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Moonwagon Night Dust album cover
3.84 | 47 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hoodoo Horizon (8:42)
2. Highway To The Orange Desert (8:31)
3. Oceans Away (9:21)
4. Super-Altar (4:07)
5. Starmask (5:53)
6. Thunderdrift (7:46)
7. Sundown Mountain (15:51)

Total Time: 60:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Joni Tiala / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Ami Hassinen / analog & digital synths, keyboards, FX, vocals
- Janne Ylikorpi / bass
- Jani Korpi / drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, jew's harp, vocals

Releases information

CD Twilight Works ‎- TWCD01 (2010, Finland)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOONWAGON Night Dust ratings distribution

(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOONWAGON Night Dust reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars Hey, this is another surprise which recently reached me from Finland. MOONWAGON formed in 2008, however, concerning previous years everybody on his own is looking back to some kind of collaboration with diverse music projects. They have thrown this self-produced album across the progressive rock stage last year ... and, no wonder, are signed by a label in the meanwhile. The follower is in the making already ... but let's see what the 'Night Dust' is all about.

'Zero, we have ignition!' ... a quite familiar countdown leads to the band's kick-off and then you'll come upon groovy songs basically, decorated with Ami Hassinen's playful keyboard input plus Joni Tiala's psychedelic and spacey guitar work. Great synergy all the way through and I hope that they are able to transport this to the stage - hence I would love to see them performing their music live one day.

Hoodoo Horizon convinces with alternating tempos which represent either more heavy or rather spheric moments. The following Highway To The Orange Desert is ideally suitable for your next progressive rock party ... or maybe designated to move the crowd during a gig, far away from a simple implementation though. Oceans Away is nicely evolving - at some point they switch into a wonderful spacey mood, partially Pink Floyd reminiscent, tension-filled, the album's greatest aspect in my opinion - this song is a highlight definitely. Some heavier impressions are even reminding of Atomic Rooster due to the organ.

A short melancholic ballad is implemented, on the dynamic Thunderdrift they let it rrrrrrrock again, not missing a mellow interlude anyway. The closing extended track Sundown Mountain finally shines with great variety, something epic. It all starts with an ambient flow for some minutes - cosmic explorations dominate, hypnotic mantra-like vocals appear right in the middle, partially there is dramatic behaviour where they make it big, bassist Janne and drummer Jani come to the point here really.

Congrats, mission accomplished! 'Night Dust' is a bit retro outfitted in the vein of ... yeah I would name Astra and Hypnos 69 at the very front, but Hidria Spacefolk should definitely be mentioned when it comes to some sort of comparison. So this is not something revolutionary new in style, Ami and Joni are complementary though in a special unique manner. All in all I sense a positive, optimistic vibe. With other words: MOONWAGON are on a promising way, no doubt, they carry it out with a fresh and confident attitude. Enjoy it!

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Moonwagon's debut album offers visions to the cosmic progressive rock realms observed from Central Finland's starlit winter nights. The first riffs after the ignition made me anticipate quite dark heavy space noodlings, but the vintage analogue synthesizers and other stylistic details from larger palette broadened this perspective. The steady scans of "Hoodoo Horizon" skim to convincing instrumental landscapes through rhythmic alterations and neat solos. I was first little worried about the end of the first track if this would be another sonic volcano eruption in vein of "21st Centrury Schizoid Man", but interestingly the band continues from there dynamically with riff reprisals and finds a controlled endings. Quite surprising and interesting solution, and these voyages do not venture only in cold space, but also to more organic and alive islands of inhabited worlds floating in the void. Some piano themes, percussions and relaxed guitar tones on "Highway to The Orange Desert" give even associations of sensualist touches familiar to me from Carlos Santana and Positive Wave. "Oceans Away" dives in really calm lunar sea, melodies and firm continuum bringing memories from Camel's heyday records. The echoed guitar chords resemble slightly Rush, the song also containing similar neurotic rhythm arrangements from the 1970's albums from that band. "Super Altar" is one of my own favorites on this record, combining Hawkwind-styled acoustic guitar drive and soothing keyboard melodies, synthesizing as lovely hippie cosmic anthem. "Starmask" continues with slightly more oppressing tones, containing strong feeling of movement and travel, leading to culmination of heavier pulses in "Thunderdrift". With this track I think some innovations from the 70's hard rock group have been studied and implemented to the group's sound. The longest final track "Sundown Mountain" revels in abstract sound ambiences and slow rhythms for glorifying the grandiose visions beautifully. The song evolves to more riff-oriented theme for mountainside chanting and synthesizer soloing, the returning to more ethereal beginning theme.

