...at the Cat's Wedding has the expected magic, melody & rough rhythmical charm that make Moon Wiring Club doyens of Confusing English Electronic Music. They have a marvellous ear for small atmospheric detail and persistently deploy endless quantities of decay and reverberation with cascading inventiveness. They have also provided a bewildering, sinister backstory to entice and perplex their listeners. It’s little wonder that certain romantic periodicals have passed comment upon their undertakings. However, in a predicable display of nonconformity & dream-logic, it seems as if things are not entirely straightforward with their latest release. Noted journalist & broadcaster Alisdair Pawley-Serpell takes up the story...
In the ordinary way I intensely dislike writing advertising copy.
However I have no such qualms in the case of the Moon Wiring Club.
This is because, as I see it, recommending their records amounts to upholding true music against enfeebled sound, the record as against substitutes such as the TV-screen, delightful tonalities as against brain-noise. In my mind I contrast Moon Wiring Club releases, decently printed and bound, with one of the more distressing scenes of our time - the display in any high-street department store or chemist of row upon row of records, poorly printed, easily falling apart, and mostly with cover designs of erotic or sadistic contents.
Of Moon Wiring Club records it may truly be said that, taken together, they amount to a creditable and comprehensive audio-library, attainable on modest terms to discerning individuals, and added to year by year; of the others, we may rest assured that moderate imbibing is liable to produce nausea, and gorging will be fatal.
From earliest childhood I was brought up to love and revere music, and to regard composers such as Sticky Mickey Moribund, Crafttyke, Saucy Audubon, Thomas ‘Tooty’ Bluestaff and William Grott - my father’s favourites - as princes among men. The former predilection has stayed with me despite much reviewing of music in the course of more than sixty years of knockabout journalism; the latter, I must confess, in the light of an enormously wide acquaintance among men-of-letters and noted aristocracy.
My first acquaintance with the Moon Wiring Club was when a friend - Slurpy Peter - presented me with an illegally copied transcription of the sheet music for their rousing opus Try Folding Your Clothes and They’ll Last Longer; a splendid endeavour, transcribed and annotated by the distinguished civil servant, Douglas ‘‘Blackshirt’ Flaxman. Reading it helped me to grasp as never before what music was about - in Flaxman’s felicitous words, ‘ a rigourously incoherent intellect meticulously bringing mankind to it’s knees in subservience to confusion’.
Then I took it upon myself to write the introductions to their last 3 releases, and while these were received with no response whatsoever from the esteemed performers themselves, and have never been published, it was a pleasant assignment indeed.
My true Moon Wiring Club baptism came, however, when Lord Ernest Belville suggested that, preparatory to writing this piece, I should attempt burglarious entry upon the Blank Workshop and help myself to whatever I particularly fancied. What a suggestion! And what a struggle it set up in me between greed and good manners as I carelessly went through their archives, relishing several Toffee Apples and plundering indiscriminately. I managed to content myself with freshly-minted copies of their brand-new collection A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding, both on Compacted Disc and the Vinyl. The range of music included within these gives some notion of the quality contained.
The 22 track CD version houses Feline Ascension Time, a rousing manifesto that kept me alert for several days after listening. Synthetic-slurry wraps itself around an up-tempo rhythmsection whilst fragments of ghastly-cats whipped between my ears. Outstanding.
Woodsmoke & Treacle provided a superb phantasmic study that bludgeoned me in my armchair and startled my whisky-hand, with touches of Rococco-reticence, and... something outside my field of vision. I have been struck rigid by door-chimes ever since.
Slumberwick Dreams is a fascinating perfection of ‘Narcoleptic Pop’, music devised to coax the alert listener into the unwelcome arm-wrestle of Morpheus . I lulled, and a cloying sickness now permeates my existence. Essential. Don’t Sleep!
Missing Familiar is a brief display in novelty-ghost-music at its best, piquant and amusing, to which the great army of contemporary practitioners might usefully refer.
I do not wish to discuss what transpired upon listening to The Garden Was a Picture. Suffice to say I have disconnected the electric but they still manifest. I can no longer differentiate my breathing from that of the house.
But my goodness, it doesn’t end there. A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding is, as I have mentioned, available on Vinyl also. For me a nostalgic interest; I listened to my father’s collection on this format at an early age and with a mysterious excitement that, prior to Moon Wiring Club exposure had eluded me. The so very vivid and entirely different illustrations of this 12-inch canvas offer a wonderful but frightening enticement to what is surely the definitive expression of Confusing English Electronic Music to date.
Much like the boating holidays of my youth, the vinyl edition of A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding provides a wonderful example of Fearful Symmetry. The first track, Feline Ascension Time leaps out at you with abrupt immediacy, but then mysterious, bewildering excitement dawned upon me as I realised that, despite in some cases the same title, the music contained here is entirely different to the music of the same name that nestles upon the Compacted Disc. This, I state with utmost confidence, is a first in recorded sound, a supremely rational development within Confusing English Electronic Music, and I am out of my wits by the new shadows now created.
I am writing this exceptional prose by candlelight from within the smallest room in the house, namely the servant’s cupboard beneath the main staircase. If anyone receives this important message, let me state that I now understand that very little escapes the Moon Wiring Club, and scarcely a moment passes without their messages whispering within my mind. I have listened to both recordings of A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding and I have never heard so much life represented before. I have taken the hint. Their music must be used for every conceivable kind of occasion, for visiting relatives, to be taken on Railway journeys, as gifts, to play inside elaborate biscuit boxes ~ if royalties were paid forever they would be posthumous millionaires, for with this double masterpiece they deserve no less... a face is forming in front of my eyes and I can no longer see.