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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Court - And You'll Follow the Winds Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells – From the opening notes of "Rising the Tale" – a short instrumental interlude that opens the disc, it's apparent that this new Italian neo-progressive band has traveled a different...  (1994) » Read more

Machiavel - Mechanical Moonbeams – This is at least the third CD reissue of this third album by the Belgian band Machiavel: a near-bootleg issue transferred from scratchy vinyl was released in the late 80s, then last year it was...  (1994) » Read more

Kinzokuebisu - Momijigari – When one band traverses a wide variety of styles, there’s always the danger that diversity will dissolve into chaos, leaving the listener more confused than intrigued. This Japanese band inhabits...  (2005) » Read more

Il Berlione - In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking – This new release by Il Berlione is a mosaic feast to the ears. The soundscape is quite colorful, ranging from piano and drum solos to electric and acoustic guitar duets, the works. Not all of it would...  (1995) » Read more

Djabe - Djabe – One thing I enjoy about the current swell of musical activity in Hungary is the way it proves just how deep the well of quality really is. No single person could ever know all that there is to know...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues