MOONLOW – Who Are You?

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/Label: Trepanation Recordings
Released:
2020
Buy Album:
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Artist Website:
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MOONLOW

Band line-up:

Dust – All
Aryeh – Guest vocals

Tracklisting:

1 Day 1 (You Have No Enemy) (3:12)
2. Day 2 (Can You Hear) (4:31)
3. Day 3 (You Diminish Me) (4:06)
4. Day 4 (I Am Digressing) 4:06
5. Day 5 (Zero) (3:36)
6. Day 6 (And Then It Stops) (7:01)
7. Day 7 (The Birds Sing) (4:09)
8. Day 8 (Still Be) (5:08)
9. Day 9 (The Sun Did Rise) (2:56)
10. Next (6:38)

Review:

I was not prepared for this when it filtered through the air around me on that dark and lonely Wednesday night, nothing illuminating my surroundings but a single lit candle…. ‘Who Are You?’ introduced itself to me and I met a collection of pieces that make up by far the eeriest and strangest project I’ve ever listened to. In the midst of the current pandemic especially, this release by musician and producer Dust described as “apocalyptic noise poetry” sits in a disturbed and shadowy corner, luring you in as it casts its spell. 

Dust, who has a background in extreme metal, post-punk, and as a composer and songwriter, brings us the experimentally unusual album that is ‘Who Are You?’, and invites us to “enter into a quasi-religious communion with elements of the self.” Through what is essentially an existential journey spilled out in a stream-of-consciousness, we experience a very raw and organic outpouring of a soul writhing in the pain of fear and illness. Within a nine-day period, the metaphysical concepts that intrigue and drive us to madness are explored, whispered, screamed, indulged, and devoured by an artist who finds their true purpose in the honest and absolute expression of their art.

Almost entirely unplanned, quite abrasive, and avoidant of traditional structure, the music brings about severe feelings of despair. Amongst the insanity, however, there is also tranquility to be found within the ambient textures. Dust performed, arranged, produced, mixed, and mastered everything, with the exception of guest vocals from Aryeh on one track. This is very interesting because it shows the vision of an artist that is completely their own with no outside sway, which makes it a very intimate and personal experience to listen through. 

MOONLOW

Imperfect and naturally explosive, this nightmarish journey through ‘Who Are You?’ brings the darkest parts of my mind into a dystopian world, where rooms of broken computers under green-white lights buzz, the streets grey and gloomy in an asphalt city. Strange voices without faces surround, like a nightmare teetering on the waking edge of sleep paralysis. Some songs bring me to white rooms, vacuum-quiet apart from the bouts of distorted cries, coughs, and deranged lullabies.

As the voices in ‘Day 1 – You Have No Enemy’ ask “Who Are You?” I am shaken to the core by the grotesque and intrusive yet strangely addictive way the question cuts to the very being of my existence. In ‘Day 3 – You Diminish Me’, I listen to the story of a person who is utterly consumed by the toxicity of another presence. It seems that Moonlow has been taken over and seeps with black soot from their perpetual bind to a monster-like figure – one that eats and thrives off of misery. Sickeningly dreadful, this track screams from a harrowing place and shakes all in its path. Moonlow’s tormented outbursts border on possessed, and perhaps they are, by the demons of unanswered longing, confusion, and loneliness. 

A world only the brave and curious dare explore, ‘Who Are You?’ is not for the faint of heart. If you can embrace the disturbing nature of the album, you might find yourself captivated and learning something entirely new. Offbeat and unlike anything I’ve ever listened to before, the music would be a perfect fit for an experimental and equally dark arthouse film. Perhaps Moonlow will come up with some visuals of their own, and showcase their vision in its entirety. Pick up ‘Who Are You?’ on October 16, 2020, in CD, cassette, or digital format, and decide for yourself if this apocalyptic world is one you dare to enter.

Review by Kat Knite
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