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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Herbest moon website  Herbest moon - Concrete River / SST / They dance alone [Real Life / Tha Blue Herb - 2003]

Sometimes, being an MC is not enough… Herbest Moon is the music created by one of Japan’s best rappers, Boss the MC, and his friend Wa-Chall. Hiphop with dub and reggae influences. Expect some funk too...

Their second ep, Concrete River, was released in 2000 on Real Life Recordings. Two tracks of hiphop with groovy instrumentation, nice bass and percussion’s. The second song features a great guest vocalist with a somewhat peculiar voice. Next up was 2003’s Snowy street feeling, released on Tha Blue Herb Recordings, a label centered around Tha Blue Herb (of whom Boss is the MC). The title track is a huge step forward for Herbest Moon. Quiet and laid-back with great traditional instrument samples and keyboard lines on a soft hiphop beat. Boss speaks more than he raps and his tone really suits the music. The mood echoes how it is to live in a city almost paralysed by winter (you can hear someone walking in the snow) and still marvel at the beauties brought by such a white season. Not surprising since Herbest Moon is from Sapporo, a town from the north of Japan, famous for its harsh winters... At the end of spring 2003, they released another 12 inch which had a much more dancey feeling although quite melancholic. They dance alone starts with a nice but nostalgic accordion line and quickly turns out to be quite reggae in its rhythm. Some great keys and guitars bits are added here and there. No vocals but a vision: a man and a woman, dancing far from everyone, inside some sort of cocoon...  Face B is 21 PM brighter dub, probably a remix of They dance alone. The beats are even softer than on the first version and this time, Boss’ voice (spoken) is used. The music sounds stripped down, more simple and is probably even more melancholic.

Those three releases are most certainly very interesting and some of the tracks even mouth-watering... But a full-length is needed in order to judge Herbest Moon. It should be released in early 2004. You will probably get the chance to read about it here then...

The cover scan here above is the They dance alone one.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

François Monti
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