Review: Fescal – Moods & Views

Although presented as one 55-minute track, Moods & Views actually comprises of two long pieces. With a lack of distinct track markers to separate the two sides, I find myself drawn more intimately into the relationship (perhaps even co-dependence) between them; the points at which they contrast, the common themes, and the effect of the fluid transition from “Moods” to “Views” upon my own listening atmosphere. One quality the pieces both share is the haunts of the compositional process – the music’s vivid illusionary landscapes are impeccably realised from Fescal’s palette of tone and reverberation, only to be undermined by the crackles and pops of imperfection that shatter the phantom image, teasing the listener between a transcendence of the imagination and the reality of their own listening environment.

“Moods” opens the record on an uneasy 28 minutes. It’s a thick, steamy haze – drones hum in and out of the heat, wavering between pitches as if transfigured by the temperature, while a constant crackle in the foreground falls somewhere between the sound of a healthy wood-burning fire and the blemishes of decay on an old reel of recording tape. There’s something beautifully awkward about its warbling mass of feedback – it hangs in the air like some ghostly vapour, clinging to the humidity and forever threatening to solidify into an object of actual shape and weight. “Views” is undoubtedly the more expansive of the two, evoking the ambience and dimensions of a gigantic concrete aeroplane hangar. A gentle cycling of tones and harmonies gifts the piece a distinctive melodic edge, flooding to soundscape’s distant corners, while the hisses and high tones emanating from the background resemble the metallic whine of factory machinery. Just as with the first piece, it’s dotted with interruptions of static and pop, momentarily displacing the soundscape from a figment of the now to an audio relic of the past, left to weather and deteriorate.