STA is now Ten Years Old

The Moi Non Plus Album Review

Shot through with angst and sedated by their saturation in anti-pop.

We live in a multifarious age where the achievements of individuals are measured as mini-empires and independence is prized above all. Those who succeed do so through bloody-minded perseverance. No record deal? Find a distributor and do it yourself. No publisher? Start a blog and disseminate your own scrawl. No gallery space? Take a can and a concrete wall: create your own.

The collectives and corporations will homogenize culture until we find ourselves wading in the grey soup of the ill-managed ideas of the mass – and our patched up raft will be the internet, the tool of the information age, reconnecting disparate minds across the mire.

So The Moi Non Plus surface from the bog here, this October, with a self-titled album that seeps with the dampened wet dreams of American avant-rock and richocets like gunfire in an iron-plated underground. This is a two-piece, Dutch, previous convictions for founding Amsterdam art magazine The Dam and creating Subbacultcha!, an internationally revered internet zine and label. Him of the former, Bas Morsch, lends vocals and guitar to The Moi Non Plus, while Subbacultcha-chief, Leon Caren, cuts new cloth from sticking, stifled drums.

The musicality of this pairing bears the battle-scars of repeated encounters with Sonic Youth and Liars records – the deadened drumming and background clang of the latter offset by Sonic Youth’s toneless vocal riffs and static guitars. This is a sound indebted to its influences almost to an overly faithful extent, tempered by the pendulous swing into proto-punk. One of their best, ‘I Want It’, is a spliced march forth of monotonous tone, pinging with harmonics and building into barely-there breakdowns that bail out at the last minute. It’s tense, eased by the familiar crash-cymbal climax and melodic zeal of ‘What If We Do It’. Glimpse Radiohead in ‘I’ve Got The Heart’ and ‘Sudden Impact’ and the spoken vocal of Verlaine in ‘Wake Up’, all captured through a prismatic lens, a fuzzy view of overexposed landscape of past and now.

Shot through with angst and sedated by their saturation in anti-pop, The Moi Non Plus patchworks the cutting-room keepsakes of this generation. Their empire expands.

- Hazel Sheffield, Supersweet