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Moleslope - Slope CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.16 | 10 ratings

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3 stars Canterbury Sound Modérn: Japan Chapter

And here, coming away from listening to and preparing for 'Canterbury Sound' from Italy and Spain, we have further international representation of the subgenre from Japan! [I guess if there's Zeuhl worship in this country, why wouldn't we expect other, slightly more obscure progressive idioms to be present?] This is the 2019 debut LP from moleslope, their sole release up to this point.

And right from the first notes on "Change", played on what sounds like a very convivial and welcoming Rhodes piano, and pretty immediately met with rolling drums and horn section (1 trumpeter and 1 saxophonist multi-tracked to provide a really fat, layered ensemble), they are succeeding in 'the Sound'. Though very modern and, in some ways, weirdly undeniably Japanese (I really can't describe it, but I think you'll know how I mean), this is indeed radiating elements from Kent's Jazz-obsessed scene. The piano continues to lead off in a hypnotic lilt on "Slow Snow". When the drums enter, your brain may do a slight shift to acclimate haha. Keys are soft and spacy, matched with the light fingering of sax. Perhaps most comparable here to GILGAMESH; I was trying to think of other bands. Regardless, still, even in this quieted moment, very much hearkening back to Canterbury. It's lovely.

"Shelterless" has a lovely rolling effect, led by very beefy bass. The horn section here reminded me of elements hit upon by Norway's Kent-adjacent SEVEN IMPALE. Very feeling, slightly dark. Speaking of slight, the compositional shifting of this track is very very nice. And there's a nice chordal guitar solo. Again, hypnotic. "Killer" is lead most by drums, utilizing what I assume to be the bells on the cymbals. Successful effect, but the track didn't exactly win me. Using what feels like the same rhythm from "Killer" is "Leap Second", which introduces some nice, crackling synth lead. Back into a hypnosis, but I'm still not entirely convinced. Well performed, at least.

These last few are offset by "North Wind", which was really scratchin' the ol' noggin: textural and tasty. Sounds like flute here (but credited to whom?...). Again, driven by the rolling bass. And finally, rolling right along, is "Light Night Trip", a soft number to finish out. Decent, but nothing to match the frontend strengths.

True Rate: 3.5/5.0

DangHeck | 3/5 |


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