Every once in a while, something comes along that is just too good to be true. Take Mansions on the Moon. Nobody had heard of the group prior to October 26, last year and then suddenly, everyone was on the MotM express and if you didn’t catch up with their mixtape Paradise Falls, you were going to be left behind. Way behind. Seemingly out of nowhere, three lads from Echo Park, Los Angeles had garnered enough industry kudos, enough DJ acclaim and enough underground repute to get DJ Benzi, Diplo, Chiddy Bang’s Xaphoon Jones and chillwave force Washed Out on board – and all for a free download. In commercial terms, the rapid rise of MotM made little sense. But then, as a band themselves, the three – two from Berklee-trained electro group Pnuma Trio, one in singer/songwriter Ted Wendler – openly admitted that they tend to defy genre. It was enough to get us here at OAD (where genre-defiance courses through our veins) listening. And then, almost as quickly, MotM was gone.
Months later, in the aftermath of the release of what seemed to be the viral mixtape with the world’s shortest half-life, I spent the day re-immersing myself in the sounds of MotM, remembering just why it was that so many were heralding the group as bringing the ‘sound of the future’. After all, it doesn’t seem right that they should get to call N.E.R.D’s Shae Haley (the dude that isn’t Chad Hugo on production or Pharell on vocals) manager if they really were just a one-day wonder. But in efforts to pin down, to adequately describe just what it is about the MotM sound that is so appealing, I’ve found that, as with attempting to explain their flash in the pan hype, I’m at a loss.
So today I’m using ‘Satellite’, a collaboration between MotM and everyone’s favourite Canadian house mouse, to do my job for me. Because, after a day of watching Chiddy break the world record for the world’s longest continuous freestyle rap (9 hours, 16 minutes – but who’s counting?) and attempting to wade my way through the swamp of drivel that THE wedding has rendered the Internet for the last 24 hours, I keep coming back to ‘Satellite’ and it keeps welcoming me with its amorphous, downplayed charm. Beyond Deadmau5′s traditional electro excellence – which, interestingly, also helped shape our Dad’s current – it’s the MotM lads’ more classic musical training that really shines through on ‘Satellite’. With interests spanning from blue grass to hip-hop and the sort of technical know-how to produce tracks with thick, ethereal vocal harmonies coupled with live acoustic instrumentation, you get the sense that with their August 2K11 debut, MotM might be sticking around a little while longer.
Mansions on the Moon – Satellite (MotM x Deadmau5)
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