Moody Alien – Down to the Junkyard

moody

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

For the past several years, a certain alien prone to moodiness has been composing outtakes. Now these are not the result of being cut from an album, rather they are the product of deliberate composition which will fit nowhere else. There are nine of these beauties, who knows how many more he’s holding in reserve but the imagination driving this production has no limits; whatever will fit in a particular iota of recording space is what winds up there. His last album sounds positively alien (sic) compared to what’s going on with his latest. There aren’t hooks or watermarks to seek out; when the sun goes down its time to head on out and journey ‘Down to the Junkyard’.

What’s so remarkable about this record is how familiar it sounds not only in terms of sound choices but general tone; you have half-remembered dreams of this place and can almost make out some of the details but yet the location continues to elude. These tracks come across to me like an old friend you’d sit across from and wile away the hours recounting youth’s folly and then the acrimonious manner in which the years have passed; how many have come and gone while the stream of time silently continues to flow above, beneath, around and through you. Like a pair of well-worn jeans which conform to every nuance or that set of weathered gloves you wear when it is time to go out back and maintain the fence, you’ll feel right at home here.

Perhaps that is why one piece is called “Com’ on down (to the junkyard)”. It is a welcoming, if not entirely safe place Moody Alien is bringing us to but as the listens accrue there is less and less to be wary of. He even puts his voice on some of this just to entice those ears a bit more. In fact, that’s another fascinating facet to this record: one set of hands wrote, played and produced all of this. This is his baby in every sense of the word and he’s staked his claim to this little parcel of experimental investigation authoritatively. If you know of anyone else who has this many disparate elements going on in their work, do let me know. It all just flows so seamlessly! These were ordered with the greatest of care.

No irritating changes in tempo or production hi-jinks are to be heard here, just the glistening parts of discarded machinery being manipulated until they are in tune; soon they’re running like a well oiled machine in spite of their varying states of disrepair. Unconventional yes, but since when has convention had any place in memorable work. He doesn’t just draw outside the lines, he ignore them completely and then incorporates what parts of them he likes into a completely new context.

Brilliant!

Moody AlienDown to the Junkyard
Thirsty Leaves Music, TLM006
MC/Digital 2016

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