Skymning – Moonstone Gang

Skymning is a bedroom music producer who writes and records lo-fi downtempo beats. ‘Moonstone Gang’ is the producer’s third release.

Rewind to 2010; a music genre called witch house arises and instantly creates a hysteria of rage amongst the internet music community. As lo-fi bedroom production grew more an more popular we were being introduced to the phenomenon of these tiny genres, micro-genres, often the result of an amalgamation various styles of music. The term ‘witch house’ refers to a form of electronic music that contains an unorthodox combination hip-hop music and some minor key characteristics of shoe-gaze, drone, and ambient music. Other than sharing similar musical characteristic the genre also saw a collective of shared imagery; inverted crosses, triangles, and various symbols all complete with a mysterious and elusive persona; masks, drag, veils etc. With Triangle Records rising out of the dodgy and laughable mess of faux-santanic imagery, mysterious personas, and the ability to induce a shit storm of rage whenever mentioned there has been this cloud of ethereal ambient laden music that has hovered over and influenced electronic musicians since late 2009; Balam Acab, How To Dress Well, and Holy Other being just a few out of the many.

The album is quick to rely on the mysterious presence that other musicians of this genre pioneered, complete with a combination of dark overbearing synth and hip-hop style production. The second track ‘Crystal Veins’ showcases this certain mystery beginning with a handclapped rhythm that draws a likeliness to southern hip-hop before exploding into these lush reverberated synth landscapes; a bold track that goes as far as to capture the vibe of the entire EP in one song. The EP continues to follow the consistency established on the previous two tracks. On the ridiculously incomprehensibly named forth track, ‘पापराक्षसी वत्से’, these saturated overdriven synths create an eerie and disturbing vibe as a vocal sample featuring a girl recounting the events of some negative point in her life, perhaps at some past rape or abduction scenario plays on. The track listing is nicely arranged with these short spells of calmness appropriately sandwiched between these foreboding hip-hop based instrumentals. ‘Nässjö II’ provides a smooth reassuring sense of ease that ties everything together and makes for a perfect closer.

‘Moonstone Gang’, although a short affair showcases the ethereal sounds of witch house ranging from washed out saturated synth patterns to dark and grimy hip-hop beats resulting in a dreamy piece of music that although does not attempt to be original by any means or provide anything new in terms of expanding on this short lived genre does accommodate with some great sounds that you could relax to just as easily as you could perform a satanic ritual to.

Overall rating: 6.3

Favorite Track: ‘Crystal Veins’

Recommended: Triangle Records. Salem style southern hip-hop influence production.

Released: 08 January 2012

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