STEPHEN PARSICK: Moon Musick (2021)
Updated: Feb 17
“Stephen Parsick making children's music!? Yep and he did it of his own way”
1 Phase One 10:20
2 Phase Two 13:10
3 Phase Three 17:30
4 Phase Four 19:00
(DDL 60:00) (V.F.)
A new album from Stephen Parsick! It's the time of Doombient Music. Dark and intrusive music that often makes us visit the inner corridors of our own terror. Uh no! MOON MUSICK isn't exactly new music from the Man in Black of the Doombient Territory. This is something aged of 15 years old that the last spirit behind ['ramp] discovered among several other recordings on old DAT tapes. Initially, the music was intended for a CD that will be inserted into an illustrated children's book. This book of tales was written by wife and was intended for bedtime or a nap for kids. The idea was to have music play when a parent told a story from this book to children at bedtime. Children were supposed to fall asleep to the sound of MOON MUSICK (!!!). Stephen Parsick making children's music!?!? Does that sound strange to you? And yet, there is nothing more plausible ...
Waves, distant thunders and reverberating effects pulsate at the opening of Phase One. I told myself right on the spot that there is not a child who will fall asleep with music so oriented towards Stephen's Doombient territories. The reverberations gain momentum as the water now churns as if a desperate rower was digging the surface of water into slight whirlwinds' effects. In this regard, the album is full of sound effects giving an even more suspicious tone to this musical tale whose history we don't know at all. The 4th minute announces a struggle to end between darkness and luminescence in an intense sibylline phase whose appeasement is expected 5 minutes later while the waves and lapping die on the reefs and under the thunders. And this is also how Phase Two literally comes out of the shadows. This is probably one of the rare times that I hear Stephen Parsick's music have such an ethereal touch. I would be whispered that it's a new Michael Stearns album that I would believe it. Regardless, in a setting where the oceans connect with the stratosphere, a threadlike synth line haloed in steel blue stretches its arch to become this rainbow from which each chord that falls is like this pearl of a keyboard radiating the 13 minutes of a barely perceptible, but ô so haunting, melody. Markus Reuter's Touch guitar draws the texture of this rainbow while the notes of the Rhodes piano are the pearls that sculpt this very beautiful evasive melody. Celestial beings hum an absent tune, floating and twirling on this iridescent curve. A very beautiful title inducing sleep. The sea current absent and the thunders more than present, Phase Three lights up even more than the opening of Phase Two. The title progresses in a quiet ode to winds and hollow breezes with a bit, a tiny one, of luminosity which strolls around the 14 minutes. The distant cries of the sea terns that adorn its finale are also found at the opening of Phase Four. This long and weighty track without any rhythmic or melodic life closes the loop of this opening on darkness from Stephen Parsick on a more serene universe. It also reminds us that whatever the intentions of the Doombient master, his esoteric universe will always remain where the underground corridors of the Earth disappear from human eyes, but not from their ears. And this, even for half-men.
What a pleasure to reconnect with Stephen Parsick! The man is always so sarcastic and likes to cover his tracks. Like here where Phase Two is actually Phase Three and the 4 titles can be interchanged, depending on our vision and understanding of our children's phases of wonder. The story? Don't know! The title on the other hand is inspired by a simple sentence from Coil: Are you shivering? This is moon musick / in the light of the moon. In the end, is it possible that my friend Stephen is really the Bogeyman?
Sylvain Lupari (February 15th, 2021) ****¼*
Available at [´ramp] Bandcamp