Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mosca - Winterland Review - Angry Ape

Angry Ape

The last time Falkirk-based electronic experimentalist Mosca performed live, he created quite a splash with his intense 'ambient' soundscapes. Building a ferocious wall of noise, the venue's walls literally shook with the force of the vibrations coming form the stage. It was hugely impressive and allowed those in attendance the ability to almost touch his music. It is a little surprising then, to find that Mosca has since departed from this style, in favour of something much more accessible.

"Winterland", spanning over fifty minutes of music, is not you typical EP release. His second effort for Herb Recordings collects ten slabs of leftfield electronica together, incorporating analog synths, crunchy beatwork and anthemic melodies.

Without being particularly ground-breaking, Mosca's style is pleasingly simplistic. "Those Eyes, That Smile" features skittering programming and a crackling backdrop which provides the perfect template for the euphoric melody to develop and grow in stature as the track progresses.

Despite the fact that they are mentioned in almost every single review revolving around an electronic record, Mosca does wander into Boards of Canada territory on a number of tracks. From the opening sun-kissed refrain of "1976" to the skewed melody and clipped hip-hop beats of "Moments Never Forget", Mosca wears a BoC influence on his sleeve.

Thankfully, he knows when to vary things and the sprawling 15-minute "The Last Thing You Will Ever See" harks back to Warp's glory days, when 'Artificial Intelligence' was the phrase on everyone's lips and Autechre were about to unleash the epic "Incunabula".

With hardly a duff track to be found, "Winterland" shows that Mosca is equally at home creating up-tempo slices of IDM as he is assaulting our senses with his ambient soundscapes. "Winterland", is essentially, Mosca's eclectic take on contemporary electronic music. Despite its frosty title, this release may just soundtrack a few late night get together's this summer.


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