What delighted me in their overall sound was the diversity of musical styles circling around the standards of tonal textures association with space rock, general progressive rock philosophies and flavored with classic heavy rock leanings. The way of expanding the conventional darker psych elements with tones from broader progressive rock sound has created more personal record, slightly similar way than Hypnos 69 has achieved. I admit though, that in my opinion these two bands are not very close relatives with their sound, but certainly share the approach in broad stylistic fusion in psychedelic frame of reference. For me most memorable sounds here were the calmer pretty guitar weeps and powerful vintage keyboard presence. The sounds are in my opinion recorded here quite well, if such quality can be evaluated with my half-deaf ears. I tested it loud on car, and with five speakers system enhanced with additional boost of Bassman 10 amp at home junkyard. Certainly the spheres of cosmos were conjured very pleasantly, all instruments in my opinion at good balance and audible, mutual levels finding full balance in intensity. So, sincerely recommended progressive psych rock record from the land of desolate woodlands and empty grey cities.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars No i'm not surprised that my Psychedelic / Space brothers Uwe and Eetu have already reviewed this album. I want to thank Classic Rock presents Prog for their interview with the band, much of that info I used in this next paragraph.These guys kind of met haphazardly at this festival where bands would re-create Classic Rock albums.They kind of got thrown together and their goal was to do the first BLACK SABBATH album. It was so much fun for them that they decided to stay together, well except for the Ozzy-sounding vocalist. Most of the songs were done through jamming and improvizing because the band felt it was more exciting to do it this way. Whatever works right ? They're based in central Finland far from Helsinki. Ami the keyboardist describes it as being like the Australian outback, very backwards. Half of the year is dark and darkness is definetly a theme of many of their tunes.There's a cool picture of the band in the liner notes taken in the dark with a lantern at their feet.

"Hoodoo Horizon" opens with a sample of a countdown transmission then this slow and heavy soundscape comes in.The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in then it slows back down to end it. "Highway To The Orange Desert" opens with a beat as the piano joins in. Guitar after a minute as it picks up some. Nice bass with synths before 3 1/2 minutes. Piano and guitar lead before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Oceans Away" sounds really good to start with the bass, drums and guitar standing out. It settles before 4 minutes with water sounds and more. It picks back up after 7 minutes with some excellent guitar. Water sounds end it. "Super-Alter" has these spacey synths and strummed guitar that reminds me of early PORCUPINE TREE. Nice. Organ after a minute then synths again. A definite favourite.

"Starmask" has a heavy beat with heavy guitar early. Spacey synths before 2 minutes. A Gilmour vibe when it comes to the guitar around 4 minutes. Synths a minute later. "Thunderdrift" is uptempo and heavy. It does settle after 2 minutes.

"Sundown Mountain" is the longest track at almost 16 minutes. It's dark and spacey to open. A heavy sound comes in after 2 minutes. Riffs before 5 minutes and some vocal melodies too. A change before 7 1/2 minutes. I like this. It picks up before 10 1/2 minutes with the guitar and drums leading. It settles back around 13 minutes. It's spacey a minute later. We're galloping late.

An enjoyable listen with some variety and I like the fact that they aren't afraid to let it rip once in a while.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From the western parts of Finnish lands and the town of Kokkola comes this interesting Space/Psych/Prog act, found in 2008 by keyboardist Ami Hassinen (aka Ashen Simian), member of the Electronic group Nemesis, drummer/guitarist Jani Korpi, bassist Janne Ylikorpi and guitarist Joni Tiala.They released their debut ''Night Dust'' indepedently in 2010, while the album was reissued one year later with the support of Running Moose Productions and Presence Records.

At a first listening Moonwagon sound extremely close to the likes of OZRIC TENTACLES, QUANTUM FANTAY or TIME TRAVELLER, playing a genuine Heavy/Space Rock with lots of keyboards/synthesizers and a good amount of guitar diversity.More insisting spins though bring on surface a wide range of influences contained in this spacey jamming.Parts of the album have a strong retro flavor, like the organ washes and funky clavinets on ''Highway to the Orange Desert'', ''Oceans Away'' or ''Super-Altar'', the later being an interesting blend of Acoustic Music with soaring keyboards.A few moments even offer a bit of a Fusion vibe with flexible synths and frenetic playing next to more psychedelic deliveries.Fair enough though the driving force of the album is a pounding, groovy and intense Space Rock with big time Electronic soundscapes, powerful guitars and very edgy synthesizers in a trippy experience full of passion and energy.These elements are perfectly placed in the long instrumental ''Sundown Mountain'', covering a wide range of tempos, cosmic soundscapes and moods.

Very nice and recommended release.Not particularly original or groundbreaking, but definitely dynamic, challenging and passionate, full of Space Prog adventures.

Review by Menswear
4 stars Suitable for rides on Saturn?

If I ever rent a buggy on a distant planet, I'm thinking of bringing this one with me. You always need an album for smooth rides on zero gravity, gazing at the stars. I think the best word to describe it lies in the cover artwork: a shining diamond, giving an array of colors that succeeds themselves at a high pace. Lots of colors provided by: a vast arsenal of synths, dynamic drumming, busy bass lines and One of These Days guitar tones. This is Moonwagon: the love child of Pink Floyd and Queens of the Stone Age; space and desert rock at the same time.

