Boomkat Product Review:
Midday Moon is a survey of ambient and experimental music that emerged from Australia and New Zealand between 1980 and 1995. These recordings are sourced from a rich variety of micro-labels, private pressings, theatre soundtracks and artists’ personal archives.
Arriving in the wake of Left Ear’s ‘Antipodean Anomalies’, the Efficient Space reissue of Waak Waak Djungi’s ambient Aboriginal fusions, and even the reissue of Steve Roach’s ‘Dreamtime Return’, ‘Midday Moon’ beautifully expands non-native conceptions of music from this region with 19 works that emerged from Oz and NZ between 1980 and 1995 on myriad micro-labels, private pressings, and theatre soundtracks, along with a number drawn from artist’s personal archives.
Crafted with synths, field recordings, and traditional - if obscure - instruments, the results gently plunge us into a warm and woozy world of impressionistic sound riddled with synaesthetic triggers. Blair Greenberg’s three pieces are prime examples of this effect, especially on his mixture of breezy synth pads and location recordings in ‘Beach’, the dense, shady, green rhythms of ’Rainforest’, and the chiming cadence of ‘Gleaming’.
The rest of the set comes from 14 other artists, nearly one track each, with expansive beauties such as the 13 minute ‘Starzones’ by Ros Bandt and Mark Pollard’s ‘Quinque II’ sharing space with a constellation of cherry-picked vignettes like the new age peal of John Elder’s synflute on ‘Wayayisma Petra’, Robert Bleeker’s milky pads and soft brass flares in ‘Glowing Trombones’, and the low-key, jazzy lather of Helen Ripley-Marshall’s keys and undulating percussion in ‘Under The Sun’.