Alongside the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, San Francisco’s Tarantel spent the latter half of the ‘90s – as well as most of the following decade – popularizing what became known as “post-rock”; now, three former members – Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (who also performs in the Alps), Danny Grody and Trevor Montgomery – have reunited as Moholy-Nagy for Like Mirage, a Phil Manley (Trans Am) produced album of blissful drones and repeating patterns that pushes the old blueprint in a less dynamic – but no less rewarding – direction. Named after Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the early 20th Century Hungarian painter and Bauhaus professor who was – fittingly – a pioneer in the medium of “light art”, the trio’s music is positively luminescent, with analogue synths bathing the listener in a soothing, warm glow while shimmering electronics, vapour-trail guitars and stately circular piano motifs work their hypnotic magic. It’s a soothing but engaging sound that recalls the cosmic ambience of ‘70s Krautrock godfathers like Cluster and Harmonia, but the record’s most exciting moments are its most lively: “Brute Neighbors” and “Migratory Birds” both feature Mi Ami/ Jonas Reinhardt’s Damon Palermo, whose metronomic live drumming drives the songs (gently) into the red and beyond, straight to the heart of the sun.
Listen: “Brute Neighbors” http://temporaryresidence.com/mp3s/moholy-nagy-brute-neighbors.mp3
Like Mirage is out now on Temporary Residence LTD. The label has also just released Blue Hour, the new album from band members Danny Grody and Trevor Montgomery AKA The Drift.