A Journal Of The Dark Arts
If Ghost Box‘s Belbury Parrish seems content to just sit there, popping in and out of existence like that ghost berg Brigadoon, then, in contrast, Moon Wiring Club‘s Clinksell seems bent on global dominion, like some Yog Sothothian infestation. Judging by the rate MWC bang out compositions, and his increasing pedigree as a producer and sonic artificer, we might actually want to be a little worried.
A Fondness For Fancy Hats is presented as the soundtrack for an imaginary old skool computer game, from which you might never emerge.
A sprawling world of skill and strategy is now theoretically available and you can join the growing number of unsatisfied customers who have yet to escape. This is no five minute wonder ~ you will be playing A Fondness For Hats for months over many years (we know ~ we have seen you in there). Lost inside your own mind palace, the objective is to locate the fanciest of fancy hats and retire to a dreamy garden party, where you can effortlessly display this magical titfer.
– press release (?)
There are 2 versions: the Gecophonic CD (GEPH007CD) and a Cassette Version, subtitled Soft Confusion, housed in a plastic clamshell computer game case. Soft Confusion may be the most apt descriptor for Moon Wiring Club yet. It’s hard to tell what exactly the hell is going on. But we know that we like it.
If you follow these pages, you’ll know that we’re longstanding supporters of the Moon Wiring Club’s “Confusing English Electronic Music”. If ever there was a musick that defied deconstruction and analysis, it is this. The uncanny allure is part of the charm. You never know what you have in store, when you drop the plunger on one of these trips. Clinksell is a world unto itself, and invites you to explore it’s warrens and glens.
A Fondness For Fancy Hats places you inside a world “a large number of scrolling mazes and areas of peculiar architecture, including the fabled Moontower and Mouldsmoth Hall, each containing countless rooms.”. Each track feels like it’s own room, it’s own realm to explore. In certain rooms, like “The Regency Express,” furniture is floating in mid-air, while the ghosts of the Chipmunks chatter around yr senseorb. Other songs serve more as passageways, like “Realm Of Fancy,” which perfectly replicates the sound of sneaking down a murky corridor. Dungeon synth breakbeat? This is the idea of listening to MLz. If you were ever looking for the lovechild of the Maniac Mansion soundtrack, Giorgio Moroder, and Pendulum, look no further.
This immersion of Fondness is the most complete Moon Wiring Club experience to date, coming mostly from the fact that Ian Hodgson has become quite an exquisite producer and sound engineer. He’s still clinging to his antiquated Playstation technology, probably in part to stand out from the zombie hordes and 2. he’s probably just used to it. It lends Moon Wiring Club’s music a rough, homemade experimental edge that is from the streets, a ghettotech musique concrete. The problem with this, and let this be a word to all bedroom hip hoppers out there, is that this music can be harsh and grating on the ears, the plastic airless digital beats of a playstation or a DAW. If sounds never see the light of day, have never breathed a breath of air, they have a zombielike lifeless bite, that is unpleasant to listen to for any length of time. To make good Trap beats, they have to be brilliantly, or at least attempt to be, mixed.
I’ve always appreciated what Ian Hodgson has been attempting, but some of his older recorders were pretty rough and weird, a little TOO uncanny. With A Fondness For Fancy Hats, he’s really stepped it up a notch. His beats are low and tight and punchy, it’s a proper club record, but then smeared with Dickensian vocals run through a million echo pedals, swarming around yr head like cicadas. It seems that Moon Wiring Club’s plague of madness could go viral.
Madness is what it is. Il-logic. Ir-rational. It defies easy categorization. Moon Wiring Club, and all good hauntological documents, remind us of the contradiction of Ghosts, the presence of what isn’t there. Moon Wiring Club’s music keeps you guessing. What is real? What is sampled? Where did it come from? It’s like falling down a well, full of dusty allusions, the aural experience of a Lovecraftian antihero in time-lapse photography. But with a real love of rave music. And schmaltzy sugary pop music. It’s weird.
We feel like, now that Night Vale has infected the world with its surrealist misinformation, people are especially primed to appreciate Moon Wiring Club’s alternate reality. Clinksell is the forgotten British berg version of Night Vale’s Twin Peaks in the Desert paranoid Americana.
We hope that, by breaking Moon Wiring Club’s music into the world, we are serving to make the world a more baroque, horrorscore place to live. A place of Victorian danceparties and outer space discos and surrealist short-stories. A world of sense and non-sense. Hammer harpsichords meet Aphex Twin in the Vurt, dark matter subvurts us with its absence. It seems as if Broadcast & The Focus Group’s seance was successful. It seems we have gained communion with the other side.
This is the best Moon Wiring Club record so far. I’ve listened to it 7 times, and given copies to all my roommates. I’m just proseletyzing, at this point. It seems that a lot of people know it too, as both CD and Cassette are sold out, on this one, i’m sorry to say. Add it to yr wishlist on Boomkat, or dig for a copy of Discogs.
MAKING THE WORLD A WYRDER PLACE. ☩
very highly recommended.