Moongoose have long been creating soundtracks for our lives. Their albums and EPs give us songs that are so rich in texture and imagery that I cannot help but associate them with scenes from films. Their creator, David Yorkie Palmer, describes Moongoose’s songs as “Soundtrack music for the imagination.”
Their latest album, At Home With The Readymades, is a great example of this, providing soundtracks that bring to mind Noir thrillers, Sci Fi epics and John Barry theme tunes, to name but three examples.
From this album comes new single Waltzers, which is available in two versions, the single version and the Newsham Park Fairground Mix.
The single version again messes with our minds and conjures up images of 70s fairgrounds and the nostalgic reverie that accompanies them.
Starting off with a loop of Wurlitzer keyboards, Waltzers soon settles into a loping bass groove before the song builds by adding keyboards and guitars that somehow sound like tubular bells. Moongoose songs take their time to develop and this gives them a languid feel, there is no urgency about them and they can instill a feeling of calm in the listener.
One thing they are expert in is the art of the buildup. By the time the song is halfway through, strings, percussion and further unidentified percussion have been added to the mix. There is a hypnotic quality to Moongoose’s music, the repetition of the song’s foundations slowly works its way under your skin and into your brain.
I have long been a fan of records that grow on you with repeated listens and Moongoose excel at this. Each listen reveals layers that you somehow missed the first time around.
The Newsham Park Fairground Mix has over ten minutes to develop, a treatment that suits Moongoose songs perfectly. The remix strips the song back to bare bones, the main groove being initially replaced by a spartan electronic pulse.
Minimalism can be a tricky thing to pull off without the listener losing interest or patience, but it works her and gives the song an air of foreboding. This feels entirely appropriate as visits to fairgrounds in the 70s also had an edge to them, a hint of potential aggression.
It is over two and a half minutes before the Wurlitzer kicks in and gives the song more substance. Slowly new layers are again added and the song bursts into bloom before our mind’s eye. The melody is further forward in the mix in this version, emphasizing the harmony built into the song. The sense of menace is never far away though and the instrumentation falls away in the idle, before being built up again, layer by layer.
Waltzers suits being given the widescreen treatment, from being given space to develop. Personally I would be quite happy for the rest of At Home With The Readymades to be given the same treatment, but until then we have this feature length treat to keep us happy.
See you at the fairground.
Buy Waltzers here.