It wasn’t that long ago that Arrival was under the pen, an album which, despite its futuristic, synth-pop cover image proved to be a gorgeous wash of emotive digitali and creative keyboarding. Proof, if proof was still required, that the digital world can be as soft and scintillating, deft and delicate as anything made in the analogue realms.
And here we are, mere months later with another burst of dexterous creativity, a five-track EP that both continues the sonic journey and takes it to new musical places, and new heights.
There is still a slight feeling of that retro-futurism which haunts all music swirling about such genres, but what is so charming about Moon And Aries is that their retro-ism seems almost primal, the sounds of the distant past turned into bits and bytes, notes and nuance rather than just something that echoes with 80’s glamour.
Similarly, their futurism pushes so far out with unimaginable forward-thinking that it seems to eschew the spangly suits and sci-fi imagery of the early synth pioneers and becomes the soundtrack to something much more creative. Not so much the soundtrack to what is just around the corner but to that which is millennia away. Perhaps, given one interpretation of the way time works their future visions meet their primal past to create one glorious dance.
Take Me Home is the perfect way to kick things off, a balance of pizzicato string sounds and synth washes, splashes of percussion and sumptuous harmonies; softened around the edges yet beat-driven and euphoric. In Silence is more understated and sonically serene, a bubbling groove driving soft intertwining vocals which mesh and merge seamlessly with the music and the title track takes us into more dramatic realms often feeling more like a futuristic synth opera than contemporary dance or pop. Perhaps this is the start of a new sound that merges those worlds!
Mercury rounds things off, with an instrumental which proves that even without Jordana Moon’s impressive vocals, they still have something to say, and without the direct communication of lyrics it is down to the individual to interpret the emotions in the music, to find their own intimate meaning and message.
New Age music these days often seems anything but, an irony that something label thus seems to evoke sounds of the past. So, if Moon And Aries make New Age music, and they certainly seem to, the first thing we need to do is find a new name for it. Transcendental Synthwave? Futuristic Poperatics? Cosmic Chill? Thoughts anyone?