The mix of electronic music with the fuzzy bliss of shoegazing is an apt one. Both are, sometimes, given over to beatific moments of transcendence. A communion with the other. Kevin Shields’ band My Bloody Valentine has become one of the key influences of a generation of electronic artists, and whilst once admitting a predilection for Seefeel or Slowdive was a bit like saying you were into S Club 7, they’re now recognized as visionaries.
The haze of shoegaze hovers over the work of electronic acts such as Ulrich Schnauss, Nathan Fake, James Holden, M83 or Gold Panda, and it’s a clear influence on MMOTHS too (a.k.a young Irishman Jack Colleran). While he’s released EPs before, MMOTHS and Diaries in 2012 and 2013, Luneworks is a half-imagined spectre flickering into ethereal, viridian life. Recorded in LA while staying at a friend’s, cut loose from the familiarity of home, it’s a delicate, naked offering that flits between mournful vocals, processed backward synths and serrated edges of what sounds like guitar distortion. "Para Polaris" is all stop-start beats, drifting screes of feedback, and lush melody. "Verbena" is a beautiful morass of piano and reversed shards of sound, at once completely controlled and unfiltered chaos.
He’s especially good when he steps into clubbier terrain, as on "Eva," with its 4/4 kick purposefully muffled, his vocals buried, but still a gorgeous croon; again guitars (or what sounds like them) surge and the bass burrows beneath your skin, but here it’s closer to one of Four Tet’s more hypnotic pieces. As with fellow Irish band and chief inspirations My Bloody Valentine, the lyrical content is secondary, impossible to make out, and the vocal becomes another texture designed to enrapture.
"Lucid" is all pianos and burnt edges, like a photograph slightly blurred; it’s full of wonder, more Sigur Ros than anything overtly electronic. "Naoko Part 1" is perhaps the best thing here though, a glorious blur of psychedelic sunshine and bittersweet longing. He may draw deeply from the shoegaze well of inspiration, but what Colleran possesses is something truly prized: his own distinctive, compelling identity. It’s what any fans of captivating electronic music would be well advised to investigate.
Luneworks is out March 11. Stream "Para Polaris," "Eva" and "Deu" below.
03. Phase In
04. Para Polaris
09. Body Studies
11. Phase Out
13. Naoko Pt. 1
14. Naoko Pt. 2