Mothlab - Not On Earth

Author CGNY
Wed 5 Dec 12
/ 5

Album review of Not on Earth “Time”

Few things are as enjoyable to a seasoned music snob as opening a promo email, not having the slightest idea of who the artist is, and within thirty seconds of pressing play finding oneself bobbing thy head and smiling like a three-year-old child.  Perhaps it’s the sole fault of the old-time music snob for not expanding his musical horizons through a concerted effort to expand his musical horizons or perhaps its Beatport’s fault for not having a simple and universal category labeled “awesome!”  Regardless, MothLab Recordings delivered a beautiful and thought provoking six track album from Not on Earth worthy of the highest praise.

Not on Earth’s journey of “Time” begins with the cleverly titled track “Bassik.” The opening is original and cerebral; the frequency modulated and echoed synths dive in and out of the sub-frequencies and are met with echoed, digital shakers, both panning rhythmically to produce a tension. The track then suddenly ascends to a melancholic melody and distant and soft vocals that play seamlessly to create the mood of the track. It is, however, the bass that continues to steal the show. In absence of a traditional kick drum, the bass sets the rhythm of the track and pushes us onward in this magical journey.

“Cycle Trip” offers a relaxed soundscape that acts like a beautiful canvas to the guitars that exude sunshine and warmth. The kick drums were used sparingly and effectively to ground the track and offer a needed contrast to the floating melodies.


The album turns the page with “Life Numbers” which offers grittier, electrified synths and a drum track that’s faster and more reminiscent of an indie rock chune than an electronica track.  The breakdowns are frantic - filling the void left by the drum rack with racing pianos. Not on Earth uses these elements effectively to instill a hectic pace. The track ends with a spoken word vocal, which almost sounds like a Carpe Diem public service announcement; with the track being as strong as it is, the vocal seemed like a bit of overkill.

“Clocks Didn’t Know About Time” was technically one of the standouts of the album. The clever use of reverb on some of the percussive elements, emulates the drifting sands of time, and the emotional piano harmonies worked beautifully together. The subtle use of guitar to accent the piano driven melody was also a nice touch.

“Time” is a beautiful escape through space and emotion. It lingers at its own pace and offers wondrous soundscapes, seemingly three-dimensional reverbs and beautifully composed melodies. As much as Not on Earth should be commended on a brilliantly executed album, much kudos is owed to MothLab Recordings for taking a chance on non-four-on-the-floor dance floor filler.  Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see pieces of this work in the intricate sets of pioneers such as Sasha or Paul Rose.


Review for CGNY by Leunich

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