Blimey. The post-Christmas slump went on for a bit longer than I thought it would this year, so here we are in the middle of February with the first mention of a record this year. Whatever passes for normal service will resume whenever, but at least I have much to be going on about until I catch up properly. All of this is of course an entirely opposite approach to the tireless and mysterious Servant Roberts, who announced this record late on a Wednesday evening, followed by despatching the same for it to arrive that very weekend. The world needs more of his like. And to put the tin hat on such speedy service, and in keeping with his paymasters’ previous musical jiggerypokery, this is not just one record but two…
“Here we go again” intones the spooky voice during Peripheral Peacock‘s introduction to Moon Wiring Club’s Leporine Pleasure Gardens, and it’s a welcome introduction indeed. To those familiar with MWC’s somewhat unique niche in the British Electronic Pantheon, there is much to be joyous about here; for people approaching this unique institution with ears afresh and mind wide open, there is equal glee to be found. Leporine Pleasure Gardens is an extremely likeable album, and trying to describe it as such is a rare pleasure in itself, as it’s a bloody difficult thing to do.
Moon Wiring Club don’t so much create their music as channel it from somewhere else entirely, and feels as though it was at least partially recorded with a ouija board somewhere on the console. Ghosts are the order of the day/century here, and although it sounds like it’s a largely amiable bunch at play within the various tracks, they do sound as though they could turn at any moment and that’s the main charm here – there’s a definite sense of the line between the gentle and the malignant at play, and it’s that feeling of never being quite sure about whether to be scared or not (although the former definitely comes into play with the spooky mangling of the first three recognisable notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) that gives Leporine Pleasure Gardens its thrilling edge.
For the most part, it’s sort of what you’d expect from Moon Wiring Club, in as much that anything that Moon Wiring Club does can possibly be expected. Complicated rhythms and electronic sweeps that make you both want to dance and hide behind the sofa, usually accompanied by some of my favourite track names (Buoyancy Castle for example manages to hit all of the former points at the same time). There is much fun to be had from this record, and all of this stems from the obvious fun that was put into it in the first place. The only time that it sounds like any outside influence (other than via a medium) is during Magnatrix Freeze, where the bouncy bassline and pastoral synths evoke Boards of Canada’s Aquarius a little bit, but it’s so out there that comparisons are fleeting and little more than something to ground the whole experience and try to paste any sort of rationality to the general goings-on.
And this is just the CD. Purchasers of the vinyl version of this same record will find not only a host of fresh artwork (as always, the images and articles provided with this album are just as beautiful and unique as the music), but will also discover that they are in possession of an almost entirely different record. The 22 tracks from the compact disc are now distilled into 2 tracks of ambient pleasure, once more sitting happily astride the border between beautiful calm and abject terror. I can’t recommend one over, as they are just as good as each other and only personal circumstances (Parlour with acquaintances for the CD, Drawing Room alone or perhaps with a companion for the gramophone version) determines what gets played.
Definitely something to be bought by fans new and old, it’s another essential curio in the Moon Wiring Club canon and if it’s atmosphere you want then you can’t go wrong with either version. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a small fort out of blankets to hide in until it wears off.