VA: 10 Yrs 45 Volume 10
Project Mooncircle

For many a label, a release celebrating ten years of existence would call for boisterous ravers of one kind or another, but Project Mooncircle is no ordinary label. For the tenth and concluding seven-inch chapter in its 10 Yrs 45 series, the label emphasizes a restrained kind of artistry, one rooted in sensual trip-hop and atmospheric beatscaping. Long-time label associates Pavel Dovgal, Long Arm, 40 Winks, and Robot Koch are along for the ride, accompanied by new recruits Pyur and Darius Vaikas.

The opener, “Garden of Eden,” is a song-structured trip-hop excursion from Pyur, a young singer who hails from the south of Germany, and Berlin-based producer Koch, who's been a Project Mooncircle mainstay since 2009. The singer's pleading vocal gives the already plaintive, piano-laden tune the character of a lament, while the omnipresent crackle lends the material a faded quality that complements lyrics like “Your memories will fade into silvery dreams.” The late night mood carries over into “You Will Never Be Alone,” a mournful and woozy beatscape of immaculate design by Lithuania-born Vaikas. All intricate clicks, snaps, and swishes, the track's percussive design would be sure to light a fire under any Burial fan, but it's hardly the only thing to recommend the piece.

The release dramatically shifts gears with Long Arm's upbeat remix of 40 Winks' “Kodak Moment,” whose sparkling cascades of acoustic bass lines, harps, beats, flutes, and vibes inject the EP with a powerful dose of jubilation, after which the closer, “Mouth” by Vladivostok, Russia-born Dovgal, acts as a brief coda to the EP yet still leaves a mark despite its two-minute running time. Returning to the initial track's late night vibe, the piece embeds an electronically altered vocal line floating o'ertop a sultry downtempo groove. Restrained in overall tone it might be, but the EP's refined and seductive sounds nevertheless exert a strong pull.

February 2013