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CD Feature/ Aranos: "Mother of Moons Bathing"

img  Tobias
Much against our deeply rooted natural instincts, alienation and a certain sense of disorientation should not worry us. As Aranos proves on “Mother of Moons Bathing”, they may actually allow us to see certain aspects of the world more clearly than ever before.

The fact that this Czech multiinstrumentalist should believe in the power of the unconscious, in hidden meanings and in the co-existence of a fact and its negation can come as no suprise when considering his friendship and musical vicinity to the work and persona of Steven Stapleton aka Nurse with Wound. Just like Stapleton, Aranos enjoys working with his material in a playful way but with a very lucid idea of what he wants to achieve: While many would label his techniques as naive, Aranos’ highly disturbing pieces and coherent patchworks of songs and tracks speak a more serious language and always suggest something different than their outward appearance might lead one to think .

“Mother of Moons Bathing” is a perfect example of how his methods and samples are culled from a wide and seemingly random array of creative sources, but eventually form a remarkably cohesive entity because the will of their sculptor binds them tightly together. Working with minimal electronica, bluegrass, a capella polyphony experiments, angry avantgarde folk and symphonies for creaking doors and pig squealing may sound pretty arbitrary on paper, but after the initial inner resistance against these on-a-dime stylistic maneuvres has been overcome, a clear pattern starts manifesting itself and the record settles into a comfortable groove of confounding expectations.

This pattern is dominated by the preference of decay above development. “New Boyfriend” starts out as a swinging ode to love, but then deteriorates into a tale of suggested pedophelia and child molestation, while the song structures of “I saw a woman’s rising fry” are gradually dissected, dematerialising into a collage of solitary elements running through a string of manipulations, which leaves their timbral characteristics all but intact, yet plays them against each other to arrive at bizarre and beweildering effects.

It is possibly the only constant factor on a work which is torn apart right in the middle. After six to-the-point pieces, “Mother of Moons Bathing” closes with two compositions around the twenty minute mark, essentially constituting a second album of their own. The silent finale “Invisibility Cloak of Time” is a majestically quiet and otherwordly trio for ultradeep cymbal drones, flute and swelling saxophone, but it is really “Towards Glittering Warm Dunplings”, which stretches the fabric of sound to its limits. Strings of either a cello, bass or violin are tuned and detuned, stretched and relaxed to form rhythmic and harmonic confluence, while a Jazz band desperately tries to make sense of it all.

In the corridors of these croaking and creaking noises, every aspect of reality is lost. All elements of a regular band are still there, but without the usual methods of interaction and lacking in the traditional means of expression. It is a confrontational yet humourous, serene yet easy-going track, whose alienating foreignness allows the listener to recognise the minutiae of every variation in pitch, colour or beat. It is also the natural culmination of an album, which makes feeling lost for direction an exciting proposition.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Aranos
Homepage: Soleilmoon Records

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