Moonlight and Rain
dreaming of distant worlds
Evocations of nature were all through the debut EP by Kodama 木 (which I loved!) In fact I referred to it as feeling like “the soundtrack to a sci-fi or nature documentary-short that hasn’t been made yet”.
And the same applies to full-lengther, Moonlight and Rain. Because it’s never in need of fixing if nothing is breaking.
Here across six softly sprawling and unspooling sound-beds we have undulating synth flows that once again seek to take in aspects of environment from Beneath The Forest Floor, through Echoes of A Past Life to the various Cascadesb and then To Have Seen The Stars, pondering next Where Will We Go ahead of Dreaming of Distant Worlds.
Those are the track titles there in italics – those are the dream-states and real-world evocations, those are the moods.
We open with a soft bubbling almost choral feel from the keys – the music is barely ‘there’ but we feel it everywhere. So fragile it crackles and never pulses, it just softly moves through you. The shimmering Echoes of a Past Life takes us further towards space – in both senses of the word – before Cascades brings in the deeply ambient effect of rainfall. This is the track I could play on a loop. This, if you need to caressed to sleep by music, is the one. This is your new sleep-hypnosis/meditation. This is my absolute highlight. Even though I tend to think of the six tracks on this album making up one whole piece.
To Have Seen The Stars has some of the gentle vibe of The Ambient Leaf when at their most beat-less and the sustain of a single note brings with it a soft clarion call of new tides, new beginnings, new mantras.
The spiritual rejuvenation of Where Will We Go is palpable, it is so musically sparse but so soulfully uplifting. And the closing Dreaming of Distant Worlds is the perfect way for this album to drift out. Again I think of Eno and Basinski. I think of moments within Deep Forest and Enigma too – though this is never about the search for a beat or a pop hook and always about the search within. I love the wide-reaching flow of this music that comes from the deeply personal, contemplative, inward focus.