One thing that's always separated electronic music from other genres is that, while it's constantly pushing the boundaries of sound design and style, there is a constant callback to the roots of the genre. There's just something about some of the earliest records that still speak to people today, and you can instantly hear these influences all across the board. For German-duo and long time friends Iron Curtis and Johannes Albert, their latest LP, Moon II, is a direct reference to the music that helped give birth to what we all know and love today.
Think late 80s New York, early 90s Sheffield and the perennial sounds of Italo and Detroit, ‘Moon II’ is a lunar safari that celebrates the deepest foundations of house, techno, and electronic soul while resolutely refusing to get nostalgic. As such, we invited them to walk us through Moon II via our on-going series The Director's Cut.
How to listen: There are a couple of ways to proceed. First, you can listen to the whole album, which you will find below, and then read the notes. Or, read the notes as you listen to each track. This will completely change your perspective on the whole release itself and bring you closer to the artist and their work.
Words by Iron Curtis and Johannes Albert
1. Canggu Laundry Club
Every album needs an intro and so does Moon II. Drones, quirky noises, and dial-up internet connection moaning in the background. Everybody welcome!
2. Tiger Trek
We put this guitar riff in our sampler. Just added some Juno Pads and Strings and guess what: You got THEE Environ Records /
Morgan Geist like track. Basically a clumsy homage. The metal sounds in the back are straight out of the DX7 2 and Casio CZ 3000 synths. Recorded in one take.
3. The Ultimate Seduction
Another broken beat is meeting a synthesizer whistling along. Wait for the snare roll that will make you go bang: The ultimate seduction.
4. Leftie (At Heart)
Distorted 606 drums meet charming warm Juno Alpha 1 pads on top. Short and sweet. You may describe this tune as "Heart Warming Hard-Hitting".
5. Hurting feat. Cutie Schamuthie
Brother Marc came to the studio and we all were hurting a bit that day. Melancholy all the way. Still funky, though.
6. Joyride (Miracle Trail)
Now back to happiness, please. We jump around and let the choir of synths speak - and peak.
"Feingold" offers a subtle and laid-back bassline. Very much Boards Of Canada like. The most relaxed and soothing piece you will find on Moon II.
8. Portal Vision
Speeding up and reaching max capacity, we let the energy take over. "Portal Vision" reminds us of peak time matters in the club.
9. Studio Brisante
We love Shep Pettibone, one of the greatest music producers. Like ever. This is basically our idea of his trademark sound transported into an updated 2020 version. All arpeggiators shall unite! A little French in the back doesn’t hurt either way. File under Nostalgia-retro-future-mania.
10. Nektar feat. Lisa Toh
The smoky, final piece of Moon II features the beautiful voice of Lisa Toh.
Dusty background noises and a strong DX 7 bassline provide the platform. Warm layers of pad sounds to guide us towards the end of Moon II. Round III anyone?
Grab your copy of Moon II here.