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Moonwagon - Foyers of the Future CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.96 | 55 ratings

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5 stars Attention to all space prog cadets, there is a new interstellar voyager that is scouring the farthest reaches of the cosmos, boldly going where some have gone before but with a warp-speed twist that is most exhilarating. From Finland comes Moonwagon, a quartet of fine aural sculptors who have the audacity, the seasoned chops and celestial doses of imagination. The usual crew configuration mans the flight deck but there is little doubt in my mind that the ship Captain is the nasty little bass player, Janne Ylikorpi who leads the others by propulsive inspiration. His monstrous, fluid and devastating bass playing is front and center, mixed high and loud. For a Federation bass fetishist like yours truly, this is something I would "Kling-on", a rambling adventure of the highest order. Some may wonder whether there are strong Pink Floyd, Hawkwind or classic Gong vibes, maybe a little Ozric Tentacles thrown in, but the answer is, not really. Moonwagon have a harder edge, less soporific, perhaps even chaotic at times, they like to log into a specific warp speed, hold onto the groove and let the splashy synths and the gritty guitar shoot off some photon torpedoes, the bombs bursting in deep space air! In fact, there may be a closer association to a more melodic Anekdoten than anything, so it does have that icy Scandinavian vibe we all adore. I strongly advise fans to heed the bass' call and follow it through the entire journey. Janne is a reptilian fast player who has amazing depth and staying power to his playing. Every track is a pure gem, a revelation of style and sound that is universally appealing. The relentless Lemmy-like pounding only enhances contributions from keyboardist Ami Hassinen, whose preference is for extended liquid laser synthesizer runs, as well as bringing that elusive electric piano to the party, while guitarist Joni Tiala carves some creative lines, unafraid to go acoustic when need be, which is becoming such a rarity in the Psychedelic/Space realm. His electric leads are never reliant on effects, he keeps it pretty clean and technical. Drummer Jani Korpi keeps things tight and crisp, as befitting the genre's needs.

There are some scintillating tracks here, such as the opener "Elsewhere" setting the journey's tone, the battering ram effect of "New World Warrior" but none better than "Shadows Whisper Fire", a smoldering meteor of bass-lava fire, if you cannot smile in awe at hearing this, you need medical help! It's almost beyond description, a bass performance for the ages, a mix of Howlett, Wetton and Reeves. "Dawnwind" is simply splendid, a brooding astro-cruise that really hits the mark, as well as the delirious 11 minute+ "Through the Veil of Rain", where the first hints of classic-era Hawkwind appear, laced with some serious and intense Romulan space boogie. "Saturn Summer" will weave rings around your head, a breezy , asteroid-laden affair that has a bright summery feel, led again by you know who , whistling synths on one orbit and raging guitar on the second pass. Some island beats, a percussive samba, man, these lads have a strange universe to evoke and it's just so refreshing. "Past Moves" has a massive organ intro, a classic blues rock based guitar secondo, a shuffling beat a la 70s and you would thing like Booker T and the MGs, 2012 version! Tremendous quality and memorable playing.

To finish off with the extravagant "Tranceport", a title that says it all, is the proverbial Vulkan nerve neck pinch. The band has no qualms about strangeness or charm, laying down a shining cosmic highway to the stars, keeping the pace sprightly and honed to a high level of sharpness. Clanging e-piano, whirling synths, that confounded rambling bass, slick guitar licks and a two-fisted drum attack are what you get as a docking prize.What a brilliant finale ! Amazing slice of astral adventure, fans need to get this ASAP, especially the modern and demanding space traveller. Oh, and anyone who enjoys following the bass .

5 tomorrow's fireplaces

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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