Very nice space/ desert rock, perfect for interstellar voyages, especially the non-chemically- induced ones. Snatch off one star for the lack of crazyness, a bit more insanity could've give the record a perfect score!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Moonwagon's debut album is a real eye opener, not since Italy's one shot 1999 wonder Sunscape (a true galactic classic) have I been so impressed by a new player on the astro- prog front! These Finns got together at a festival and decided to unleash this 'enterprise' on us space cadets. A delirious selection of exotic space rock compositions, coxswained by that most ubiquitous instrument for galactic roaming, the bass guitar! Expertly wielded by Janne Ylikorpi , the low end rudder is more intricate than say classic Hawkwind (who prefer a more brutal , steam-roller onslaught) or the hippy-trippy lunacy of the trilogy-era Gong.

The opener is an out and out classic 'Hoodoo Horizons' just pulsates like there is no today or tomorrow while relying on incredibly raunchy riffs, bruising rhythm patterns sounding like a very heavy Pink Floyd! 'We have ignition!' Easily one of my favorite space prog tracks ever! Lancinating synth blows, stringent guitars pummel without any mercy, razor sharp and anvil hard! Sizzling synth vibrates wildly and when the sublime kicks in, oh my my! Ylikorpi just dazzles with multiple tortuous runs that defy gravity. Guitarist Tiala slices through with shivering fluidity. Drums only further force the issue. I mean, this is just diabolical! Wow! The band has the typical Finn audacity to delve into a return to 1969 era Santana, complete with Gregg Rollie-like organs ablaze, just as hard as Mike Shrieve drumming on the ceremonious 'Highway to Orange Desert'. The guys just have fun, reproducing a sound that was glorious then and still is now, a Latino-influenced prog piece that is delicious and clever. Please focus on the rather precise instrumental prowess on display. Keyboardist Ami Hassinen invites some illustrious e-piano to great effect, together with is other ivories and passes nicely to Tiala to rip off a few sterling solos, sounding like Neil Schon when with early Santana. Another tremendous performance by the bassist, getting his nosy four string monster involved in pushing this miraculous track forever forward, invincible! This is very slickly produced in its inherent simplicity, yet well-crafted and inspired. Relentless brilliance, yes even the term 'stoner music' applies.

On 'Oceans Away' the Finns actually aspire to show off their Ozric tentacles but infuse the driving groove with some seductive bluesy guitar soloing. Pulsating, thrilling and yet emotionally awesome, this is another clear winner, a proud definition of what cosmic rock music is all about. Their style is so much more musical and textured than the classic leaders of space/psychedelic prog. Those are very lofty targets and Moonwagon seem to be on the perfect orbit to become the next big thing! This track is on par with the opener, a critical discovery of progressive mood music. Tiala just smokes it on lead guitar, egging the bass and the drummer along, heavy doom laden riffs keep one panting and claustrophobic. I am starting to laugh at the sheer pleasure of it all, a sure sign that I am being intimidated. Does not happen often!

The ultra-cool 'Super-Altar' unleashes a slow vortex of gentle sound, very mellow with wispy flute synths and acoustic guitar phrasings, the bass burrowing painlessly and drums just tapping along. Ethereal and relaxing. 'Starmask' reverts to the gritty bluster, wasting little time in settling old scores and pushing a dirtier agenda, boisterous and yet deliberate. Tiala slowly uncorks a screaming solo that's very 'Gilmour in a bad mood', thrashing riffs and colliding synths that seem to screech like a dentist's drill, all hammered along nicely by the pile driver rhythmic unit.

'Thunderdrift' as the title implies is a tempestuous affair, loaded with classic heavy rock pretense where the bass and drums pound obstinately and the axe assault is just a rambling colossus, contrasting with a serene mid-section just to keep the blood boiling. Of course, the concluding section is sheer volatile delirium, a spacecraft of musical insanity at its best, lost in the vast and empty corridors of the cosmos. 'Sundown Mountain', now that just nails it right there, a 15 minute+ finale that takes it to the nth degree, a symphonic projection instead of the more typical jam fest, the howling synth winds bring this work a more ambient inception, recalling a more deliberate arrangement that sets up a mood that just has musical lust to spray all over the horizon. Explosively melodic and a highly talented crew make for a superb combo, the piece just grows in intensity and sheer determination. Its atmospheric but with balls, and even tosses in some Magma 'like choir work, it's hilarious and so cleverly done. The Vander-like beat only conveys the zeuhl feel even further. Music like this scares me only because it's so good !The shift is gradual into a more rockier feel, sustain-laden axe washes scour the sonic windshield , the rough bass smashing through the mist whilst the snarly drums clobber hard and fast. Technically, these dudes are accomplished BIG TIME but it's the inspiration that I find so shocking, the interplay is stupendous, the beats super-tight and the passion, limitless.

With their first two masterpieces, Moonwagon are on my 'GET ALL THEIR STUFF' list, which is not that crowded really but growing steadily, especially since 2010. A masterful debut.

4.5 Noxious dunes

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