Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Artist: The Tenants of Balthazar's Castle
Title: the moon
Format: CD
Label: A. Star
Rated: *****
Upon hearing the very 1st track on this album, you are soon warned that the frequency spectrum on this album will be a wide one. By track two, 'the voice of the moon" (their lowercase) is a manic, hyperspeed and looping race to an unknown destination in Tron land. As a point of reference here, a stretch mind you, it almost reminds of a midi-derived Reich percussion piece smashed into a work by maximalist composer Paul Dolden, complete with accelerated phasing and organically panned stereo imaging. This lasts just a short time however, as shortly thereafter in the moon moves’ the swirl begins to deteriorate and melt upon itself. After this barrage, we return to a more spacious and sonically expansive place much like the intro. After a very patient 15 and one half minutes of this piece, we are hit with a sudden onslaught that would make any Merzbow fan happy. Its a big sound, and its in your face. Nice.

This was the first moment that truly woke me up. Starting at this mile marker, I found myself much more enrapt in the album as a whole. It’s almost like you are listening to a compilation or split 7" and then the 2nd band arrives - the one you like more. This does make for a trajectory on the whole.

Everything that follows is worth sitting through. Other noteworthy tracks are 'lamplighter', and 'the end' which introduces some woodwinds, synths, and consequently a feel not unlike Badalamenti scoring a Lynch film. 'rising', the final track does an effective job of leading you back out the door you entered.

I initially decided to forego the liner notes, although as I wrap this it appears they reveal a bit about the equipment used on the record. This is not really part of the way I enjoy going into a new listening experience but its there for those who are curious.