Moon B takes a step out of his comfort zone with ‘Udaya’, giving a lesson on how it isn’t the tools at your disposal, but rather how you use them. A stalwart of vintage analogue gear under normal circumstances, he’s harnessed the full power of his iPad to conjure up 8 cuts of slick, lo-fi boogie that emanate with a smoky warmth. Gone are the genre-hopping sensibilities of earlier releases, replaced with a renewed focus on what really counts: the funk.
Gliding on thick, queasy basslines, woozy synths, sampled instruments and iOS-powered FX, it’s a “navigational soundtrack through life's mysteries,” velvety and fuggy in equal measure right to the final beat. Roughly translating to ‘ascension’ in Sanskrit, ‘Udaya’ is a deeply affecting record at times: a sample of Jordan Peterson reciting philosophy on the ‘individual’ provokes reflection on behalf of the listener, while ethereal pads hint at the idea of heightened experience through music.
There’s something outward looking and contemplative about the album too, in a wistful, heavy-hearted sort of way - the sort of feeling evoked when man considers the vastness of the universe and his place within it. It isn’t often you find a record simultaneously offering transcendent moments and evoking imagined memories of late night cruises through dimly lit suburban streets and while contemplating humanity’s cosmic insignificance.
A hardware enthusiast raised in Memphis on a diet of the blues and funk-sampling Three Six Mafia, Moon B’s been a key proponent of the boogie sound since his PPU debut back in 2013. A dusty, lo-fi synthesis of boogie, electro-funk, house and virtually everything in-between, the tape-damaged, retro-futurism is easily mistaken for music of a certain vintage. In reality, the ‘80s tropes are offset by dank, dreamy and often seductive atmospherics that are quintessentially his.
Side A: 17:15
Side B: 18:20
Format: 12" Vinyl
Date: 05 Aug 2018
Artwork: Leo Hallin