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Moon Hooch
Life On Other Planets



1. Nonphysical
2. This Is Water
3. Old Frenchman
4. They’r Already Here
5. Candlelight
6. Need Your Love
7. Bronst
8. Too Much Hooch
9. #4 Solo

SKU RPF 0017 Categories ,


“We bottled our concert experience and captured it on this album in a way we never have before,” says Wenzl McGowen, one third of the groundbreaking sax-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. “This is the first album where our fans will be able to listen and say, ‘This is exactly what it’s like to see them live.’”

Recorded in a series of stunning, single-take performances, ‘Life on Other Planets’ may be the purest distillation of Moon Hooch’s sound ever put to tape. There’s no studio magic here, just three virtuosic musicians who seem to share a telepathic connection, one that transcends language and genre and tradition. The songs on ‘Life on Other Planets’ mix elements of jazz, funk, R&B, and EDM, swirling them all into an instrumental maelstrom the band refers to as “cave music” (think house music, but more jagged and primitive). The performances don’t just beg for a physical reaction, they command one, exploding out of the speakers with melodic pyrotechnics and infectious percussion that resonate on a deep, primordial level. Though the basic structures of many of these tunes had been developed over five or six years of touring and experimenting, most of what you’ll hear on the album was completely improvised on the spot, much like one of the band’s legendary live shows.

“We never really consciously wrote these songs,” says Mike Wilbur, who originally met his bandmates while studying jazz at the New School. “We never really consciously planned to release them, either, but we loved playing them and we realized they were something the fans were really excited about, so we felt inspired to record them.”

Moon Hooch—horn players McGowen and Wilbur plus drummer James Muschler—got their start nearly a decade ago busking on the streets of New York City, where they quickly earned a reputation for raucous performances that overflowed with wild and joyful abandon. When their impromptu subway platform sets began turning entire stations into commuter dance parties, the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn’t handle the crowds. Within just a few short years, the trio was selling out headline shows around the world and sharing bills with Galactic, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, among others, and performing on television alongside the likes of Tame Impala and James Blake. As the scale of their performances grew, so did the band’s sound: they began fleshing out their live setup with synthesizers, electronic wind instruments, and a “Reverse DJ” setup, which processed the live sound from their horns through Ableton software in order to expand the possible range of sound and textures. NPR praised the group’s latest album, 2016’s ‘Red Sky,’ as “mesmerizing” and “muscular” (All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen called Moon Hooch’s Tiny Desk Concert “as impressive a mix of musicianship and merrymaking as I’ve witnessed behind my desk”), while The Guardian hailed the record’s “infectious techno-fuelled dance grooves,” and Consequence of Sound declared that the collection “cement[s] their status as one of the most nimble and fun acts around.”

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