A week or so ago the wonderful Brooklyn based label Astro Nautico dropped a free album that could well end up on our ‘best of 2012′ list. With Obey City, Kuhn and Paul Jones at the helm, Astro Nautico is one of those labels that has me excitedly clicking the previews in anticipation whenever a new release appears, and the latest – Moist Ghost’s ‘Big Game Hunter’ – doesn’t disappoint.
I only recently discovered Moist Ghost after stumbling across his brilliant quirky remix of DJ Manny‘s Juke/Smokers anthem ‘All I Do Is (Smoke Trees)‘, which stays true to the original’s relentless, unapologetically repetitive vocal refrain (“all I do is smoke trees” x100) but twists the music from high energy Juke into a lolloping, bumpy 135bpm number. Stream both tracks below and as an added bonus grab a free download of Moist Ghost’s edit (now exclusive to Dub Bait – thanks Moist Ghost!).
DJ Manny - All I Do Is (Smoke Trees)
DJ Manny - All I Do Is Smoke Trees (Moist Ghost Bootleg)
Moist Ghost is actually a side project from Atlanta’s Taste Tester, a talented 20 year old producer of low-slung Hip-Hop, Dubstep and Footwork. The rest of the tracks on his Moist Ghost page are – like the DJ Manny remix above – all quite unusual, but this 15 track Astro Nautico release is something very unique and really pretty damn special. ‘Big Game Hunter’ is a joyous plunge into a bubbling, dreamy world swimming with delicate synths, huge waves of reverb and undulating filters that rise and fall like the ocean floor. The beats are fairly diverse, with familiar pulses of House, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, Jazz and Garage all bobbing up to the surface in places, but despite the variety of influences the LP has a striking continuity to it. The whole thing is tied together nicely by what feels like a constant soothing ambience, with one track drifting into the next as though they were waves of different shapes and sizes breaking out from one swirling mass of water.
I’m using all these laboured watery ocean metaphors for a reason by the way, in case you thought I was disappearing up my own pretentious, over-descriptive ass. Astro Nautico themselves describe ‘Big Game Hunter’ as being “oceanic in character” and “a glimpse into the swamplands of the south through a voodoo lense, a smoke-filled cave where saltwater flows into the earth“, and they are so right. There is just something about listening to this LP that feels like your being pulled by the current around an underwater world, floating from one hidden alcove to another, sometimes serene and sometimes ominous but always part of one continuous journey. If Burial made an album for the Seapunk Gang then this is how I’d imagine it sounding. Maybe.
Anyway, I can’t speak highly enough of this debut from Moist Ghost, so go and bag yourselves a FREE copy below and in the meantime I’ll leave you with one final burst of tired and tenuous oceanic references: ‘Big Game Hunter’ will blow you clean out of the water, while at the same time pulling you down to it’s murky depths – take a deep breath and dive in! (Sorry about that, congratulations if you made it this far…but the LP really is brilliant honest!)