Exposé Online banner

Deborah Martin — Under the Moon
(Spotted Peccary SPM-0504, 1996/2015, CD)

by Paul Hightower, 2015-07-20:

Under the Moon Cover art

Many listeners have a love/hate relationship with the New Age genre, but if you’re a fan then this one is probably already in your collection. If not, it should be. Under the Moon was originally released during New Age’s heyday, and Deborah Martin was one of Spotted Peccary’s early stars. Several guests make appearances, including Jon Jenkins (percussion) and Tony Levin (bass), though it’s clearly Martin’s singular vision that guides each of the ten tracks. The title provides a literal description of the thematic idea behind each piece, starting with “Twilight” and ending with “Before Dawn” and encompassing many moods tied to nocturnal experiences set in the American southwest (complete with Native American topics and musical references). Martin does a nice job making sure the musical themes fit the subject, from “Night’s Shadows” vocal evocation of coyote howls to the orchestral majesty of “Midnight.” Perhaps the most memorable track is “Gray Sky,” that first features a recitation of a Martin poem in the Apache tongue followed by Martin singing the prose. Sonically the album is of its time with lots of breathy synths, airy textures, and digital woodwinds (with guitar, bass, and percussion providing additional color). The keyboard timbres occasionally have a dated quality to them, plus I have a hard time detecting any sonic improvement in the production. But for the most part the collection gels nicely and still does a good job transporting the listener to a time and place that calms the soul and fires the imagination.


by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:

An album based on the twilight-to-dawn theme, Deborah Martin’s Under the Moon shines with an impressionistic delicacy supported by a lush backdrop of multi-synths, textural electric guitars, and acoustic guitar. The overall sound is warm and romantic, full of gradual transitions, like a vignette that frames the bursts of melodic color in a pastel cloak of dreaminess. “Gray Sky” features Apache poetry narrated by Edgar Perry, followed by an English translation sung by Martin, but the balance of the album is entirely instrumental. Tony Levin of King Crimson fame, contributes bass on two of the tracks, and Jenkins and Lackey contribute native American drums and flute to one other. “Nymphea (Water Lilies)” plants a simple and straightforward piano melody in a thick forest of floating symphonic keyboard orchestrations, resulting in one of the album’s most memorable tunes. Using three guitars, bass and synths, “Rainbow Man” paints a powerful image vaguely reminiscent of parts of Lanz and Speer’s “Desert Vision”. Overall, this is probably the most subtle and dreamlike of all the Spotted Peccary releases to date.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 9 , 2015 releases, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Jenkins, Deborah Martin, Tony Levin

More info
http://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-moon-20th-anniversary-edition

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - A Propos d'Ange – In the history of French rock, two names stand out among all others in terms of leadership, originality of style, and influence over all that would follow. Magma's contribution is well known, having...  (1994) » Read more

Tony Levin - Pieces of the Sun – Tony Levin’s newest release is a true band effort, the direct result of touring after his previous CD, Waters of Eden (previously reviewed). He remains on the Narada label, though (even more...  (2002) » Read more

Jasun Martz - The Pillory – Mellotron fans take note. Unique and uncompromising music, this masterpiece of neo-classical avant-garde rock stands alone. Martz began composing "The Pillory" around 1976, assembling his 40...  (1995) » Read more

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Homo Habilis Blues – After a distinguished career with a band called Union Carbide Productions, Ebbot Lundberg (vocals), Björn Olsson (guitars), and Ian Person (guitars) regrouped as The Soundtrack of Our Lives for...  (2006) » Read more

Olyam - Cristal Rêveur – Olyam is a young French musician working in the realm of New-Age/Pop, akin to other one-name practitioners (Kitaro, Vangelis, Yanni, etc.) though his influences also include Mike Oldfield. His 5th...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues