Digital Moss is the solo project of Evgenii of Russian synth/ambient trio I am waiting for you last summer. For the project’s latest single “nosa sifu” Evgenii makes maximum use of two voices on his modular synth for a rich and stirring sound reminiscent of Sinoia Caves’ work for the soundtrack to Beyond the Black Rainbow. It’s the kind of sound that suggests imagery and recalls the vibe and tone of avant-garde comics like material that would have been published in the magazine Garo in Japan and Italy’s L’Eternauta but perhaps more specifically this music seems to fit the comics and graphic novels that have come out of the Les Humanoïdes Associés (Humanoids in English) imprint. You know, the publisher of Métal Hurlant aka Heavy Metal. This song is so resonant with the style of Cathargo and The Saga of The Meta-Barons (and the work of Juan Giménez, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius generally) that one hopes Digital Moss, Sinoia Caves too (maybe a collaboration) is tapped when someone finally makes a modern movie out of any of that. There is a strong sense of place in some far flung future of abundant urban decay as far as the eye can see upon which one might project one’s imagination and find a space to explore and express the products of that ferment as people have so often done in the past and present in forgotten and neglected parts of big cities around the world. Listen to “nosa sifu” on Soundcloud and follow Digital Moss at the links below.
London-based Moscow Youth Cult’s music has been making its way into your subconscious through various routes including placements in Portlandia and the video game Saints Row IV. Its deep soundscape pop with unusually dynamic ambient elements more than captures the moment perfectly, it takes you on a journey through a psycho-tonal-emotional space that cleanses the dark places of your mind by the end. The duo’s third single “Low Vision” is like so much of the material found on the 2018 album Brutalist an engulfing listen that puts you through so many of the feels of this modern life from the peaceful to the intensely disorienting. Much as the architecture movement after which the album was named the music reflects the mood of looming totalitarianism that is more than creeping across the world and the utterly natural instinct to resist that tide with spirited creativity. Apparently the song was inspired in part by the writing of Arthur Machen, the literary figure whose fantasy and decadent fiction of the late 1800s proved influential on Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Stephen King. In the rush of sounds after passages of sonic reverie one perhaps hears the musical cognate of Machen’s epochal The Hill of Dreams. Fans of Boards of Canada and Sinoia Caves will truly appreciate the imaginative use of layered atmospheres and informal beats as well as the heightened sense of otherworldliness grounded in the ineffably familiar that informs this track in particular but also in the work of Moscow Youth Cult in general. Listen for yourself and delve further into the band’s compelling body of work at any of the links below.