Many times in the past, the pages of XLR8R could be seen heaping praise onto Mosca, continually pointing to the fact that he is a producer whose somewhat sporadic output has maintained an extremely high standard of quality while showing a fearless willingness to take on a variety of different sounds and froms. That said, his first record of 2013, A Thousand Year's Wait, may be the man's first release that fails to garner such exuberant acclaim. Simply put, when compared with the rest of the London producer's discography (which is an admittedly high standard to hold anyone to), the three-track effort is a bit lackluster.
Eschewing the instant accesibility and floor-readiness of his "Done Me Wrong" b/w "Bax" single and last year's Eva Mendes EP, A Thousand Year's Wait takes on a more machine-minded techno sound, one which retains Mosca's trademark penchant for robust low end and peppers it with bits of tech-minded sonics and factory-generated FX. Somewhat unexpectedly, the record shares a number of characteristics with Mosca's underappreciated Wavey EP; both use the producer's penchant for bass weight to uphold their brooding techno experiments, but the rolling construction of Wavey's tunes seemed to serve them better, and leaves A Thousand Year's Wait with a bit of a deficiency in terms of overall momentum.
Of the tunes offered here, lead track "It's Not What It Looks Like" is the standout. Built around a chugging percussion pattern and subtle layers of machine-room noise, the elongated outing builds interlocking patterns from gurgling synths, snappy snares, and metallic stabs. What sets "It's Not What It Looks Like" apart is its keen sense of space—the track's elements come together in what feels like a natural progression, and the full chords which occasionally fly in on top only show off how much well-utilized negative space is actually defining the track. The following "Kneecap" makes use of a similar formula, occasionally adding tasteful touches of ghostly piano chords, but not quite building in the same purposeful fashion as its predecessor. The closing "Press Up," however, is a bit of a headscratcher, as it seems to run a dangerous line between tech-house and industrial-minded techno that is inoffensive, but perhaps better avoided altogether.
In the course of Mosca's ongoing career, A Thousand Year's Wait is likely to be seen as a very slight speedbump on the road to a largely unparalleled run as one of forward-leaning dance music's most reliable producers. The record is nowhere near a disappointment, but it's also not exactly up to par with what Mosca has proved capable of before. Has Mosca lost his step? This, it seems, is very unlikely and, truthfully, there is nothing to point to on A Thousand Year's Wait that would indicate such a thing. On the other hand, has he made better records? Yes, he certainly has.