Moon Ate the Dark: S/T
Posted In: Anna Rose Carter, Christopher Brett Bailey, Fred Nolan, Moon Ate the Dark, Moon Ate the Dark - S/T, Sonic Pieces
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Sometimes processing works better when we scarcely notice it. When reverb – instead of opting for Maximum Shoegaze – simply adds size to the room. When delay only creates distance. When loops are discriminate, vital.
And sometimes it needs to spin totally out of control.
Just about all the Fluid Radio audience needs to read before listening is that Moon Ate The Dark is Anna Rose Carter and Christopher Brett Bailey. Carter, the prolific, Wales-born talent, secured Fluid’s top slot for albums released in 2010. Already a stellar endorsement, the article continued: “The album was also a huge source of inspiration to me earlier in the year whilst going through a difficult time and without ‘Silver Lines’ Fluid Radio would not be here today!” Bailey describes himself, with Twitter-brevity, as a “theatre-maker/ performer/ associate artist of Made in China/ musician.” The two have collaborated since 2009, with Carter on piano and Bailey on “guitar amplifiers” (hear a live improvisation found on Carter’s Soundcloud page). This way the Moon Ate The Dark alias and album fall somewhere between inauguration and relaunch.
The major-in-scope, minor-in-key “Explosions in a Four Chambered Heart” opens the self-titled debut. Carter performs a surrounding, uptempo waltz as Bailey produces sparse, quiet one-offs with his effects board: the electronic rippling of echo frequencies changing and settling in together in real time, and some un-oscillating sweeps of hoarse feedback. But Moon Ate The Dark seems primarily to be moon, with Bailey’s current acting as seasoning to Carter’s savory acoustics. “Messy Hearts” is a counterexample, with the lone piano multiplied beautifully into a sheet full of parallel lines. Gradually the lines skew with the quivery disequilibrium of a phaser effect. Again, Bailey adds nothing overbearing or overly-manipulated, that is until the final 90 seconds morph into frank feedback waves and the harsh crackling of static. The piano-and-clamor era formally begins here, with convincing measures of both, neither complete without the other.
Similarly, the brief “In Fiction” starts with a four-second outtake, a thudding low note, and a scratching, source-uncertain loop. The creepy hand-across-the-strings chord and alien rattle quicken the pulse, but the horror flick shuts off right at the opening credits. (Someone consult the playbook: certainly this earns us a penalty kick.) The following track “She/Swimming” is much more representative of the album, besides: a luxurious, hypnotic piano arrangement, with an almost organic dose of reverb and glistening ambient touches.
Moon Ate The Dark is a deceptively smart piece of composing and processing. Look for it on June 8, from Sonic Pieces.
- Fred Nolan for Fluid Radio