Natural Snow Buildings
The Dance of the Moon and the Sun


5.0
classic

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (100 Reviews)
January 21st, 2012 | 24 replies | 3,346 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A charming, intellectual miasma of folk, drone and post-rock.

It's the middle of the night. You sit in isolation, back-lit by bonfires. The shadows of men and women sweep round you: human bodies caught up in the dance, animal masks locked in snarls. It's cold in the centre of this bird's eye cartwheel, though the sweat glistening on your back suggests differently. The drum grows faster, the chants louder and you close your eyes, surrendering yourself to this blissful frenzy.

Sometimes things can't be explained without the use of extended metaphors, and this is one such occasion. The Dance of the Moon and the Sun begs no comparison: there isn't an album out there which evokes the same response or even sounds remotely similar to this delicate blend of folk, drone and post-rock. So, alas, the metaphor was necessary to provide just a little bit of context before we dive in to any specifics. Because The Dance of the Moon and the Sun exudes this animistic, tribal spirituality; appealing to our deepest and most powerful emotions. Shackled by the boundaries of language, how can I hope to share this with description alone?

The distinguishing feature, or at least the most immediately noticeable facet of this album, is found in the juxtaposition between a select few acoustic songs and the often more oppressive, more substantial drone ambiance. The atmosphere will shift from wistful introversion ("You'll never come back. Yes, I wish you'll never come back") to an intimidating tone of dark hostility in a heartbeat. Perhaps the ability to shift so fluidly through such separate tones lies in the execution. The Dance of the Moon and the Sun remains ever raw, as there is little in the way of complexity beyond the stylistic texturing and minimalist abstract layering. But no, this hypothesis lacks the romanticism deserving of the album. The Dance of the Moon and the Sun draws out our most primitive emotions: fear, happiness... bliss, even. It's an emotional palette requiring no effort to move towards, since it's one we're built to fit. Becoming enveloped by it is easy, maybe even inevitable. Like a tribal ritual with you at the centre: hypnotic.

Sinister too, though. The lyrics, in the few times Mehdi raises his soft, almost feminine voice, revolve around death and desertion. The ambient elements, too, often stray far from conventional musical beauty (bar some very memorable segments of Winsconsin). Instead they focus on creating a dark, haunting atmosphere. Deep, rumbling backdrops echo behind cello lines, screeches and selective percussion. Dynamic in the context of drone, true, but retaining the genre's subtle, understated nature.

All in all, The Dance of the Moon and the Sun is a perfect display of two creative minds at work. Comparable to nothing that precedes it, what's lost in the sometimes hazy production is made up for in the ambition uniqueness and, ultimately, the way the album can burrow its way inside your head. It's an intellectual miasma borrowing from the dark intrigue of drone, charm of folk and the asymmetry of post-rock. Inevitably forgotten by most, but cherished by those with the good fortune to listen to it.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
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Sean Milo (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ladies and gentlemen, my favourite album of all time. Now how's the review?

eternium
January 20th 2012



16208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. I finally listened to this myself a few days ago. Crazy good although I'm not sure what else to think yet.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^ Took me about a month to properly get the ins and outs of it.
^ Have that playing right now.

If anyone knows of the vinyl for this selling for less than £100 and wants to make someone very happy, I'm here.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2012



4158 Comments


If you were to compare this to anything, what would you compare it to

Digging: Echo Lane Afterschool Recreational Dept - bikes clouds cranes phones

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sex.

But honestly I really don't think I could. If someone else thinks they can they're more than welcome to.

Horsehammer
January 20th 2012



550 Comments


moon and sun eh? hmmm, must have to check this out

sifFlammable
January 20th 2012



2741 Comments


drone folkkkk

Shrapnel94
January 21st 2012



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review, hopefully people will realize that they need to listen to this now

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks.

scissorlocked
January 21st 2012



3479 Comments


nice review man

album is fantastic

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If I get just one person to listen + love this I'll be happy.

Zion
January 21st 2012



812 Comments


If I get just one person to listen + love this I'll be happy.


I am about to listen to this. I might just be that person.

wacknizzle
January 21st 2012



11909 Comments


I'm trying to get this but it's seized government property on megaupload lol

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Inle

Shrapnel94
January 21st 2012



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you want a link to this then give me your last.fm or something and I will provide

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I hope the government realise that without file sharing there is no other way to listen to this bar the handful of physical copies -.-

YetAnotherBrick
January 22nd 2012



4315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love that this album is starting to actually get some attention.

Digging: The Beatles - Revolver

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Same, there are too many brilliant albums that go unnoticed.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2012



2675 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Okay I've made up my mind now, this is the best album ever recorded ever and always will be. I worked this out using logic.

TheNexus100
September 11th 2013



2366 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

brilliant fucking record

Digging: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

treeqt.
September 11th 2013



7826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like objectively so



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