Moon Ate the Dark: Molt and Grow
Brian Records

Moon Ate the Dark, the London-based duo of Wales-born pianist Anna Rose Carter and Canadian producer Christopher Bailey, follows its self-titled album debut, which appeared on Sonic Pieces in 2012, with a three-inch two-tracker (an eight-inch vinyl version was issued but is now sold out) for upstart label Brian Records. At just under eight minutes, the release passes quickly, especially when its two songs come and go in a dizzying flash.

The formula the duo applied to its album is revisited on the new release, with Carter's neo-classical piano playing augmented by the textural sound design Bailey generates using mics, pedals, and amps. “Verse Porous Verse” begins in a haze of electronic fog out of which Carter's galloping lines emerge with kinetic propulsion. The intricate, rapid-fire piano patterns seem to somersault over one another, their forward thrust imbuing the material with tension and never allowing the music to settle for longer than a moment, whilst Bailey's treatments keep up a constant thrum alongside it. Reflective in mood, “Sand That Remembers the Rock it Once Was” unfolds at a less breakneck pace while still retaining the density of the opener. Multiple piano layers are used to create a thick web of rolling clusters crowned by elegant chords and bowed, cello-like textures. Both pieces are stylistically consistent with those included on the group's debut set and are equal in quality to them, too. Though over quickly, Molt and Grow nevertheless packs a wealth of music and ideas into its brief running time.

October 2013