The World Above

Bitter Moon

La Suisse Primitive Records, 2020

http://bittermoon.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/29/2020

The debut album from Réka Csiszér and Simon Bernardoni, Bitter Moon, has the Swiss duo paying much attention to mood with an experimental approach that's artistic and adventurous. Each track offers new surprises and textures that are as likely to go to dark places as they are destined for the dance floor. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Zenos Paradox” starts the nine-track album with some intricate, mysterious ambience, and spacey sounds before a hypnotic beat settles in to the club-friendly climate where mesmerizing percussion highlight the affair. The synth heavy “Images” follows with vocals from Csiszér guiding the multifaceted pop approach.

The middle tracks bring us the light and dreamy “Eva,” where meticulous synth dominates the nearly seven minute track, while “Formlos” takes a turn into the ominous as the haunting lullaby benefits greatly from atmosphere as well as a calming cryptic quality. “Gloria,” one of the standout tunes, then brings Eastern ideas into the flowing and atypical song craft that illustrates just how diverse Bitter Moon can be.

Towards the end, “Still Stiller” moves with a lively pulse that takes on a cinematic quality that could soundtrack a sci-fi movie, and “Kontaktseinheit” finishes out the listen with spoken word alongside an eerie backdrop that's bare, a little spooky, and entirely unconventional.

The always impressive Jacco Gardner produced, recorded, and mixed the record; the Dutch multi-instrumentalist did an impressive job, illuminating each tune with cosmic, surreal landscapes that mirror the creativity of his own songwriting.

A concept album that was penned in Bitter Moon's hideout in the Swiss Italian Alps, The World Above makes excellent use of an Optigan, occasional percussion by Nic Mauskovic, synth from both members, and, most importantly, an atypical vision and willingness to explore outside the ordinary. As far as debuts go, this is an excellent starting point.

Rating: B

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