Filled with subtle, sonic details and musical dynamics offering listeners their own private, leisurely space exploration, Mickey Moonlight’s debut album is a slow-burning, astronomical joy ride of quirky dance rhythms, dreamy textures, and extra-terrestrial charm. Recently associated with groups like Justice and Tame Impala, the English producer and DJ’s reflective, interstellar first album instead echoes legendary electronica duo Boards Of Canada, though the 16 songs here are a far more sensual and less gritty experience.
Mickey is a stickler for adhering to his theme of intergalactic travel, providing not a detriment but a clever excess of sultry wonder ranging from the song titles, the warbling sound waves, and most everything else. “A Big Ship Passing” is a small, candid vignette sounding exactly as its title suggests. In fact, the middle of the album is full of such vignettes, many less than two minutes, featuring Mickey injecting very earthly elements and percussion into his brief meditations on alien love, introspective answers, and the space between spaces.
“From planet to planet, the future’s uncertain/ so don’t over-plan it” heeds Mickey, espousing similar sentiments both vocally and sonically throughout the journey. No cold space to be found here. Warm, human components fill the corners of Mickey’s songs, including organic saxophone samples, strummed guitars, and effervescent keyboards, creating a cerebral and inviting warmth shared with other acts such as Tortoise and Flying Lotus. Jazzy progressions, lulling flourishes, and choral voices from above and around flesh out the rest.
The album as whole might be stuck midway between lift-off and orbit, unsure of which direction to take, but Mickey seems confident enough to take the next step correctly. “You gotta break free before you leave for outer space” warns the jumpy “The Curse of Greyface”, but it’s that contemplation that’s most fun.
Essential Tracks: “Changalaxy”, and “Come On Humans!”