Girls And Film reviewed

What the periodicals said about the new Moogieman album.

Nightshift
Issue 264, July 2017

Moogieman might yet end up enjoying the accolade of being the last ever artist to kick off the Oxford Punt and his 2016 opening set at the Purple Turtle remains a favourite memory of that May evening. The bulk of the intervening year has seen him tinker with the finishing touches to this album.

The record is a concept album about analogue photography which, like cassette tapes, arctic roll and board games is firmly back in fashion – just ask the hipsters at Cowley Road’s Bear and the Bean café where a dazzling array of said
equipment is for sale and on display. That indicates an album to which much thought has been devoted and even the odd flowchart. Thankfully, it’s a release that wears its charm, its tunes and its inventiveness on its sleeve, a double dozen of songs that recall Blur, The Kinks and even early Pink Floyd in its particularly English whimsy.

Just as Damon Albarn would pepper his albums with a litany of fictional characters, Moogieman does the same. So instead of Tracy Jacks and Ernold Same (whatever happened to Red Ken?), we have Octavia and Holga Jen, the former a seeming refugee from the tableau of personalities that starred with Phil Daniels in the ‘Parklife’ video; the latter the title character of the album’s stand out track, a putative, insistent indie anthem in the style of Martha and the Muffins.

It’s an LP with many highlights – ‘Parallel Lines’ is another that has real drive to it – while the instrumentation is often brilliant. A bold sax solo from Clare Heaviside of the Balkan Wanderers lights up ‘Ektachrome’ and Andy Diagram-style trumpet from Kate Bryer on `Summer of 09’ really elevates that particular track.

Nor is the piece lacking lyrically. The tall tales include Moogieman leaving his camera on a roof in 1972, thinking of ‘getting into processing’, urging people not to take their disposal cameras back, and meeting a drunken debutante with a voice like Joan Greenwood. The one quibble is the length, and while it’s necessary to make use of studio time, there are almost two albums of good music here.

Rob Langham

The Ocelot
Gig Monkey reviews Moogieman – Girls and Film
By Mike Barham – 1st June 2017

It is always great to go into a new release review with no idea what you are going to be listening to, and any release or show from Oxford auteur Moogieman is going to be a little unexpected, no matter what you were expecting.

He is an artist that seems to not have that control point between his brain and the rest of the world – this debut album, as with his earlier EP releases, is very much a stream of consciousness production, (the fact that there are 24 tracks on this record a good indicator of the reluctance to edit) and it veers wildly and with reckless abandon across genres, eras and dimensions.

The result of this cartwheeling, scattergun approach is a messy, childish, wobbly and quite glorious collection of short songs themed around photography and film and built around some clever, witty and considered lyrics. Musically it is all very lo-fi with a real bedroom synth vibe about it, although the production is spot on and unobtrusive. The music is also very clever, creepy and unsettling one minute, bouncy and sparkling another and full of interesting and exciting sounds that just appear from nowhere, mid song.

Stand out track, from many contenders, would perhaps be the post-punk, swaggering synth-pop of “I Left My Camera On The Moon” a poignant song written from the point of view of Eugene Cernan, the Apollo 17 Astronaut who left his camera behind on the lunar surface, hoping it would be retrieved by a later mission – a mission which never came.

It is the sign of a good, healthy and artistically nourishing music scene that an artist like Moogieman can not only be birthed but can flourish, a counterpoint to the proliferation of mediocre, middle of the ground blandness. So put away your genericly sterile music, pick up a copy of this and enjoy the creativity.

Oxfordshire Music Scene
Issue 31, Summer 2017

Moogieman records drums in his private bath tub. He obsesses over analogue photography and has made an album to celebrate this wonderful fact. For about five years he has delivered material which would slash the wrists of lesser
artists. I humbly confess my love for songs on this Bandcamp release such as Pinhole and Diana. The entire 19th century should weep at his heels. Instagram should salute every way in which he is digitally crap. But these are songs that can burst your heart into a thousand sentimental pieces with none of the lacklustre lyrics this phrase might suggest. (JB)

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