Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mobtown Moon - Baltimore’s Journey to the Dark Side. A thrilling interpretation of Pink Floyd’s classic LP

**Mobtown Moon: The 2013 recipient of "Best Tribute Album" by Baltimore Magazine**

The groundbreaking 1970s music of progressive rock band Pink Floyd still galvanizes listeners and inspires fellow artists. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the band’s worldwide hit record, Dark Side of the Moon, MOBTOWN MOON has brought together many of Baltimore’s most creative musicians, from across many styles and genres of music, to record and perform a unique, compelling, and unapologetically beautiful interpretation of this classic work. Forty-one individual musicians were involved in the recording. Even more are expected to perform the work at a premiere event in fall 2013.

This is no mere cover project recreating the original album note-for-note. That’s been done many times before. Instead, MOBTOWN MOON features fresh grooves and eclectic sounds derived from jazz, classical music, choral music, bluegrass, hip-hop and of course, rock. These immortal rock-and-roll hits will be heard anew.

Created and produced by the respected writer and musician Sandy Asirvatham in collaboration with award-winning singer/songwriter Ellen Cherry, MOBTOWN MOON is a dramatic, singer-focused reinterpretation of Dark Side, highlighting the album’s profound messages and hard-won wisdom.

The songs from Dark Side take up serious themes of mortality, scarcity, conflict, and madness. MOBTOWN MOON’s version of these songs interprets these ideas while never losing sight of the sheer cathartic beauty of the music.

Over the years, greater Baltimore has exported many resonant cultural products, including films by John Waters and Barry Levinson, the groundbreaking television of David Simon’s The Wire, and the music of important twentieth-century artists as diverse as Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Frank Zappa, and David Byrne. In more recent years, the city has fostered great new artists like Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, and Beach House. MOBTOWN MOON will serve as yet another unique window onto this fascinating and endlessly fertile city.

**From Mobtown Music Guide**

“Mobtown Moon” is the vision of co-producers Sandy Asirvatham and Ellen Cherry, who managed to take a piece of classic Americana, and strip it down to the basic melodies and rebuild it in a completely original fashion.

Like the original, the album works as a through-composed art piece, where one song leads directly into the next, but that is pretty much where the comparisons end. “Mobtown Moon,” managed to rework these classic songs in such a manner that you forget you are listening to re-imagined versions and enjoy them on their own merit. Aside from the basic melody, everything else is altered: instrumentation, chord substitutions/structure, arrangement, tempo, etc.

The overall vibe of the album is somewhere between jazz-fusion and classic progressive rock, and manages the perfect balance between live performance and digital loops, and sound effects. The arrangements in general are very intricate, and cover a lot of musical ground from jazz standards, to country, progressive rock, chant, blues, roots, and on and on. However, through the performance and production of “Mobtown Moon,” the entire CD has an easy feel about it, with an even flow. Every transition was made at just the right time, with just the right amount of arrangement. Complex 7/8 time signatures and syncopated bass lines are performed with an air of intrigue as opposed to a demonstration of “chops.” The entire album functions as an ensemble, with the feel of a symphony performing multiple movements.

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