Always essentially the project of the Drogies brothers, Thirsty Moon came into being in September 1971 as the amalgamation of D.R.P. (Drogies Rock Project) and Shakespears (apparently a jazz-soul band), resulting in a very big group (seven to eight members) performing complex rock that used unusual jazz structures as its base. Obviously influenced by the likes of Colosseum, the Chicago brass-rock scene and earlier German bands like Xhol and Organisation, Thirsty Moon created a music with great dynamics, use of heavy and spacious structures, unconventional songs and arrangements, and above all amazing musicianship…
A significant name of the German krautrock scene, Thirsty Moon were found in Bremen in 1972 and started as a 7-member band. By the same year their eponymous debut was already recorded and released by Brain Records. It consists of four short tracks and one epic jam,clocking at over 20 minutes (+ bonus track on this CD edition). The album follows the typical German mode of krautrock with strong interplays, long jamming and a lot of space for endless improvisational musicianship.
Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer has his own very individual sound, influenced as much by the poetry of Scandinavian nature as by electronic calculation, and last but not least by colleagues like Miles Davis and Jon Hassell. Listening to him play, it's easy to forget that his instrument is a trumpet. On his last album, Hamada, he switched to and fro between very harmonious and extremely brutal passages, while on Baboon Moon these two opposite poles blend into a unified whole again. Improvisation is an important factor but for this music Molvaer calls it free, black prog rock.
It is difficult to think of this as anything but pure joy, although in some ways it is less intense than other releases led by the remarkable violist Mat Maneri and it is stamped with a cerebral quality from the start. There is a surprisingly charming density, too, that comes through on most tracks, though as with most of his work, there are few if any melodic references but instead a focus on color and sound. Maneri carefully paces himself and the quintet so that every note counts, resulting in some of his most interesting work on disk. At times it might seem somewhat slow, even morose, but upon close listening a diversity and a depth are revealed that belie the noir episodes.
Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp is a studio album by Antipop Consortium and Matthew Shipp. It was released via Thirsty Ear Recordings on February 18, 2003.
A wonderful book with colourful watercolour illustrations, great activities in the book and on CD, a picture dictionary and the audioversion of the story.