic caper into Sun Ra territory? Is Space the Place or is Moonbuggy flipping along on N02 tanks, careening off crater curves minus braincells? Is this review Kitsch by a kind of perverse and obscure necessity of mirroring such space odyssey weirdness? As Ben Nevile would say, this is music for the weird table...
Musical visits from the Forbidden Planet...While Karsten Genz and Mario Mensch compose a detailed soundtrack to this far out journey, the question must be asked if the space explored through this entire mode of music can offer the ears a qualitative sonic experience in an era already dominated by an overabundance of Warp clones, electro-synth-hop and boingy-lounge electronics. Fuck, we can ask this of anything, of course, so the whole thought is a little ridiculous. Thus it boils down to how the whole operation unfolds in the ears and the body, and in answering this prime directive, Moonbuggy both suceeds and fails—perhaps offering their own curious interpretation that furthers its mission directives, although not in quite the manner headquarters intended.
The first full track, "tropica," captures this momentum through its mix of dramatic show-theme refrains and heavy-metal style synth chords—a darker Plaid gearing up for battle with a vocoded circuitry in tow echoing downtempo and lounge sentiments. Like the way Pantone colours have returned to the forefront of advertising and design, we are swept back to that "second room" eliminated from the final cut of classic '60s freak-in starring the schizophrenic Peter Sellers—The Party...dressed to kill in what those black porters really got up to after hotboxing the closet.. A few of the later tracks, despite incorporating microsound bleeps and bubbling swamp rhythms, verge upon ringing up similar structurations of the source. Bright Pantone colours get tiring on the eyes. Much like pop music, lounged-out IDM with a kick of 4/4 and electro often relies upon a limited selection of harmonic chords to construct what is at times closer to a twisted resident soundtrack of the Milkbar in A Clockwork Orange than the stuttered breaks and beats of—to use the counterpoint again—a Plaid. The former is where we find Moonbuggy, and insofar as the Brothers Silly ingest a mad quantity of reserved Mendoz blotters—and as the Las Vegas counter-drug expert would say—it's as if we scouted a flashback reminding us that on Venus, sex, drugs and electronic rock 'n' roll is "...one hell of a trip!"
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