The cover says it all; wandering stars, floating corpses, and covered in plant life. Double Leopards
2003 album, Half Maen
, calls attention to fading memories of psychedelia and mysticism. The album sounds like it was shot into space and never meant to be heard by anyone other than foreign life forms. But luckily for us Double Leopards
decided us Earthlings were worthy enough to hear this drone masterpiece.
While most drone and dark ambient focuses on the dingy and bleak Half Maen
sounds more like a lost collaboration between Danse Manatee
-era Animal Collective
and James Ferraro
’s former group, The Skaters
. Over the album’s 79-minute run time the group is able to immerse themselves and the listeners into what sounds like memories of an ancient tribal ceremony; ghost-like in its approach.
The true standout on Half Maen
is the 21-minute opus, “A Hemisphere in Your Hair”. Weaving in and out of conscious, it’s a slow burning track but it hits you right in the best places. Out of tune guitars and pianos looped around warped choral arrangements and what sounds like broken tape recordings of a rain forest. The track washes around in your ears like waves and simultaneously making you feel like you are all alone hurtling through space.
And by the time the record ends you will be wondering why this album was never truly given its shine. Influencing countless drone and lo-fi ambient artists of today, Double Leopards
were undoubtedly ahead of their time. Perhaps it was because they were extremely prolific or because most of their work is available in limited quantities were they not able to seize the chances they were needed to shine. Half Maen
is most unlike any album that was being released in 2003 and is sure to please fans of psychedelic and ambient music alike.